MLS Brands Dynamo Fans As Hooligans

Categories: Soccer, Sports

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On Monday, Major League Soccer branded Houston Dynamo supporter groups as hooligans. A letter sent from the league imposed sanctions for repeated violations from traveling fans during the Dynamo's late run last year to the MLS Cup.

The sanctions ban members of the Texian Army, El Battallon, Brickwall Firm and La Bateria from bringing items "listed as Supporter Group Exemptions in the MLS Prohibited Items policy." The ban goes in effect March 1, and only applies for road games. The letter sent to the hooligans is below.

This letter serves to address several violations of the MLS Fan Code of Conduct committed by Dynamo supporters at the following events:

1. MLS Cup, Houston Dynamo vs. LA Galaxy at the Home Depot Center (November 20, 2011): Violations of the MLS Fan Code of Conduct included
a. multiple illegal smoke bombs were brought into the stadium, ignited and thrown onto the field
b. various objects that presented a safety risk thrown onto the field in the direction of players and stadium personnel
c. obscene language and gestures by multiple supporters

2. Houston Dynamo vs. Sporting Kansas City at LIVESTRONG Park (November 6th, 2011): Violation of the MLS Fan Code of Conduct included
a. a prohibited smoke bomb that was brought into the stadium and ignited

3. Houston Dynamo vs. FC Dallas at Pizza Hut Park (September 24, 2011): Violations of the MLS Fan Code of Conduct included
a. a prohibited smoke bomb that was brought into the stadium and ignited

As of March 1, Dynamo traveling supporters will not be permitted to utilize items listed as Supporter Group Exemptions in the MLS Prohibited Items policy (e.g. flags, banners, confetti, drums). This sanction shall continue to be in effect until otherwise notified by MLS; provided, however, that at a minimum it shall apply to the following games:
1. Houston Dynamo vs. Chivas at the Home Depot Center (March 11, 2012)
2. Houston Dynamo vs. Sporting Kansas City at LIVESTRONG Park (July 7, 2012)

The decision to impose this sanction is based on the League-wide position that misconduct at any MLS event can affect a fan's standing at other MLS facilities. MLS will not tolerate behavior which threatens the safety of any fan, stadium employee or match participant. The actions of just a few individuals can influence the perception of all of our supporters, clubs and League.

After the opening of BBVA Compass Stadium on May 12, 2012, the League will evaluate whether to lift the ban on the previously stated privileges. The following factors will be considered in determining the ultimate length of this restriction:
1. Supporter conduct at 2012 MLS away games
2. Supporter conduct at BBVA Compass Stadium
3. Implementation of a supporter charter
4. Formation of an effective leadership system for all Dynamo supporters that is recognized by the club

The League is encouraged by the ongoing discussion between the Dynamo supporters and the front office to learn from past events and prevent them in the future. While regrettable that these incidents took place, it is our hope that 2012 marks the year that such misconduct is a thing of the past so that we can return to our focus of supporting the Texian Army, El Battallon, Brickwall Firm, La Bateria and any other legitimate group supporting the Dynamo.

The league is banning the Dynamo SG's from bringing drums and smoke bombs, which seems to be a double standard. The league openly promotes the use of such items to increase the fan atmosphere at games. It even puts them in their promos, as a Philadelphia Union supporter is seen beating a drum with smoke in the background halfway through this clip.

Apparently, Dynamo hooligans just have to learn to choose their moments of hooliganism wisely. Throwing objects on the field should never be tolerated, but the league could have dealt with the incidents after the FC Dallas or Sporting games. Instead, they only react after Landon Donovan and David Beckham were on the field. Watch out, Thierry Henry, the bull's-eye is on you.


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28 comments
grahamaphone14
grahamaphone14

I'll be standing in the supporters section this year but I am and will always be unaffiliated with any of the groups. Independent and proud!!

GlenW
GlenW

Can someone write a story explaining the idea of bringing in smoke bombs in the first place? No one does that at football games. Why soccer?

Laura
Laura

Houston Hooligans. I like the name for a new supporters group! Hey, MLS, you can't stop Houston fans from being passionate about our team!

Chris
Chris

Actually you were the first one to brand us as hooligans you fucking twat.  

Twosdayreign
Twosdayreign

Seriously....i will always be a dynamo supporter ....i will wear my texian army scarf and my fancy little pin...and i will scream and holler at all games i will get to go to this year....but i am not a holligan....and the ones responsible should pay for their misconduct.....don't take it out on all the members....it was their stupidity for going in their own action to act a fool and smoke it out.....

David W. Haas
David W. Haas

GOOOD  I'D RATHER BE BRANDED A HOOLIGAN THAN AN DALLAS PANTYWAIST

GNJ
GNJ

Seriously!  MLS should not be putting restrictions on fans when in many places there aren't enough fans or interest.  Putting the kibosh on visitor celebrations is a huge fail and will backfire!  And anyway aren't hooligans those soccer fans who get all liquored up and go bashing other liquored up soccer fans.  Methinks MLS is too young to have REAL hooligans!

Galactic La
Galactic La

The difference between the smoke in the promo video and the smoke at the MLS cup is NOWHERE in the promo video did I see the smoke bomb on the pitch

Corey
Corey

Not to mention the omnipresent smell of pot at Robertson Stadium; saw this coming from a mile away..

lala
lala

everyone is mad because they dont know how to party hard like dynamo!

H_e_x
H_e_x

So they want to make the MLS even more boring than it already is?

Nigel Brooks
Nigel Brooks

The Philadelphia Union and Sporting Kansas City allow the use of smoke devices as long as they are (1) approved by the fire marshal, and (2) approved by the stadium.  The league video depicting the Philadelphia supporter with smoke - was a sanctioned device, approved by the fire marshal and by the stadium.

In the case of the incidents involving the use of smoke devices by Dynamo supporters - the smoke devices were in violation of those policies.  In fact - Home Depot Center prohibits the use of any smoke device.  The folks who set off those devices knew full well the prohibitions against their use and in fact smuggled them into the venues despite stringent measures taken to prevent their introduction.

And I didn't see the word "Hooligan" anywhere in the cited communication from MLS - that appears to be the opinion of the writer or this article.

Laura
Laura

I thought it was more of a symbolic representation of going into battle, as they did in historical battles.

Nigel Brooks
Nigel Brooks

 GlenW - I think it's more a matter of logistics.  A real football game (I never could understand why the US sport is called that when the only time the foot is used is on kickoff, at fourth down, and for field goals) only lasts one and a half hours and the play is generally continuous (as opposed to the other sport which lasts 4 hours and consists of endless timeouts, commercial breaks, referee reviews, etc.

Can you imagine how many smoke devices would need to be brought into the stadium for a four hour game?  You'd need a truck.

Deez Nutz
Deez Nutz

EPIC!!! We should celebrate like that at every game - home and away.

Markjacob
Markjacob

Gotta say that is impressive, but it'd be kinda scary to be in it. Need an breathing device too.

I love to cheer for the Dynamo. I throw orange streamers after goals - never at a player. Celebratory only. I never approve of throwing ANYTHING at a player or official (even if the refs do suck). Don't care to much for the cursing either. There are plenty of excellent chants and things to yell (english or spanish) without seeing how many expletives you can shout out.

Tommy McCall
Tommy McCall

MLS will never have "real" hooligans.  It's not an MLS thing - it's an American thing.  "Real" hooligans use their love of team as an excuse to engage in acts of hate.

Americans will be quite adept at importing the passion of Euro fans while leaving out the inhumane and unsporting aspects of same.

Tommy McCall
Tommy McCall

When half a dozen LA Sheriff's deputies stand in front of your section after the PA announces that anyone throwing things onto the field will be arrested - and you STILL DO IT - then you deserve all the sanctions MLS can throw at you.

sjalexander
sjalexander

What section did you sit in? I never smelled it in 213

Tommy McCall
Tommy McCall

Agreed. As far as supporters go, when you're in someone else's house, you should obey their rules. LA SGs aren't permitted smoke devices and those rare times someone brings them in, that fan is ejected from the stands.

And I would be shocked if anyone would condone hitting another human being with a battery-filled flashlight or any object, whether their names were Landon Donovan, David Beckham or Brad Davis or Brian Ching.  That's inexcusable behavior for a human being and has NOTHING to do with showing your team spirit or fan support.  These players aren't gods, immune to injury from your actions: they are human beings playing a game and nothing justifies a spectator in increasing the likelihood that they will be hurt. 

And let's not mention that Houston's SGs got into a physical scuffle, either amongst themselves or with HDC staff, immediately after the final whistle at MLS Cup 2011. I have it on video - it happened.

But continue spouting your conspiracy theories about how the league gives preferential treatment to LA and their fans and ignore the real reason for the sanctions against you.  It'll just prolong your ban.

Bev
Bev

Well, sir... what do YOU call a rowdy soccer fan? I think Hooligan fits perfectly. Just ask the folks in jolly 'ol England.

Shill-Buster
Shill-Buster

Hahaha...Nigel Brooks = MLS SHILL!!!  His response even SOUNDS like a lawyer!

Redjohno22
Redjohno22

U.S sport doesn't have hooligan fans huh?? Ever watched college American football crowds post or pre game? NHL fans in Vancouver?? Basketball players in the midwest rumbling?? Not condoning hooliganism, just saying the most violent supporters in MLS haven't even come close to what say, Texas rangers fans fueled on beer did back in the day. I'm not condoning violence, I'm just saying MLS has allways had, and probably allways will have, a double standard regarding all things supporter culture related etc. This isn't a plea to excuse what the Dynamo supporters did, but it is a cry to MLS supporters of every club to stand up for themselves and not let big bad beckham, garber, and co white wash the league.  

Devin
Devin

Please produce this video or retract your accusations.

sjalexander
sjalexander

Or ask, you know, any member of the Brickwall Firm.

Nigel Brooks
Nigel Brooks

I realize that you might find the truth a little hard to handle, but you should try it someday - it will set you free.

You might also consider dropping the pseudonym, the use of one's true identity when engaging in these types of discussions adds a semblance of credibility. Anonymous postings are generally regarded as simple whitenoise if you want to be taken seriously, then you shouldidentify as a real human being.

Freia
Freia

Welcome to the Houston Press comment section. 

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