Preseason kicks off!
The team is headed to Arizona this week and will play their first preseason games in Tucson. The first game the Dynamo play will see them face off against former head coach Dominic Kinnear and the San Jose Earthquakes. We all know it will be weird to see Kinnear on the other side of the field, but the more important thing to focus on is who we have on our side of the field. The team had their first intrasquad scrimmage over the weekend which gave us our first real look at the new players the team acquired this offseason. This will be our first chance to see how new coach Owen Coyle does against another team, but keep in mind preseason results aren't always a good predictor of things to come once the season officially starts.
While lineups never mean much until we start to reach the end of preseason it will be our first look at team chemistry as well. We will also see who is ready to fight for a starting spot on the field. In the past many of those spots had already been decided but now with a new coach and a number of changes to the roster there is an increased chance that a new face makes the starting roster. While we expect to see Tyler Deric starting in goal a fantastic preseason could see veteran Joe Willis win the gig. While Giles Barnes was outstanding playing at forward last season the team now has forward Cubo Torres on the roster. While Torres is on loan until later this summer, Barnes may move back into the midfield once Torres arrives or Coyle may leave Bruin up top without a partner and put more bodies in the midfield. Preseason will be our first glimpse into where he may land in the lineup.
The team will play two more games while in Tucson. Next Saturday, the Dynamo will play the Portland Timbers and the following Tuesday they will play the Vancouver Whitecaps before heading back to Houston.
No banners, no streamers, no fun
NYCFC fans are rumored to have some super fun restrictions while cheering on their team at Yankee Stadium this season. No electronic megaphones only cone megaphone and ONE drum will be allowed because Lord knows you wouldn't want the stadium to get too loud. No banners over six feet, no flag poles and all displays have to be approved by Yankee Stadium.
Before these restrictions started to circulate on the internet most people thought that having the team play at Yankee Stadium was an ill-conceived idea. Playing on a baseball field was already going to make it tough to create a strong soccer environment but taking away SG's ability to make noise and raise up banners will only contribute to the clubs mounting missteps. As a new club NYCFC needs to bring in more fans and they need those fans to feel united. Taking away the fans ability to hang banners takes away something that is a great bonding experience for fans. Getting together to make banners helps to grow and strengthen SG's. Instead, they are creating an environment that is pushing fans to unite around crappy situations and against the fledgling club.
On the other side of the country Angel City Brigade has been sanctioned by the L.A. Galaxy Front Office for throwing streamers during the MLS Cup Final. As part of their sanctions they lose supporter privileges for several matches to start 2015 and are not allowed streamers for the entirety of the season. In a post on Facebook, ACB stated that the punishment is an "encompassing" punishment that re-punishes them for past violations such as illegal smoke bombs.
I'm all for make sure that supporter groups don't get out of hand but at what point do they end up so restricted that they are simply fans? Soccer supporter culture is a unique aspect of the sport that you don't find anywhere else. There is a unique bond among soccer fans, one that is even stronger among supporter groups. I have attended games in supporter sections and in regular seating and there can be a world of difference between the two. Both good and bad. I think you need a passionate supporter group to help bring the noise and raise the energy level in the stands.
A quiet supporter group defeats the purpose of having a supporter group in my opinion. After all this ain't golf.
Speaking of golf during the Africa Cup of Nation an injured player was hit by the golf cart that was coming to take him off the field. No really.