May 26, 2012; Houston, TX, USA; General view of BBVA Compass Stadium during the second half of a match between the Houston Dynamo and the Los Angeles Galaxy. The Dynamo defeated the Galaxy 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-US PRESSWIRE
If you noticed that an entire section within the supporter's section was empty for most of the second half yesterday, here's why.
An individual was arrested and removed from the section by police, prompting El Batallon to remove their banner and walk out in apparent protest. This is not the first time EB has been at the center of trouble at Dynamo games and based on off-the-record comments I've heard over the past months, the FO's patience with this group is wearing thin.
There were two videos recorded of the arrest yesterday. While both claim that the individual was tasered by police, there's no sign on it in the videos. It could have happened before this but I've been told by a couple sources that it was just an arrest.
You can see the videos after the jump.
When the Walker End Independent Supporters Association was formed this winter, in the wake of MLS placing restrictions on traveling Dynamo fans after the incidents at MLS Cup 2011, it was hoped that problems like this could be avoided. Unfortunately EB has not joined the Walker End at this point and I've been led to believe that their unwillingness to do so is not going over well with the team or the league.
Whatever happened on Saturday is yet another unneeded black eye on Dynamo supporters. Yes, we all realize it was it was one person involved, but we also know that ultimately doesn't matter. It will be easy for casual observers to label this as yet another strike against all the groups as a whole. That's how public perception works.
More importantly, it could affect MLS's decision on whether or not to lift restrictions on traveling Dynamo supporters, something that was left open ended when announced earlier this year. As far as I know those restrictions remain in place and incidents like this give the league an excuse to not change their minds anytime soon. We'll just have to see how this situation plays out.