Empire Supporters Club
|Empire Supporters Club|
|Motto||"Soy del Metro "|
|Teams||New York Red Bulls|
|Location||New York/New Jersey Metro Area|
The club was founded in 1995 by members of the New York City Firm (NYCF), a supporters group for the short-lived A-League New York Centaurs, in anticipation of a Major League Soccer franchise starting play in the New York/New Jersey metro area. To reflect the initial franchise name, Empire Soccer Club, the supporters chose to name themselves the Empire Supporters Club. By the start of the inaugural year the team owners had elected to call the team the New York / New Jersey MetroStars.
Since its founding, the variety of backgrounds amongst club members has influenced the style of the group in the stands. The end result is a mix of South American Barra, European Ultra, British Supporter and American flavor with the members singing in both English and Spanish.
Prior to New York Red Bulls home matches in the past, the ESC tailgate took place in parking lot 16-A at Giants Stadium. Starting in the 2010 season, the official game day pub of the club is El Pastor Restaurant in Newark, NJ. During games, supporters stood in section 101 of Giants Stadium, directly above the player's entrance tunnel, and supported the club with songs and chants. Section 101 is also where the ESC now stands at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ. 101 is the middle of 3 sections composing the supporters end known as the "South Ward."
In addition to its base membership, the ESC acts as an umbrella organization for a variety of smaller groups, Sparta Metro Firm, MDS, Cobra Kai Metro Firm, La Banda Imperial, Hub City Hooligans, Metro Ultras. The New York Red Bulls two other largest supporters groups, Garden State Supporters and Viking Army can trace their roots back to the ESC as well. It is not uncommon for members of the ESC to hold dual memberships with any of the other New York Red Bulls supporters clubs. Many of these same supporters have joined independent US men's national team supporters clubs like the North Jersey Brigade, Sam's Army and the American Outlaws.
For most away games and US men's national team games, the ESC organizes viewing parties, usually at the Football Factory in Legends in New York City. The club also handles away ticketing and transportation for many away matches (particularly matches against neighboring teams New England Revolution, D.C. United, New York City FC, and the Philadelphia Union franchise).
The ESC has performed hundreds of chants throughout the years. The ESC chants in both English and Spanish because of the large number of Spanish speakers in the group. Popular English songs include "We Love You", "As Long As I'm Breathing", "Everywhere We Go", "I Believe", and "No Cojones". Popular Spanish songs include "Soy del Metro", "Baila Hinchada Baila", "Ole Ole Ola", "El Que no Salta" and "Metro, Mi Buen Amigo". Covers of songs such as The Ramones' "I Wanna Be Sedated" are also included, though personalized for the support. To maintain cohesion, most chants are started by designated supporters in the section, leading the club in song when needed.
With the building of the team's own stadium, Red Bull Arena, the supporters have become much closer to the general public, in both communication and proximity. Sitting mere feet from the goal, and surrounded on all sides by unaffiliated fans, the club is able to encourage, and often lead, the surrounding crowds in song. The atmosphere the club helps create is improved in the arena as sound carries much more under the roof as compared to Giants Stadium.
With the team's new arena and a local restaurant acting as supporters' home, the Empire Supporters Club has begun reaching out to the community by hosting or participating in charity events.
February 2011, a month before the start of the 2011 MLS season, saw the ESC men's soccer team play in the inaugural South Ward Football Challenge, winning the Spanish Pavilion Cup. The tournament saw teams representing the ESC, Garden State Supporters, Viking Army supporters and NY Red Bull front office play for the cup and bring in both cash and equipment donations for Balls Without Borders and the U.S. Soccer Foundation. 2012 saw the return of the South Ward Football Challenge with the ESC team defending its title and helping, along with the other participating teams, to raise money for the Harrison Housing Authority.
- Heres ya famous ESC Daily Harrison
- Red Bulls Fan Club Gets Loud, English-Style The New York Observer
- Under The Volcano ESPN Soccernet - Editor's Blog
- Deriding The Metros Sports Illustrated (SI.com) Vault
- ESC Competes In Soccer Tournament Red Bull Reader
- ESC Take Part in Charity Supporters Tournament MLSInsider
- Joe Vide Fundraiser
- "Empire Supporters Club takes Spanish Pavillion Cup". February 20, 2011. Archived from the original on February 28, 2011. Retrieved May 14, 2015.