Fan arrests spoil festive day at Galaxy-Earthquakes game

The fireworks on the field during the Los Angeles Galaxy-San Jose Earthquakes game carried over into the stands, leading to the arrests of at least seven fans during the 2-2 draw on Sunday.

Ugly scenes erupted at Buck Shaw Stadium just after the start of the second half on Sunday when a fight reportedly took place and two smoke bombs were ignited in the Galaxy fans section. Police attempted to restore the peace but fans allegedly prevented them from doing so, which led to more police from a nearby station, including riot-geared officers, being summoned.

The police eventually cleared the Galaxy fan section, sending about 100 Galaxy fans out of the stadium while the match continued. Arrests were made for different offenses, including battery on a police officer and resisting arrest, according to the Santa Clara Police Department.

The Galaxy supporters group Angel City Brigade released a statement following the incident, which saw members of their group arrested. Here is an excerpt:

We wish it known that we feel the security at Buck Shaw stadium failed in their obligation to segregate supporters of different teams and provide a safe, secure environment for away fans and supporters.

The ugly scenes gave a black eye to a memorable weekend for the Earthquakes. The club broke ground on their soccer-specific stadium on Sunday morning, just a day after the team clinched the Supporters Shield.


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73 Responses to Fan arrests spoil festive day at Galaxy-Earthquakes game

  1. Dinho says:

    Is it weird that I feel like this is a sign of progress for football in our country?

    • PaulC says:

      No, and best comment ever.

    • Kodi says:

      I was thinking the same thing. Soccer in the states has arrived people!

    • MiamiAl says:

      No its not. Its a step backwards. This type of disease is hurting soccer all over the world. MLS needs to remind people that our league was built on families with children, not neo-Nazis looking to practice their violence.

      • Nick in LA says:

        It’s really funny you should call them neo-Nazis because it shows you no nothing about this. I would love to see what would happen should a neo-Nazi get anywhere near the ACB.

        Bottom line is, stadium security should know that 3-5 security guards isn’t going to cut it even when the teams are friendly towards each other. There’s always one jerk who thinks he’s in Green Street Hooligans and will start something.

      • bigprof says:

        seriously though, where have you been MiamiAI? Everyone, and I mean everyone, now acknowledges that MLS’s appeals to youth soccer leagues in the beginning put absolutely no one in the stands. The abysmal attendance of years past turned the corner when MLS started to appeal to young urban downtown inhabiting progressive college educated crowds and immigrant communities, like those in Sea, Port and Toronto. These guys like to drink at games, and most have been to footie games in merry old England. US suburban youth soccer leagues did nothing for MLS, so this is the end result.

        • Charles says:

          Give me a break. There was virutally no need for security at the Sounder’s game with the Timbers or Whitecaps and you are talking a lot of people there.

          The guys who like to drink and have fun ? Like to drink and have fun, not drink and be idiots/jerk/losers.

          • bcoug says:

            Exactly – I have been to dozens of Sounders matches, usually with at least one family member under the age of 16, and always in or near supporters groups.
            I have never had anything but a positive experience and never even seen anything approaching what’s described in this article.

      • Dan says:

        Like to see them Neo-Nazi’s show up for an Oakland Raiders home game….too many fans treat sports like going to a Roman gladiator match

        • BAJ says:

          NEO-Nazi’s???? What an Ignorant thing to write. ACB is anti Racism. Point out an alleged NEO-Nazi in the pic. Probably some Bay area punk writing that obvious slander. ACB doesn’t take too kindly to neo-nazis.

    • XPK says:

      It is weird, yes. Would you view an event like this taking place during an NFL or NBA game as “progress” for american football or basketball in this country? In not, then why would you feel like this is “progress” for the MLS?

    • Gnarls 2.0 says:

      It’s not weird, but it’s wrong. Leagues all over the world are doing their best to stomp out football violence, and you’re applauding it here? Tisk, tisk.

      I’m a Galaxy supporter, but I must admit this is a black mark on ACB. I know it was a few bad apples and SJ security was piss poor, but this is unacceptable. No need to lower ourselves to the level of hooliganism.

      • JA says:

        Hooliganism! Please.

        We were trying to stop the cops from hitting our group and arresting those that were filming them do it.

        You shouldn’t assume or believe what you read in the media. According to everyone up north we were fighting each other.. Yeah ok.

    • Kodi says:

      Lighten up people. Take a joke.

      • Dinho says:

        Thanks Kodi.

        I have young children and surely do not condone violence. And, of course I’m not APPLAUDING it, I’m just saying that it’s amazing to me that passion for the sport has gotten to this level. If you can make that distinction, then great.

        People, relax. There are always a few bad eggs in the bunch. Let’s treat this as a lesson that security should not be taken lightly, even for soccer in this country.

        • smokeminside says:

          I got your “Joke” but I don’t think it’s passion for the sport that’s creating the violence.

        • Wendell Gee says:

          Joke, sure, whatever. But associating violence at soccer games with “passion for the sport” is the first point made by every hooligan apologist.

      • Gnarls 2.0 says:

        There was no hint of joke in that comment. Young and/or uneducated readers may take comments like that to mean it’s cool to get physical at soccer games.

      • XPK says:

        After reading several of the other comments here I will agree that it seems necessary security was not supplied at the stadium, and that this was a major contributing factors to this incident.

        However, “Take a joke” is not a reasonable response to people answering the original question with “Yes.” There was no hint of “\sarcasm” on the original question so I’m not sure why you are surprised that people took the question seriously. Again, no one would consider it progress if this was happening in any other sport. Violence in the stands, regardless of THE cause or the many little causes that ultimately boil over to violence, is not progress. It is not something that should be gussied up with platitudes about how “passion for the sport has gotten to this level” in America because a bunch of drunk people got kicked out of a stadium due to poor security/crowd control.
        It shouldn’t happen. We shouldn’t want it to happen. And we shouldn’t be okay with it happening based on some misguided understanding of what it means to be passionately supporting your team.

    • Da trufth says:

      This wasnt a big deal

      The bottom line is the LA supporters are nerds and the SJ fans are nerds. You mix that in with a crap stadium with no security and an over aggressive police department that this becomes a story.

      I was at the game. Majority of the crowd didnt even know what was going on and only cared for a split second when the LA supporters were being escorted out.

  2. Concerned MLS Fan says:

    I was at last night’s match–a section over–as a treat, courtesy of my business trip to the 49ers headquarters. You can disregard pretty much everything said by that ACB group. That group of supporters were completely out of control. They started a fight with some random fans nearby and then set off several smokes. They were screaming at the security personnel and started throwing things at the extra police that showed up. They trampled their own supporters to get at the police and SJ fans nearby.

    I found their group on Facebook and read some horrible things said about Santa Clara, the San Jose organization, the stadium and several families that were nearby. They completely ignored all warnings about their behavior and to see them blaming the security for not stopping them from attacking fans and police is… well the kind of behavior I would expect at a lower tier English match.

    I don’t make it to MLS games very often, but needless to say my experience was significantly marred by that incident. If the supporters groups cannot control themselves or even take responsibility for their extreme actions I don’t think I will be attending very many more games.

    • QuakerOtis says:

      Been to quite a few games over the years, and while there is indeed a strong, passionate rivalry between these teams, I want to tell you that I’ve never seen anything like this. I walked through the ABC after our Quakes destroyed LA at Stanford earlier this year, in Quakes gear and all, completely without incident. Your experience must have been off-putting, but I can only ask that you try another game.

    • Rocco says:

      I think it’s sad that you (and the ACB) think there should even be security that surrounds the supporters groups. Why is that necessary? To prevent bad behaviour from spilling over from that section to the next? How about the entire section having fun WITHOUT the violence. There shouldn’t be any security needed, because there shouldn’t be anyone feeling that there needs to be violence. It’s a sporting even, not a biker-bar brawl. It’s the idiots that think that these events are just an excuse for them to act like asshats that are the problem – and even more of a problem are the rest of the supporters that are encouraging or actively participating in the bad behaviour instead of helping to stop it. Don’t blame the police for bad security, blame the fans for acting like children and criminals with no respect for the other fans at the stadium. You (the entire section of fans) should be ashamed of this behaviour.

      • Charles says:

        Agree with Rocco.
        People like that should be expelled from your group or you should quit. Saying someone needs to babysit your group is the wrong answer.

      • ed houston says:

        you are right… alot of security is required for visiting fans AND they must be segregated.
        i have seem many intenational/mls/friendlies/concacaf matches and its not being done. at least in houston.
        hopefully it does not take an ugly event (there was almost a riot with dynamo and monterrey fans during a friednly last year)
        for it to start happening.

        • JA says:

          Well when there’s history of ultras coming to us 3 years in a row at every game, yeah we need security to make sure they don’t come over or there will be problems..

    • WOW! says:

      I was in the group with the ACBers. Admittedly, I am probably as biased as you.

      First I’ll address some things you clearly don’t understand, then I will respond directly to your assertions.

      When official supporter’s groups make road trips like this, the clubs involved and MLS have a security plan in advance. The organizers are told where to pre-game (if near the stadium), where to enter the stadium, etc.

      Among those instructions, ACB was told to keep their scarves tied down (as the 1906 Ultras are known to – quite immaturely in my opinion – try to steal scarves from opposing fans) and ACB was also instructed to ONLY use the bathrooms and concessions closest to our section as that is where security was supposed to be to keep the 1906 Ultras out – or at least to keep them from starting trouble.

      The scuffle that led to the whole chain of events took place not in the stands as reported, but near the restroom area directly behind the ACB section.

      I will not speculate as to which side started the initial fracas as I did not witness that particular event.

      However, it is clear that San Jose fans and ACBers were involved in a fracas in an area where security was supposed to be great enough to prevent such problems. To that point, when San Jose plays at the Home Depot Center, there are at least 30-40 ushers and LA Sheriff’s officers that physically encircle that area, and ACB is requested to use the other side of the stadium for concessions and restrooms. This was clearly NOT the case at Santa Clara.

      Now as to your actual comment, I can say from firsthand experience that no one was “completely out of control” before this incident occurred. Even the handful of security that WERE, indeed, on hand were smiling and laughing with us.

      There were F bombs dropped on both sides in chants. This is not unusual. I’ve heard it from many supporters groups. Is this “family friendly”? Perhaps not. Is it “out of control”? ABSOLUTELY NOT.

      Their were no warnings given by security. In fact, the first bit of possible trouble came when a group of about 10 San Jose fans dressed in both Quakes and Giants gear came directly in front of the ACB section immediately after halftime and started yelling at people and being generally belligerent. They were met by a chant of “Leave… leave… leave”. And security actually THANKED us for taking that route.

      It was shortly after that, that the trouble started. Was it the same SJ fans? I don’t know, but to say ACB was “out of control” and “attacking fans” is simply ignorant of the facts and inflammatory.

    • Northzax says:

      Really? Cause I was getting some pupusas behind the Crew visitors at RFK on Saturday night, and there wasn’t any extra security. Two ushers. That’s it. Same as everywhere else. They were loud, obnoxious and a little crude, basically what a visiting section should be. And at the end of the match, we all walked to the metro together. I’ve probably been to 150 matches at RFK in the past decade, and the only visiting supporters who have consistently made trouble have been Chivas (the real Chivas) and this is at anything goes RFK. It shouldn’t take security to stop you from being a jackass.

    • ed houston says:

      so long!!

    • Knuckles says:

      I have actually traveled to Buck Shaw with the ECS back in 2009 (Sounders got absolutely spanked, but had a fun time anyway). The area that the supporters were put had, I think, 1 or 2 security guards and we were surrounded by a bunch of incredibly loud, incredibly hostile fans (none of whom were associated with the SJE supporters groups). I’m actually surprised it took this long for something like this to happen.

    • JA says:

      If by chanting and staying in our section is out control then yes. I saw one smoke bomb, that was after cops started beating people.

  3. Jon says:

    The West Coast needs to mellow out a bit.

    Odds that away supporters groups are denied tickets if/when these two meet in the playoffs?

    • Gnarls 2.0 says:

      Uh, that’s a rather broad brush. The West Coast is plenty mellow. It was a handful of 20-somethings that marred the event for everyone else.

  4. MMV says:

    There is nothing wrong with creating an intimidating atmosphere and there’s nothing wrong with displaying your loyal support in a boisterous way. However, there is absolutely no place for violence. It’s ridiculous and unwarranted — no matter the situation. It’s a damn game, albeit a game we love, but there are much more important things in life. Supporters have no business trying to flex their muscles and try to be copycats of Ultras from Eastern Europe or South America. You are better than that. Act like it. It’s a shame and embarrassing an incident like that happens in any sport in the US let alone the sport I love and adore.

  5. Tyler K says:

    As heinous and disturbing as their actions were the fact that they are this passionate about the game is a good thing. They just need to find a positive way to show their support. Fan violence isn’t and won’t ever be tolerated in US sports in general.

    • Dinho says:

      My point exactly.

      • XPK says:

        Except your original question and the comments from Kodi are essentially endorsing this type of behavior as a proper way to show passion for your club. How else are people supposed to interpret “this is a sign of progress” and “Soccer in the states has arrived people”?

    • smokeminside says:

      Well, why don’t we then have opposing supporters’ groups get together before games and sing Kumbayah?

    • Wendell Gee says:

      Amazing that there are still people who associate fan violence with “passion for the sport.” You really think that’s what this is about?

  6. Da trufth says:

    The cops in san jose are always extreme and over-react.

    Try to go out in downtown san jose and you will see a million cops lined up in the middle of the street trying to catch you for anything.

    It was funny to see a whole section cleared out because all the fans there last night looked like the people who would be first in line at a harry potter movie…..

    • peashi says:

      It was NOT San Jose Police, it was Santa Clara and back up from Sunnyvale. Do not blame the police or security if you can’t control yourselves.

  7. PanchoMiguelMoralesdeConejo says:

    Clear out a section? is that even legal?

    I think SJ Earthquake should reimburse the ACB for their travel costs and game expenses. If that is all the security that was in the area, then the issue lies with the home team. I’m sure a few ACB can be belligerent in their support and even instigate issues with taunts….but to not have this handled by stadium security is a huge mistake. Riot Police for a fight caused by ‘taunting’ in the stands? Ignorant.

    MLS needs to step in here.

    • QuakerOtis says:

      “the issue (I think you mean fault, or blame, or problem) lies with the home team…”

      So if we go to the HDC and tear the place apart, it’s the ownership’s fault? Wow, cool way to get a free trip! OR maybe the Quakes should offset your reimbursement request with the apparent expense of the otherwise needlessly enhanced security at future events?

      Moron. Police your own, act like adults, and all this is becomes completely unnecessary.

      • Edwin in LA says:

        The fact is people drink and become heated…and the thing is, and I’m sorry for saying it…..HDC wouldn’t have amateur hour when it comes to it’s operations….plenty of people have stated that when you go to a game at the HDC there is tons of either LAPD or Sheriffs creating a corral of a perimeter in areas where it’s needed……

        They are there to anticipate ANYBODY from any group being dumb and stupid….. it sounds like they had 5 security officers at most….

        I use to see more POLICE OFFICERS at my freaking High School football games for crying out loud

    • Dan Jones says:

      “Passionate rivalry”? Portland and Seattle have an extremely passionate rivalry and we don’t see this kind of thing even at the last game with nearly 70,000 fans. Don’t blame anyone but the ignorant fans that started it.

  8. eric says:

    Stop crying over it this, this stuff happens. hopefully it wont again.

    • Charles says:

      Wrong. People should be outraged over this.
      It is an absolute disgrace to human kind. Seriously. They need to catch a clue or get lost.

      It would be one thing if I saw the LA group say, we kicked those guys out of our group, but instead they seem to say, someone should have been watching us. ( I cant read the whole comment at work ).

  9. Rowsdower says:

    So is the MLS going to ban the supporters groups from traveling to away matches like they did for Houston?

    • ed houston says:

      LOL, MLS should step in at some point. it boils down to common sense SECURITY. the argument that none is required, that fans should behave, is BS.
      adequeate security IS required -especially around home supportes AND visting supporters.

  10. Leo says:

    The usual “we didn’t do anything wrong” from acb. it’s insane that they refuse any responsibility.

    Every year they’re involved in some sort of altercation, again, 3 this year, 1 of them vs another galaxy fan group.

    At some point don’t you start to wonder if maybe it’s you?


    • Gnarls 2.0 says:

      “Every year” is hyperbole. There are bad apples in ACB and every other supporter group. This stuff has happened with the Sons of Ben too.

  11. cairo says:

    Seattle sometimes gets bagged on for the family friendly fan atmosphere at Sounders games, but as someone with a small child, I am totally down with the kind of passionate but in-control scene at Century Link. In my travels I’ve twice been caught in soccer riots in other countries. It wasn’t fun, it wasn’t cool, and it’s simply not something we need in the American game. There are plenty of ways to be passionate without being thuggish

    • QuakerOtis says:


      Some of you guys annoy the crap out of me on these online forums, but you do set the standard for supporter’s groups.

  12. Joe says:

    Not the first time LA supporters have had trouble with SJ police. Never any trouble when SJ is in LA or when LA plays “away” to Chivas. Pretty clear where the fault lies.

  13. Dan says:

    It’s ridiculous that no SJ supporters were arrested. How the hell can a fight be only 1 sided?

  14. chris_thebassplayer says:

    The whole thing was ridiculously overblown. Way too much media attention for a scuffle behind the stands. The LA fans are playing this up to be a big deal to boost their supporter cred… simple as that. They know exactly what is going to happen if they mess with cops. The cops will come down fast and heavy, which is exactly what they want…all the hype and images of riot police escorting out a small section of supporters. Instant social media sensation…job accomplished. This is not the road to go down for US soccer fans. MLS and the clubs are going to come down hard on supporter groups if they start getting out of hand…that is a given. We are light years away from it, but It will never be allowed to creep towards Euro levels.

  15. Zmystere says:

    Hey ACB!
    Here is your own Rules Of Conduct.

    I really hope you all administer your own internal discipline because i got a feeling the Commissioner may do it if you don’t.

    Angel City Brigade
    Rules of Conduct
    The members of the ACB have worked hard to make the ACB what it is by following a set of rules that better not only the group and game time, but also relations with the front office. Please abide by the rules and do your part to reach out to an ACB officer if you see or hear any of these rules being broken.

    1.No Racism or Discrimination Ever.
    ■There is no excuse and there are no warnings. If you are caught, you will be banned. It is ugly and needs to stay out of the game.
    2.No Violence.
    ■Fighting: Fighting inside the group or against rival supporters is shunned upon and will earn you a permanent ban. There is a difference between fighting and defending yourself.
    ■Threats: Any threat whether it be a fist fight or threatening someone’s life is strictly prohibited and will result in permanent ban from the ACB.
    ■Instigating: Whether it be within ACB or towards rival supporters, depending on severity, may result in either a warning, match ban(s) or permanent ban.
    ■No Cliques or Gangs: The ACB is an open community of friends and Galaxy fans of all ages, genders, races, and beliefs. We are not a gang and gang activity within the ACB is not tolerated. Bringing, claiming, or signage will result in a ban.
    ■Thrown Objects: If caught, you will be handed over to HDC security. You will most likely be thrown out of the game. You will also receive a possible match ban from the ACB. HDC may ban you for life.
    3.No negative comments towards other supporters groups of the LA Galaxy.
    ■Game day is about our team. Keep it that way. If you claim to be part of the ACB and spread negative comments on the web or around HDC that will affect the ACB you will be warned. This may be viewed as instigation which may earn you a ban.
    ■If you are approached by the media, please speak on your behalf and your experience with the ACB. Our PR Representative will take care of any interview and questions specifically representing the ACB.
    ■Official statements and emails sent to the Galaxy or outside parties will be made by the ACB PR rep. Using the ACB in vulgar and offensive emails only hurts the ACB. Doing so will result in a warning.
    5.Ticket Scalping.
    ■Ticket scalping within the ACB is strictly prohibited and will not be tolerated. You will earn a permanent ban from the ACB.
    6.Be welcoming.
    ■The ACB is one of the few groups in the league that welcome all to stand with us. We have become as big as we are by doing so. Please show respect and invite others to join.

    • smokeminside says:

      Thanks for sharing. Interesting, but the document could use an editor. I didn’t know you could be “shunned upon.” I’m not sure I want to be part of a group where that happens. I’m resigning immediately.

  16. Matt says:

    So, are Galaxy fans really into the Misfits?

    • abc says:

      I have seen Misfits skulls on Sporting Kansas City signs as well. And DC United had Operation Ivy. And RSL fans sing a song by the drummer from Rancid. Houston’s goal song is basically Pennywise. I think punk and MLS are just similar audiences.