Monday Lunch: A Letter to US Soccer from a Concerned Fan at the Gold Cup Final

Posted: June 27, 2011 in professional sports, soccer, sports, usmnt
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

By Russell Jordan

I was asked on Twitter to send my story to this email, so here it is. My Twitter handle is @RussaldoAO.

My name is Russell Jordan; I am the president and founder of the American Outlaws Davis chapter. Myself and seven other American Outlaws Davis members made the drive from Davis to Pasadena for the Gold Cup Final this past Saturday.

Upon arriving to the stadium, roads were blocked to get to lot H, the lot where the American Outlaws tailgate was being held, so we were told to drive all the way around the other side. We then had to ask three different staff members how to get to lot H and about half way through the drive around the stadium we were told by police to turn back because lot H was closed. This whole ordeal took about 20 minutes and could have easily been avoided if once lot H was full, it was told to the people at the entrance gate.

Finally after parking, we walked to the tailgate to the loud chants of “CULERO” (loosely translating to “ass hole” or “jack ass”) from the Mexico fans, many of them running up to us and putting their flags and noise makers within inches of our face. We walked around half of the parking lot to find the tailgate and only saw one pair of police officers walking around. Once we found the tailgate and finally settled in, we noticed that we were completely outnumbered and surrounded. Mexico fans kept running through our tailgate, or coming up to members with the noisemakers and starting shouting and pushing matches. About 30 minutes in, as we were all standing around talking, I looked up to see a glass bottle of beer flying straight for my friends head. Another American Outlaws member reached out his hand and deflected it and the bottle struck my friend in the back. I say this is lucky only because the bottle did not strike him in the head. If it had, I’m sure he would have had to go to the hospital.

Things calmed down for the next half hour. We decided to walk around and noticed that there were nice Mexico fans who wanted to take pictures with us and wish us luck in the game. Upon arriving back to the tailgate, we noticed that about eight police officers had moved into the area, even though they should have been there in the first place. There were more bottles, cans, and other objects thrown into our tailgate, and more clashes of pushing and shouting matches. I was informed by an American Outlaws Seattle member via Twitter yesterday that in one of these clashes a member was hit in the face with a Jack Daniels bottle by a Mexico fan. Where was the security?

When we marched to the stadium a few hours later, we arrived at an open gate and were told that we couldn’t enter through that gate with no given reason. There were about 200-300 USA fans pinned in a corner. As we moved to the next gate over, I led the pack and asked the woman in charge of security of that gate if we could get in. I was informed that it was a handicapped entrance only and we would have to get in line. I told the woman that for security reasons it wouldn’t be wise to cram us in line with the Mexico fans. She told me that if she let us in she would be fired, and if we are attacked, we should just “sue the police.” I don’t want to say who should or shouldn’t be hired to work at these events, but I can say that it was very obvious this woman had no interest in keeping us safe and was merely there to collect a paycheck.

I ushered the USA fans into line where I witnessed about five fights while waiting to get to the entrance gate. I saw USA fans, including women and children, pushed, verbally harassed, and spit on.

I want to make this a huge point. As I walked into the stadium, the person checked my ticket, and let me in. There was no pat down, no metal detector, no wand, not even a bag search. He checked my ticket and said, “Go”.

I could have brought a knife, a firearm, a bomb. Really anything I could have fit into my bag or hid on my person would have gotten into that game with me.

When we arrived to our section, it was riddled with Mexico fans. The section was supposed to be US supporters only, or at least that’s what we were told. Every single section surrounding us was 99% filled with Mexico fans. We were sitting ducks.

As the game went on, we were pelted with anything you can imagine. At one point I was hit with a blowup sex doll. My friends were hit with coins, bottles, and beer. One of the USA fans in our section got hit with a bottle flung in from who knows where and turned to a security guard to complain about the lack of action, the security guard stood up on a higher seat, towered over the man and screamed “Turn around and watch the fucking game!” I wish I was exaggerating, but I’m not. Turning and looking up at the crowd all I could see between things flying at my head, were fights. I witnessed a USA fan walk past our section, face bloodied, barely walking, as if he was in a war zone trying to get his self to safety. Finally, a security guard spotted and helped him.

The main issue I have with the whole day is what happened to our female members. One of them was sexually harassed and groped. This I will not stand for. I would gladly take a bottle to the face to make sure that this NEVER has to happen to any female fan, ever. After the game, my friends and I got out of the stadium as fast as possible.

I know that US Soccer is not at fault for what happened on Saturday, but I do know there are things you can do to make sure it does not happen again.

After putting my story on Twitter I received messages from people about their horrible experiences at the stadium as USA fans. One girl who went with her father had to leave at half time from being attacked and having beer poured on them. I truly feel sorry for those USA fans that weren’t in our large group; they must have been like a piece of meat to a pack of wolves. There was very little security help, and the security guards did pretty much the bare minimum.

My question is how long until someone is killed, or a girl is raped. These things seem severe but what I witnessed at this game was the precursor to those acts. Some of these Mexico fans have nothing but pure hatred for the USA fans. I know not every fan is bad, but when you’re outnumbered by about 90,000 people, the bad eggs are going to be there in full force.

I love soccer, I’ve done all I can to make sure that it grows in this country, and I will continue to support and fight for soccer. But I cannot defend what happened on Saturday, and if we lose fans because of it, I cannot blame them.

Please do what you can to make sure this never happens again. No fan should ever have to go through what my friends and I went through on Saturday. If you need anything else from me I will be more than happy to help.

Sincerely,

Russell Jordan

Here is our game report from the match.

View the original post on Facebook.

UPDATE POST 1

UPDATE: These are the people that can verify that their reports are true. Here are their names and Twitter handles. If you want to be added to this list send us an email at thesacklunchblog@gmail.com

Name                                     Twitter Handle

Evan Ream                           @EvanReam

Will Robinson                     @WRobinson91

Nick Gallaudet                    @NickG40

Billy Baria                             @JBillyB

Kyle Mohr                            @The_Intern_

Gary Kazazian                     No Twitter

Anupam Shome                 No Twitter

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Comments
  1. John Lamkin says:

    Ive posted a link to your blog on the Bayou Militia U S Soccer Supporters FB page. Hope ya don’t mind but its important that ppl read about your experience at the match.

  2. abraham says:

    This is totally wrong, I hate to say this but, we need police to guard the public no mater what team they root for. You have my total support as a fan of soccer so that everyone can enjoy a game even if it is a rivalry game.

  3. Ian says:

    You would think that the country would have learned from Vancouver’s riot two weeks ago. I was there, and it sounds a lot like what you experienced. Just no excuse for the lack of security. Hopefully the fans can turn this around, rather than have it turned around for them.

  4. Scott Albright says:

    It is sad that this story took place in an American stadium. Either USA soccer needs to limit ticket sales to visiting teams (difficult to control) or they need to identify the stadiums in the south that are NOT pro-American and not play in those stadiums. I watched the match on TV and was sad to see that this was a Mexico home field advantage. USA soccer cannot make USA fans buy tickets, but they CAN control where they play!

    • Robert says:

      USSF had no say in where this was being played. This was all CONCACAF as they knew a Rose Bowl final would generate the most $.

      • Sven says:

        This is an important thing to remember. The villain will always be classless Mexican fandom but it is (in this case, at least) also CONCACAF, not USSF.

        Of course, USSF should do something about this incident, if they care about their fans.

        You couldn’t pay me to go to a US/Mexico game because I value my life more than the scum from the third-world cesspool to the south value theirs.

      • grillotimes says:

        Wow dude… Choose your words wisely… I am Mexican but I in no way agree with what happened on saturday. It should not happen in any stadium of the world, what the US fans went through is just shameful… and it sure gives a bad name to Mexican fans… but do not think that is how all Mexicans fans are like, and a lot of us feel ashamed for what so-called fans did. So one thing is complaining about uneducated fans (which I would do too) and the other is calling “scum from the third world” the fans from other country… believe that is just adding fuel to the fire… we might be way different (socially, culturally, economically) but that does not we can not get together and have a healthy rivalry… And believe when I say this, I feel as offended as you for what happened on saturday, ’cause those fans are giving a bad name to Mexicans (as if it was not enough with our politicians or drug cartels, lol)…
        Well dude, c’ ya’… GOD BLESS YOU man.
        Viva México… and let’s shake hands 🙂

      • This is exactly the kind of thing we want to hear. Well said sir.

      • Nick from MN says:

        Grillo – Well said.

      • grillotimes says:

        Sorry for the typos, :)… I meant: “but that does not mean we can not get together and have a healthy rivalry” and “And believe me when I say this, I feel as offended as you are now for what happened on saturday”

  5. PrimeTime says:

    doesn’t feel good to be the minority and be treated like shit, huh? man up and stop crying like pussies!

    • daktronical says:

      … the ignorance of your comment is astounding.

    • Flyingoose says:

      I’m pretty sure no one deserves to be physically abused. Also, the irony of you asking for a woman who was sexually assaulted to “man up” is astounding to me.

    • USA says:

      You truly are an a-hole. Thank you for your contribution to society.

    • JonathanUSA#1 says:

      Ur probably some stupid mexico fan that blames others for ur inability to move forward in life.. & decides to use violence to makeurself feel better.. so really.. YOU need to man up

  6. jake says:

    what can you expect from mexicans there criminals walking around they got no respect not so ever
    they think by being violent is their passion for the team there nuts thats why i dont go to those matches there rude, gross i rather stick with galaxy a clean inviroment for real fans.!

    • Flyingoose says:

      That’s pretty bigoted and a huge generalization. Not everyone who isn’t white is a criminal.

    • Toe_Knee says:

      Mexicans aren’t the problem. There are bad people that descend from every race and every culture. Racism is an ugly, ugly thing, and you are showing your ugly side.

      (warning, the next paragraph is nothing but an attack on the post I’ve replied to, feel free to ignore it as it has no bearing on the issue at hand.)

      A few things regarding your attempt to use English: when you say “… mexicans there criminals…” Mexicans should be capitalized. The word “there” is used incorrectly; it should be “they’re”. “they got no respect not so ever…” seriously? it’s “what-so-ever”. At this point it would be useful to have some punctuation and perhaps some capitalization, but maybe your shift or caps lock buttons are broken, since you don’t even bother to capitalize the word “I”. To continue, “they think by being violent is their passion…” what? is this English? Continuing on “…there nuts” and “… matches there rude…” again, these instances of “there” should be “they’re”.

      And, finally on to the original post. Whenever there is a large group of people surrounding a smaller group of people, the ones that will stand out most are the worst of the worst. Add a large enough serving of liquid courage and it makes things even worse. I’m not justifying or defending any of the behavior, and I find most of it disgusting. BUT I was at a different location where just the opposite happened. The small group of Mexico fans had things thrown at them for celebrating. This was after a few failed attempts to start up a “USA, USA, USA” chant BY THE MEXICAN FANS. They knew they were in the minority and they were rightly afraid to be overly happy with the victory of their preferred team. Luckily for them, though, the security at this place was much better and police were there within seconds and broke everything up.

      In case anyone is questioning who I am, not that I should really bother explaining to anyone, but I feel it is somewhat important here: I am a Mexican-American. No, I’m not a criminal, I speak English first, and I would have been elated had USA won. But the good thing about being Mexican-American in cases like this is that I can celebrate either way… Either with a Sam Adams or with Tequila.

    • As a Mexican, your comment made me want to throw up.
      As a teacher… I actually did, in my mouth. (Seriously, was that one big sentence?)
      I was going to correct some of your writing (like “their” instead of “there”, lack [or redundant use] of punctuation, capitalization, and horrible spelling), but I’m afraid my brain might explode. I had to try very hard not to, teachers are usually like that. It’s nothing personal. To think, though; I didn’t even speak your language till the 2nd grade.
      I see a lot of ignorance on both sides posted up here. It all makes me pretty sad. For all those who can tell the difference between a game and life–good on you. As for you, Mr. Jake. I really hope that you were writing out of anger and that you’re better than your post made you sound. Peace to you.

  7. Joel_RoH says:

    This is absolutely ridiculous… I can’t believe people act so poorly at a sporting event. Who knew there were hooligans in America. Shameful.

  8. Chris says:

    ummm, you do realize that USSoccer was NOT the one putting on the event, right?

  9. Dan says:

    Last summer my family and I attended the Turkey vs. USA game at Lincoln Financial Field. While many of the events that happened Saturday did not occur in Philly last summer, I wanted to point out there were no pat-downs or other security measures for that game either. As the grandson of an Eagles season ticket holder, I couldn’t help but wonder (with no intentions of being politically incorrect) how is it that a Giants or Cowboys fan wouldn’t be allowed into the stadium without being scrutinized but the tens of thousands of USA and Turkey fans were trusted to behave?

  10. Crazy Jon says:

    Send that story to all the investigative journalists in the la area…contact grace kim at us soccer. She is the supporters liaison. Spread the word

  11. PZ says:

    As a veteran of a few LA US-Mexico games in 90’s I know what it’s like. However, at least there are more US fans going these days. Yes, as the number of US fans attend these games, the inevitable is going to happen. The organizers only care about making money. I hope I’m wrong but I doubt it.

  12. V says:

    Thanks for posting this. I had no idea what was going on, not having been at the match myself, but I’ve read a lot of the comments to you post, and I agree: this cannot stand if soccer is to continue to grow in popularity in the US. Fans should never feel unsafe at a game, and this isn’t a lot of the Latin American countries where riots are the norm at games (not that it ever should be the norm). I hope this gets published! I want to go to games in the future, and don’t want to fear for myself having done it.

  13. Mike Johnson says:

    Unfortunately, US Soccer had no control over this. The problem lies with CONCACAF since it was their tournament and they set the venues and schedule. If the USSF controlled it I’m sure they’d put the final in Columbus 🙂

  14. Depressing read but it needs to be shared. I posted it to the American Outlaws Richmond VA Chapter Facebook page. Thanks for weathering the storm and you have my full support.

  15. Victor says:

    You just described a regular season match in Mexico and in stadiums all across South America. The beer throwing, intimidation, hostility, and sadly even the sexual harassment. This is the Latin American way to live the sport. More security might help with the more serious problems but the whole scene will not change until the USMNT fans begin responding with a stronger presence in the stadiums.

    • Brian says:

      It’s not just Latin America. Even here in America, at domestic sporting events, given a large enough crowd, a big enough rivalry, and enough alcohol, the louts are sure to show themselves.

    • Ben says:

      You are right about South America. I went to a River Plate game, the visitor’s section was separated from the rest by fences and an entire empty section of seats on each side. After the game, we all had to wait for 20 minutes for the visitors to exit the stadium and clear the area before the main exits opened. In addition to a massive security presence everywhere.

      It’s not about the # of USMNT fans, we don’t expect US fans to bring weapons and create a security perimeter. It is about sufficient security, separate sections, and it would help to have a modern stadium with security cameras everywhere, although no such stadium exists in LA.

      The media should also do their part with proper coverage.

      • dave in socal says:

        There is a modern stadium in LA it is called the Home Depot Center. Metal detectors are at the entrances. Police officers are around. But when the Gold Cup group games were at the HDC after the game no police officers were visible in the front or back of the HDC. I knew I had to stay away from a group of fans in the parking lot; while going to see what happened at the place where players, buses, and fans with expensive tickets drive in. Three beer bottles were next to the car more than 30 minutes after the games.

    • Tyler says:

      I’ve been to regular season matches in South America and this is not true.

  16. Thanks so much for the comments guys, I love hearing your stories and support. If you have stories you wanna share please email them to me.

    Russaldo13@gmail.com

    were putting stuff together to send to ESPN and Sports Illustrated

    Also if you could tweet this out to ESPN and SI writers and anchors it would be much appreciated, thanks again!

  17. clawsanon says:

    stop being such a pussy

  18. Charlie says:

    I went to the match as well and experienced quite the opposite. Although I sat in a different section than the Outlaws, I saw not one fight. I didn’t see one beer bottle thrown, and I fortunately did not have any beer poured on me or see any beer poured on any of the single digit US soccer supporters in my section.

    My point is not to discredit these accusations, but rather offer a different first hand account of the match. The Mexican supporters that I met were incredibly friendly, as we exchanged good-natured ribbing throughout the match.

    • Neil says:

      I had the exact same experience. Didn’t see one fight, didn’t sense one bit of hostility from any of the Mexican fans and didn’t see any bottles thrown. In fact, during the AO march most of the Mexican fans that we marched by were giving high-fives and fist bumps wishing us good luck on our way to the stadium.

      I too do not wish to discredit these events, but in my opinion the Mexican fans were considerate and respectful considering how out numbered we were as US fans.

      Sexual harassment is one thing, but honestly if you go to a Mexico-USA game not expecting some verbal and a little physical harassment from opposing fans then you should probably stay home.

      • Brian says:

        It’s easy for a small number of assholes to ruin the experience for people, even if MOST of the people are nice. Travelling to an away MLS match, I’ve felt unsafe before (unsafe enough to call for a police escort to public transit). At major college football games, I’ve seen a small handful of drunk idiots act completely inappropriately, and embarrass the majority of friendly fans and alumni of their school.

        I don’t say this to discredit the account of Mr. Jordan, nor to downplay the seriousness of his experiences. Only to remind people not to let the actions of a minority color their opinion of the majority. I’ve met many friendly opposing fans (even of Mexico), and even managed to turn what could have been unfriendly encounters into good experiences for everyone involved.

      • The problem is that the good fans should be policing the bad fans. In American Outlaws if you do something stupid, people will call you on it and tell you to stop. I would gladly report a member of AO to security if they were doing something that I didn’t condone.

        -Evan (the guy who got hit with the bottle)

    • Larry says:

      I also was at the game and I saw fights, beer throwing , swearing at the USA fans and the word punto everytime the USA goalie had the ball. It was a out of control drunken Mexican fan base
      Thats the fact

  19. USA4Life says:

    All I hear is a lot of crying and it just sounds like more Americans needed to show up. Let me guess next you want them to tell you when to stand up and cheer over the PA system like american handegg games.

    If people were truly being groped…you should have called 911 or got the attention of the actual police. The fact that you didn’t sounds like you are making a mountain out of a mole hill.

    • Anonymous says:

      LOL HE CALLED IT HANDEGG GUISE LOOK HOW FUNNY HE IS

    • USA says:

      It’s the police and security’s job to ensure the safety of people at the stadium. Not Russells, you dickhead.

      • USA4Life says:

        I guess you would use the same argument if your house was broken into? You wouldn’t notify the police, because it is their job to ensure your safety in the first place?

        Idiots.

  20. Alan says:

    I live inNew England and we had Revolutionsupporters being arrested for chanting “you suck asshole” on goal kicks by the opposition…….yet the problems you experienced are the real issues that American soccer fans have. Now shame on CONCACAF for putting the final at the Rose Bowl that is asking for violence and they should be sued. American soccer fans don’t have to usually deal with violence unless it’s Mexico which is sad but that country has issues that we can never help them with. Maybe it’s time to have these games without fans because it’s the only way to keep our countrymen safe.

  21. Around the 75th minute, security lined up between us and the Mexican fans. They then left before the end of the game. According to a few fans they left because they were worried about THEIR safety. Yes, security was worried about their own safety. This needs to change, hire more people and more people that know what they’re doing.

    -Evan (the guy who got hit by the bottle)

  22. Danny says:

    Nawty.

  23. The really sad part of this incident is that it leaves the USA fans not wanting to attend another game like this. For me this will be my first and last USA Mex game. I will continue to support the yanks but I won’t go through the same thing I went through Saturday.

  24. Jonh H. says:

    I’m sorry but the post seems very much exaggerated. I was at the game myself and saw your typical drunks here and there but overall I witnessed nothing but a very energetic and loud crowd. Yes the majority were Mexican fans, but we have only US fans to blame for lack of support. I was a US supported and other than the expected heckle here and there it was nothing out of the ordinary for a championship sporting event. I saw plenty of security every 30 feet or so in entrances, tunnels and isles. If women were being groped, spat on, officers could have easily been alerted. Please provide some evidence: videos, photos to support your claims otherwise it’s just anecdotal sourness. I’ve been to many soccer games in England and Spain and I can tell you things can get a lot worse. I was very embarrassed to see so few US patriots cheering our boys on., if anything that was the real shame.

    • We’re Working on compiling some evidence, we have some so far and will post it when we have more. Trust me though, this all happened.

      -Evan (the guy who got hit by the bottle)

    • Flyingoose says:

      The Rose Bowl is a huge stadium. Unless you were able to be everywhere within the stadium and around it, before, during, and after the game, you couldn’t possibly know whether or not this was an exaggeration. Just because it didn’t happen to you, doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.

    • USA says:

      You could have just called him a liar, would have saved you some typing.

  25. funsize4 says:

    As a fan who also works in this sport, this was truly sad to hear. I attended the match as well, and while i thankfully did not have any of the negative experiences you and the rest of the dedicated USMNT fans did, i fully noticed a total lack of knowledgeable security, guest services and even police officers outside the stadium. My bag was never checked going into the stadium either – though the guard questioned it’s size as being too large, he never even patted it to see what i had. With no metal detectors either, that was unacceptable. I also witnessed numerous kids – literally high school age or maybe early college – acting as guest services or security. For a match of this caliber, again this is unacceptable.

    I suggest that you make sure your story, and anyone else’s who had negative experiences, be shared with both CONCACAF and specifically the Rose Bowl staff. CONCACAF organized the event but the Rose Bowl would have been responsible for the hiring of event staff and they very clearly did a poor job executing that.

    As someone in this industry, thank you for your passion and for continuing to help grow this sport, as well as your determination to make the experience of a match something fun and enjoyable for everyone.

  26. Jonh H. says:

    I’m not saying it didn’t happen to you and your group I just had a completely different experience. I did not witness what you are reporting. But yes I would love to see videos or photos so please post on youtube and provide the link.

  27. Jonh H. says:

    I’m not saying it didn’t happen to you and your group I just had a completely different experience. I did not witness what you are reporting. But yes I would love to see videos or photos so please post on youtube and provide the link. Thanks

  28. Tim says:

    I also attended the Final, and saw practically none of the behavior described. Sure there was lewd chanting, aggressive flag-waving and an occasional thrown plastic beer cup (at $10 a pop, quite the pricy missile!). But I never once felt threatened or unsafe, just hopelessly outnumbered.

    • GunnersFan66 says:

      Hold on Tim, you think its even ok to throw cups or any object in a stadium? Don’t be so naive. How do you think riots get started? Your talking 94,000 people in a cramped space, many drunk off their asses in 90 degree heat, and have been amped up for the match for 7 hours. Are you kidding me? You gotta go to a match in England, say Tottenham vs ManU. Security is unbelievable, and it takes nothing away from the match. But you feel safe, and if anything is thrown, you are out of there. Anything done to incite any violence is not tolerated. I don’t think we need to do this for most games, but US vs Mexico is a requirement that 3 times as much security is required, pat downs are required, bag check, etc. and there needs to a massive security presence in the stadium. What harm will a few of these precautions take?

  29. BC says:

    I think a lot of what happens from a security standpoint depends on the venue. My friend and I are Real Salt Lake season ticket holders, and our CCL match last year against Cruz Azul felt very much like an away match being played at our stadium. Fortunately, the Stadium, Sandy City, Salt Lake City, and the State of Utah provided great security and a great atmosphere.The Cruz fans around us were great. I’m sorry your experience was so different. I can’t imagine. Hopefully US Soccer and maybe FMF can try to work with venues to make this better, because I’m sure CONCACAF won’t be doing anything about it anytime soon.

  30. LeoM says:

    I agree with JonH. I was also at the match. We were lucky if there was 5,000 US Fans….Where were the US FANS??? I experienced nothing of what you mentioned, but also knew enough to just go through the crowd take my pictures and enjoy the match and the ambiance. As far as there being a US supporters section. I don’t know if there was supposed to be one or not but ANY EVENT cannot hold tickets if that group is NOT buying them. In this case, if the US supporters were not buying those tickets, they had to be sold to whomever would buy them. I’ve been to several US Friendlies and WC qualifiers and the US NEVER has a home field advantage, the best ratio of US to Foreign fans I have ever seen is maybe 30/70-30% US Fans and 70% foreign. I’ve gotten over it-the US fans have no one to blame but themselves. Next time take a friend, a family, or a neighbor. Security WAS definitely an issue that I was worried about before the match but once we got there I felt comfortable. In case anyone wants to see photos of the match, here is the link…

    http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150226075455811.316553.50423650810

    • john says:

      Sports are unique in that everybody has a different experience. I can see that you had a completely different experience than the US supporters section did. I never thought I would leave a soccer game that sticky, with a black eye, and bruised neck

  31. Anyon says:

    annnd die hard footy fans scratch their heads and wonder…why don’t people in America like soccer?!?
    THIS IS WHY.
    but luckily we have the power to prevent the sport from degenerating into this type of thing in MLS and eventually at USMNT games.

    • USA4Life says:

      Because they are a bunch of pussies and desire the sit on your hands atmosphere, cheer when you are told to, and no actual real passion atmosphere. I have been to NFL games, College football, MLB games, NBA games, you name it, and they are all the safe…..sit when you are told, stand and yell when you are told, sing their dumb coporate created songs when told, no real fan support.

  32. hzlcharlie says:

    I feel terrible for the experience you described above, but I was at the game in a group of 4 and we definitely did not see what you described above. We sat in section 17-H and were vastly outnumbered by Mexican fans, but from the tailgate to the walk to the stadium to our gametime experience, all the Mexican fans we encountered and sat around us were more than courteous, friendly and passionate about their team. The only lewd comment I ever heard was when they chanted Puntos as Tim Howard kicked the ball, but to even call that lewd would be a far stretch. I do feel terrible that you had such a horrible experience, but mine was far from that. 2 of those in our group were even first time soccer fans and couldn’t stop gushing about the game experience. Maybe we were lucky to be sitting in section 17-H row 60, but aside from the friendly back and forth during our walk to the stadium, the opposing fans were extremely friendly and commended us for showing up and cheering for the Americans (I had a feeling alot of them actually felt bad for the low USA turnout). I hope to never experience what you described above, but I did have an empty water bottle thrown at me in Michigan Stadium in 2007 as a visiting fan. And the person who threw it wasn’t Mexican either.

    • hzlcharlie says:

      Though I do understand your frustration with those working the gates. We were walking into the stadium holding our flags when the gate attendee told us ‘no flags’. And we clearly pointed out to all the people already inside the stadium concourse wearing and carrying flags, they insisted ‘no flags’. So we folded ours up, shoved it in a pocket and walked right in without as much as a pat down. Lax security? Sure. But life threatening. Luckily, not so much.

      • Its life threatening when they just tell you not to bring in things but don’t actually check if you have those things. Anyone could have brought in a gun. Just because it didn’t happen doesn’t mean that it couldn’t happen.

        -Evan (the guy who got hit with the bottle)

  33. chano says:

    I don’t know where you were, because I witnessed nothing near as extreme as you described…My friend and I are Mexico supporters, and we walked by various USA fan tailgates and there were absolutely no Mexicans harrassing any of the groups. Standing in line, the same. There were plenty of USA supporters waiting to enter at the entrance near section 27, and none of them were bothered. Inside the stadium, I sat in section 13, near a few USA fans (although Mexico fans were the clear majority). There was not one projectile thrown at the USA fans the entire game, and after the game had ended they shook our hands and congratulated us, which was quite classy. And as for fights, I highly doubt your statement, because if it was like “a war zone” as you described, videos and pictures would have surely surfaced in the cell-phone camera/youtube era.

    What you are right about though is the CULERO chants. We do chant CULERO at fans, players, and referees alike, but don’t feel too angry about it; we do it to EVERY team we play against, not just the USA.

    With all due respect, I think this is nothing more than an exaggerated account of the game to stir up controversy and garner fan pressure to never have So.Cal as a venue again.

    • We were in section 22 with the large amount of USA supporters, trust me when I’m saying that these things happen, we are trying to compile evidence of it now. Many of the Mexican fans were nice, but they weren’t policing the ones that were throwing stuff at us. I personally broke up a fight at the gate as well. I’m glad you had a good experience though.

      -Evan (the guy who got hit by the bottle)

      • chano says:

        To “Sack Lunch Blog”

        If this is the case, then I, on behalf of all the other good-hearted Mexico fans, would like to apologize for the bad experience that your group had. Healthy rivalry is a lot different than being a jerk, and what you described would ruin a good game and the overall stadium experience. Hopefully this won’t happen again, and thank you for recognizing that not all of us are as poorly behaved and for not stereotyping.

      • Thank you, it means a lot, but this is more of a post about the security issues rather than the attitude of some of the Mexican fans. If the security was good, none of this would have happened.

        -Evan (the guy who got hit by the bottle)

    • john says:

      By no means is this exaggerated.

    • GunnersFan66 says:

      Chano, I have no idea what game you were at, but it wasn’t the USA-Mexico match at the Rose Bowl, are you kidding me? Continue to stick your head in the sand. Worst sporting event I have been to, I have been to many international matches and I have never seen US fans treat prople with such disrespect as the Mexico fans did, especially on US soil. Deplorable behavior.

  34. Anyone wanting to discuss this on twitter should use #ProtectOurFans

  35. CasualObserver says:

    Video from the games with AO:

  36. Judah Taylor says:

    I went to the USA- Paraguay game in Nashville earlier this year. We were the overwhelming majority and am glad to say everyone was kind to each other no matter what nation’s color’s you were wearing. However, I can say that the security and help at LP field was similarly not existent. I sat about 10 feet behind Bob Bradley and heart other front row fans yelling and curing at him, demeaning his tactics and questioning his support for the team and judgment in his son Michael.
    Frankly, it was unacceptable. I didn’t know the problems were so bad and I hope that Soccer continues to grow in this nation and that any and all of these issues are swiftly acted upon.

    • Rex says:

      Similar experience in Houston. Lots of Mexican fans, most all were cordial; however, security was absent. Probably about half of what is normally at a NFL game. CONCACAF obviously does not care; they only care about money, so we need to hit them were it counts. There needs to be lawsuits as a result of this.

  37. Ryan B says:

    I could not be more upset about the whole experience at the Rose Bowl. Forget the game outcome, what we saw there was a disgrace to the game. I started the day by pulling into our lot and actually being greeted by many Mexico supporters in the area with welcomes and handshakes for a good match. I appreciated the sportsmanship around our tailgate area but I quickly learned this wasn’t the norm. On what had to be half mile walk to the nearest port-a-jon area, I was repeatedly shouted at by Mexico supporters and had full beer cans and water bottles thrown at me, usually from behind so I couldn’t see them coming. Often times groups of supporters would count the 3 and shout “Culero.” In addition, I was stopped repeatably to get pictures with Mexico supporters, only to have them throw up thumbs down signs or middle fingers in all the photos and basically mocking me and my American gear. This was all BEFORE the game.

    The event staff did little to pat down people entering the stadium. There were no bag checks. The only thing we were told is we could not bring flags or hats into the stadium….someone should have told that to the 90k+ Mexico fans because I saw more hats and flags than any event to date. While walking to my seat I was constantly called a “Culero” and taunted with middle fingers. I was bumped and harassed while waiting to enter the gate by two Mexico supporters who told me they wanted to be in front of me in line simply because I got there first. Finding the USA American Outlaws section was a nightmare since it was surrounded by General Admission tickets. I ended up climbing down a concrete barrier after direction from Event Staff. Once in the AO section, I was repeatedly doused with beer, water, and who knows what other liquids throughout the game, especially AFTER Mexico goals. I was hit with bottles, ice and even coins after USA goals. With minutes left in the fixture, the event staff that stood along the wall that separated the Mexico and USA fans simply headed for the exits as if to say “You are on your own.” I left the minute the whistle blew to signify the end of the game and took off for the exits. While exiting we were taunted, doused in more beer and (I hope) water. The torment didn’t stop. While walking to the car I had more bottles thrown at me in the parking lot. I had more harsh words and terrible hand gestures pointed in my direction. I was again ridiculed to take more pictures with Mexico supporters trying to rub the win in my face. I witness countless fights and shoving matches and no event staff or police around to stop them. Simply put, it was the worst sporting event I have ever experienced. While I know that the majority of Mexico supporters were kind and supportive of the match, many were not. They were classless, rude, and had no respect for the game, the players, the fans, or the venue. It was a sad day for soccer in America.

    I wish this stuff was exaggerated or untrue. But this isn’t the case. Anyone sitting in section 23 can certainly attest to this behavior.

    • I earlier said that we were in section 22 but it was actually 23. I’m sorry this happened to you. Do you have any pictures or video from your experience that can help us out?

      -Evan (the guy who got hit with the bottle)

    • Larry says:

      If you wore any USA items you were a target of this out of control drunken Mexican crowd.
      I agree that it was the most dangerous sporting event I have ever been to

  38. george says:

    What smells like shit and can’t speak english? No, it’s not a toilet. It’s a mexican.

  39. GunnersFan66 says:

    Here here, I was at the game as well, as one of the US fans. I will never go to one of these matches again unless I know that serious safeguards have been taken. First off, getting to the stadium was a joke. We wanted to enjoy the festivities but the Mexican contingent was near a riot level when we fot there which was 3 hours ahead of the game. The queues at the gates were dangerous, we were packed in like sardines, in 90 degree heat, and it took 90 minutes to get into the stadium, and thats only after we decided to finally leave gate A and go completely around the stadium. We thought the delay was a bag check…nope. The inside plaza was dangerous when entering the stadium. When we finally got to our seats, it was even more volatile. After getting to our seats, not but five minutes later we were assaulted with nacho chips and drinks. When we left to get security for 15 minutes, we could not find any security. This was a very dangerous, and potentially explosive situation, and I’m pissed off that I paid for tickets to see this display. This could have easily turned into a riot with many people hurt. CONCACAF, FIFA, Mexico fans, the Rose Bowl, and the 5 or 6 LA cops I saw on the grounds should be ashamed of themselves. I felt like I was in a third world country. So disappointed.

  40. PZ says:

    C’mon people. saying you won’t go to another game is exactly what they want you to do. Fact is, the bad apples who pull this crap do so because they vastly outnumber the fans of the other team. If the numbers were closer, they wouldn’t be so brave. Next time get tickets earlier and bring more friends so they won’t be so confident. See Chivas USA fans run ins with LA fans.

    Also, seems to me the AO planning was a bit lacking. There should have been clearer. Better communication on parking (always a problem at the Rose Bowl for any large event…even the UCLA & Bowl games) should have been done. Better seating arrangements. Anyone asking people who were around when LARS started will tell you there were plenty of reasons why a different section was used rather than those above the tunnels for the group.

    Yes, CONCACAF just hires the stadium and hopes it sells out but allowing a few (okay, a lot) bad apples take away from the thrill of being a part of the atmosphere for this great rivalry is a shame. Know that there will be problems next time you go but enjoy the great match and atmosphere. If you arrive knowing what to expect, it won’t be so bad. Just don’t stay away if you have the chance to be there.

    • ChelseaMatt says:

      I agree with this. Having been to the Azteca, the fan ratio is the same, the security is much higher (at least to provide a barrier between the USA supporters and the Mexicans), and we got pelted with a lot more stuff. I brought my wife to the Azteca and the Rose Bowl — won’t do it again, but the Rose Bowl wasn’t that bad. I agree that security needs to be better and that CONCACAF is a crap organization which only cares about money to line the corrupt fat cats’ pockets, but the Mexican fans were much better behaved at the Rose Bowl than the Azteca. I wonder what it would have been like had the USA won. Anyone attend the 2007 Gold Cup Final or another USA vs Mexico game outside of Columbus when the USA won? Wonder how the Mexican fans reacted. I’ve only been to 2005 WCQ in Columbus, 2009 & 2011 Gold Cup Finals and the 2009 Azteca USA vs Mexico games

    • GunnersFan66 says:

      Listen, I won’t go to any sporting event where I feel unsafe. Its not worth it, its just a game. I spoke to local Galaxy fans while in queue, and they had attended several soccer matches at the Rose Bowl, and they had never seen anything like this before. Their comments were that someone really screwed up on this one. My son went to the InterMilan game at the Rose Bowl last year and he said there were 8,000 fans, and twice as much security for that event. It was a dangerous scene especially at the gates while trying to enter the stadium. All it needed was a security force visible, and to remove hooligans. CONCACAF is responsible, and should be held accountable. But on top of that, the cops on scene should have recognized this was going to turn into a problem on first hand knowledge and called in assistance, instead they just let it go. That is unconscionable.

  41. Chris says:

    The US-Mexico match was unforgettable… in a bad way. In addition to the fact that there was no traffic control and it took almost two hours to drive the last mile to the stadium, once we were around the Rose Bowl we were immediately surrounded by hostile Mexico fans. Although we kept to ourselves and did nothing to provoke them (I was even afraid to cheer for the US), we still had beer thrown on us, were taunted incessantly, and then had racist epithets hurled at us (yes, people can be racist against white folks, too). US fans were targeted from the start, essentially. There was NO security in sight. NONE. I did not once see a security guard there to help out anyone who was getting attacked by the Mexico fans. I almost saw several fights break out, but the US fans knew better than to react to the abuse considering they were outnumbered 20 to 1 and would surely have been on the wrong end of a crazed, drunken, mob-induced beat-down. Not to mention, there were no metal detectors of any kind at the entrances. I’m surprised no one got shanked. The end ceremony was spoiled by the Mexican fans booing the American team getting their runners up medals, and on the way out we were continually goaded, taunted, and yelled at by Mexicans, many of whom ran up to us and shouted “4-2” in our face. Being an LSU fan I have seen some horrendous tailgating behavior, but the Mexican fans treated the stadium and the outlying areas like one big garbage heap. It was disgusting. I am glad I experienced watching the US team play, and congrats to El Tri for a well-earned victory. However, the behavior of the Mexican fans was atrocious and I will never again attend a US-Mexico game.

  42. Ryan says:

    My buddy and I are huge soccer fans. Have been for our whole lives. We live in LA and went to the game, bought any ticket we could get. We ended up, of course, in a section where we were the only Americans. Same deal – beer, coins, bottles all thrown at us. I have to admit, my blood boiled and I lost it for a bit and tried to get to one guy to hammer him – luckily my buddy stopped me. Being told go GO HOME when I am in my country, my state put me over the edge.

    There were nice Mexican fans for sure, but the nastiness out-weighed them.

    I am boycotting all things Mexican for as long as I can. And I am a 4 days a week Mexican food eating Los Angeles resident. Not easy.

    Ryan

  43. Ken says:

    Are some people really making this about how few American supporters there were at the game? And then twisting even that argument to suggest that more US fans would have made it safer? So certain sections would only be outnumbered 20:1 instead of 90:1. Seems to me that simply makes a full-blown riot more likely, instead of simple one-way harassment. Just enough additional US fans to think about fighting back instead of tolerating it and then scurrying away. Guaranteed bloodshed.

    And I guarantee you that the ratio of American supporters in the crowd for future games will not be going up after reading about your experiences. On the contrary.

  44. Humberto M. says:

    I experienced the same. I just did my best to ignore it all. I will NOT stop going to games. I love the game. USA all the way!

  45. Gary says:

    I’m an American supporter and was at the game. Everything Russell says is spot on. I was pushed violently by a Mexican fan after the second comeback goal. I did not retaliate because we were heavily outnumbered. A few fights broke out by where we were sitting. Of course, we got sprayed by beer after every Mexican goal.

  46. jorge says:

    The pussification of America lol.

    • Tell me, who is the pussy, the guys who stand without provoking anyone and get showered with potentially dangerous objects or the person who, hiding in a group of people where he is sure to not be caught, throws these things without any repercussions.

      -Evan (the guy who got hit by the bottle)

  47. Aquiles Bael Madrazo says:

    Did this post imply that Mexico exist to bring knives, guns, and bombs to games and rape your women in plain sight?

    • No, it implies that ANYONE could have brought anything in without the proper security checks.

      -Evan (the guy who got hit by the bottle)

      • Lex Luthor says:

        So people should line up from the night before so everyone can get in by game time? How many people were actually killed by guns, knives, bombs, etc at the game? His letter is about security, because something “might” happen in the future, but he’s telling us nothing actually happened apart from his supposed account of a bottle falling on him which a bird could have pooped out. lol

  48. Aquiles Bael Madrazo says:

    Wow, well. I’m sorry that we’re not so european and cultured. Really, I apologize. These problems exist everywhere. Doesn’t make it right, but at the same time I have to ask: after so many years of watching Mexico fans do this, why did you go expecting anything different?

    • The thing is that none of us had ever been to a game in person so we didn’t know if these reports were exaggerated or not. I assumed (wrongly) that in America we would have things like this under control but I guess not. I am now more informed and we are all trying to change things like this for next time.

      -Evan (the guy who got hit by the bottle)

    • Guest246 says:

      Not everyone is some cagey, hardened hooligan…there are people out there (who are soccer fans) who are kind and decent and who are not accustomed to people like the “people” we are talking about here.

      But it is a learning experience, and there is no doubt in my mind that many folks have learned a little bit about what Mexicans are all about 🙂 Doesn’t make it right, but at the same time I have to ask: if you don’t like stereotypes, then why do you spend massive amounts of time and effort to perpetuate them?

  49. Aquiles Bael Madrazo says:

    Whatever, man. Now you know. This is what the game is like outside the U.S.. Say what you will but EVERY country does this. Even Countries like England and Spain have to deal with this to a worse degree than this.

    Don’t drag down the environment for the majority down to your level. We like intimidating the opposition. It isn’t our fault that you don’t have the numbers to counter that. Either petition to have U.S. v. Mexico games somewhere where the population isn’t obviously leaning to one side or don’t whine when things don’t go your way.

    And sorry about your head. Throw the bottle back next time.

    • So let me get this straight, I’m not supposed to drag people down to MY level but I am supposed to throw the bottle back? I would never intentionally harm someone or even think about doing so. The opposing fans can try to intimidate me as much as they like but when it comes to violence then it has gone too far. Throw it back? Screw that, I drank it.

      -Evan (the guy who got hit by the bottle)

    • Francisco says:

      They separate supporters groups all over the world, I guess you should know that since you know what futbol is like all over the world. You should learn the difference between environment and violence. Threatening and throwing things at people is not environment in any country but yours. Would it make it right to find a couple of Mexicans and kick the crap out of them cause they are out numbered? Of course not, grow up, maybe your kids will have a chance to be something some day. Hopefully you’ll look back and think that was a stupid way to think. You have time, I can only imagine you’re probably not old enough to buy your own beer.

      • Aquiles Bael Madrazo says:

        “grow up, maybe your kids will have a chance to be something some day. Hopefully you’ll look back and think that was a stupid way to think. You have time, I can only imagine you’re probably not old enough to buy your own beer.”

        Wow. Good job. For the record, i’m a final year medical school student at UT Southwestern with a biology degree from UNAM in Mexico City. My parents are farmers. But that doesn’t matter to you, does it? Your racism is showing.

        If you think throwing is exclusive to Mexico, then I should refer you to a famous site. Maybe you’ve heard of it? It’s called Youtube. Go. You’ll find videos in fifteen seconds. You’re comparing street fights to hooliganism– similar, but not really related enough for you to make a comparison to street beatings because of being outnumbered.

        Maybe its possible they can’t separate your supporters group because they can’t make room for, what, 12 people?

    • Guest246 says:

      Ugh. Suddenly I’m sympathetic to the plight of the LAPD. Sorry your affirmative-action medical school imbued you with that false sense of entitlement. I hope your victimhood complex serves you well in life; it’s gotten you pretty far already!

  50. Aquiles Bael Madrazo says:

    That sucks. For an organization called the american outlaws…. Well, do what you will. If countries with bigger and better footballing traditions couldn’t stamp out hooliganism, neither will you. Accept it, embrace it, and fight it back on its own terms.

    Heat, kitchen, etc. Good luck with your letter.

    • I’m sorry, but I think you’re missing the point here, we want to make sure security is better and that relations between the fans improve. That is all were saying, you keep turning it into something else.

      -Evan (the guy who got hit by the bottle)

    • Guest246 says:

      Well different leagues have different terms. I completely agree that the Mexicans should be put behind cages (like in the Mexican leagues). We can even rig the stadium so they can do that trampling thing every time they score.

      On the US side it can be like an MLS game. (If the Mexican side needs a roof to the cage, so be it!)

  51. Francisco says:

    People that haven’t experienced this from Central American competition have not been to enough games. I wont go support the USMNT against any Central American country unless its Costa Rica or Panama. I use to go but its not worth it anymore, when I was younger I didn’t give a crap but now I have a family and life to think about.

    Not all people from Central American countries living in the US act like animals, I know, but enough do. Usually the ones that act like beasts hate the US (the country) in turn they hate the US supporter. When I saw MS13 gang members at RFK, that was it for me.

    Nothing will change until someone gets stabbed or worse. They should separate the sides like they do in every country in the world. I wouldn’t care if I had to wait 1 hour to get out of the stadium safely, at lease I could go. But until then I’m out and so are a lot of supporters I know.

  52. Jason S says:

    i am a longtime soccer fan and player and these kinds of actions are not acceptable at any level of play, These fans of Mexico are US residents, citizens or illigals no matter their status you live in this counrty and it has given you a new lease on life here and this is the way you treat us. my cousins and I were going to go to this game and I sorry to say I’m glad i didn’t attend because i know we would have been in the middle of this mess. i support our American Outlaw family 100% and wish american soccer fans will never stoop to the level of the other fans. RESPECT is due to our US Mens team for doing their best throughout the game and all we can do is stay focused for the next year. i would hate to see what happes if we win next year!

  53. Jeff says:

    It is interesting to see Mexican fans who have decided to grace us with their presence on this thread and threads on other articles try to hide their out and out racism and bigotry behind terms like “passion”, “culture”, etc.

    What is really laughable is that if U.S. fans actually did what the rocket scientist above suggests and fought back on the same terms, he would likely be the first person in line to cry racism against evil Americans. People like those who are acting like the nitwits at the game are a disgrace to AMERICANS of Mexican descent like myself. Animalistic, criminal actions are not something to embrace.

    And before some other butthead comes on here and tries to claim they were booing only the USMNT and not the country, booing our national anthem has zero to do with supporting the team and everything to do with sticking a thumb in the eye of a country they resent, in spite of the fact they have come here to live or have lived here for years as actual citizens of this country.

    Racism and bigotry, not passion and love of Mexico were the order of the day on Saturday, regardless of statements to the contrary by Mexico fans.

  54. BettyUrenda says:

    This is certainly disgraceful and extremely shameful 😦 I agree it is not the game, it is not the teams but the fans that have reacted with so much hate… I normally cheer on for Mexico if they play against another country, but when it comes down to Mex & USA, I will always support the USA. The profanity, the hate and racist remarks are despicable, very sad

  55. Lex Luthor says:

    #stayclassy fellas. 😉

  56. Lex Luthor says:

    Also how is it that there is no video of all these occurrences but there is video of your fans being “classy”?

  57. JonathanUSA#1 says:

    I was at the rosebowl & the mexicans there are the rudest most disrespectful ppl I’ve ever met.. they’re pigs.. my gf got hit with a bottle.. our small group of US fans were covered with beer & God know what else.. & if anyone would like to defend these pigs that makes u one as well.. take ur violence back to mexico & keep destroying ur own country u animals.! USA is a great country that should have to deal with mexican fans like the ones I met on Saturday.

    • Lex Luthor says:

      Americans are the most racist people I know, you know , because of the KKK. You see what I did there? You like my logic?

      If your gonna be outraged and post, at least read what your posting, or else what’s the fucking use.

      I somehow doubt all the people coming forward all had a bad experience at the game. It’s stupid how one person said something about it, and all these people started coming out. I’m not saying this Russell guy didn’t get hit with anything, I’m saying the rest of you jumping along with the story is suspect.

      Tell you what, next time there is a USA v Mexico game we won’t go, let’s see if you guys manage to fill the stadium….. you know, like you didn’t do in Kansas.

      I leave you with a stern reminder of the last 3 matches you’ve played against us, since I’m quite sure that’s what pisses you off more.

      5-0
      2-1
      4-2

  58. OG says:

    I feel bad that so many people had a bad experience at the game on Saturday night. I had a great time at the game. I wore my Donovan shirt and I don’t think I ever got heckled by any one. But that does not mean that ever body else had a great time. I feel that there could have been real nightmare (for some it was) at the Rose Bowl Saturday night. Security was not existence compared to the number of people at the event. I was helping people find their seats because, the Rose Bowl is the most confusing seating arrangement, nobody was there to help people with their seats. The people behind me (US fans) brought in a bag of chips with a GLASS container of Salsa. I could only imagine what else was brought into the stadium. I was surprised at the lack of security especially after the Brain Stow beating at a recent Dodger game. Many people argue that it was not that bad and that nobody died then the people making complaints have the problem. If you feel that it was not safe then let the organizers of the game know. I suggest that you use the Coca-cola Soccer Gigapixelfancam to point out who was throwing items to the authorities.

  59. Nick from MN says:

    I haven’t read all of the comments yet, but felt compelled to post this thought that struck me during my reading of this: based on accounts I’ve read of the 2009 US-Mexico match in Estadio Azteca I get the feeling that Americans are safer down there. Sure there are still incidents of things being thrown and people being injured, but the brave souls who attended that game did not report anything like the above (it could be that they haven’t spoken up, but…I doubt it).

    Like you said, there are some great fans out there who are more than friendly and then there are bad eggs (we are not innocent in this either), so it’s not fair to paint all Mexican fans with the same brush. However, the security teams and police in Los Angeles should’ve known better, being that close to the border and dealing with a more Mexican/Mexican-American population than, say, Columbus they should’ve known that these types of incidents could and would happen between the two groups, yet the staff in Columbus (and Chicago) were better prepared the times I’ve witnessed these two teams (I was only at the semis for the 2007 Gold Cup, but it was a similar situation towards the end of the US match and the beginning of the Mexican one). And if the LA Police and Security Details were really this ignorant, the USSF should’ve at least prodded them a little for their plans on dealing with this possible powder-keg of a Final.

  60. Gina says:

    I completely agree more security is needed. I live in Georgia, and last Feb Mexico played Bosnia in the Georgia Dome. Maybe it has to do with the area and type of people that live in the Atlanta area, but the Mexico fans were hype but were actually really cool. I felt that the atmosphere of the game was awesome. I went to support Mexico, not really caring who actually won, but just to go to this big game and had no issues. I will say though that people were all SEARCHED and had a metal detector waved over them,and my bag was searched. This also happened for the SPAIN v USA game. I think for a place like California, it should be obvious that these main things be done. Its crazy to think that such a big state, that hosts so many games, has so many different people,a nd at such a big game could be so careless. This is a huge issue, especially in the security of fans. Thank you for writing about this, it’s important the knowledge of this issue is spread.

  61. Stuart Greene says:

    I find it humorous that an organization that at least subtly celebrates hooligan/terrace culture (hiding faces in bandanas, etc.), and has a provocative name like “American Outlaws” would moan about abuse from rival fans.

  62. Andrew says:

    Stay in your own shithole country and let us keep using it as our vacation destination!

  63. USAmr says:

    Security was understaffed, non-existent and/or clueless. The only time the security person in our area (Section 23) tried to do anything was when he rushed to grab the inflatable sex-doll that was thrown in. I’m not sure why he was in such a hurry to get it. He ignored my complaints about objects being thrown before that.

    My experience at the game was mostly positive and I’m thankful for that. There were a number of Mexican fans trying to get in our faces all day, shoving things at us, yelling, clearly trying to “start something”. “Culero” was the most common insult, but many Mexican fans wished us luck, offered us beer and shared bbq. There was section of Mexican fans that started a “USA” chant as we walked out after the game.

    Away from the American Outlaws section in the parking lot was a better response from the Mexican fans. It was obvious that crowds and groups were surrounding the AO section in the lot trying to provoke and harass.

    During the game we were showered with beer, water and who knows what else, after our goals and especially after Mexico scored. I was hit by flying objects as were people around me, full plastic bottles, chunks of ice, but fortunately no glass. Security was really at fault here for not checking or patting down, for not having enough gates open and for not having enough “presence” in the stadium.

    I truly believe that had the US held on for a win that security would not have been prepared to deal with potential issues. I know this is a lot of “what if”, but based on what I experienced, things could have gotten ugly very quickly.

    • ChelseaMatt says:

      USAMr’s post is the best of the bunch. Completely sums it up. I think everyone should agree, except there are reports of people getting hit with glass and siginificantly injured in our section. CONCACAF has a lot to answer to — but nobody will be asking the questions, unfortunately.

  64. George says:

    hey i was there and saw pretty much everything you wrote. even the guy who got hit by the bottle, complained and was told by security that there’s nothing they can do. i’d also like to mention that there were thousands of mexico fans just piled in the aisles refusing to go to their seats or actually sit in the seats they payed for. they just sat (or stood) wherever they pleased and if a USA fan happened to be the owner of that seat, good luck trying to get the mexican fan to move.

    i also saw (while in line with the american outlaws) a usa fan that accidentally bumped into a mexican fan in line. the mexican fan started throwing up gang signs and yelling ‘south side’ something or other. he also told the usa fan ‘i’ll see you inside’ and the security just let him in! i asked him how could you let that guy in after he yells gang stuff and tells the usa fan he’ll ‘see him inside’ and the security replied by saying, ‘i didn’t let him in. she did (the other security lady)’. it was sick.

    but i have to say that there were a lot of nice mexico fans as well in the parking lot and when usa scored, they were pretty respectful towards us and just smiled when we started yelling ‘dos a cero’. i think this is a case of (a lot of) bad apples ruining the tree.

  65. John says:

    The real issue being addressed here is security. Some people are reading into this letter as an attack on a fan base, but it’s about making the venue a safer place for both parties. Having been to the Rose Bowl for many college football games and being there last Saturday I can say that the security is like night and day. For college football, there were wands and metal detectors and bag searches. The most searching I saw was when a guard told someone to throw away his flag he had brought with him (which he didn’t). I don’t know if that is the Rose Bowl responsibility or what but it was unacceptable. If it takes longer for everyone to get into the stadium, then it takes longer, but I’d rather wait an extra 10-20 minutes and know something was being done to ensure everyone’s.

  66. USMNTsupporter says:

    I was there on Saturday, sitting 10 rows from the North end goal, and could count about 12 US fans in the entire section. I wore my Landon jersey and heard all kinds of taunting on the walk to the stadium, but had nothing thrown or no threats of violence. Walking to my tunnel, I got heard even more taunting and I could tell some of it was meant to provoke a fight, although I was smart enough to know that I was clearly outnumbered and just kept walking with a smile on my face. While at my seat, I heard even more of the stupid taunting and got the beer showers a few times, but luckily that was the worst of it. There was a poor young couple who left after the 2nd Mexico goal because they told us it had gotten to be too much for them. I will say that I did feel unsafe the entire time I was there. As an EMT, having worked at many different events, I could tell right from the beginning that this was just a disaster waiting to happen. I could see a few fights break out from where I was sitting, and all I could do was notice just how long it took for security to get there, and even when they did, I saw them just standing there telling the people to stop but not physically going in and stopping it. I have lived in LA all my life and have been to many different games, whether it was a Galaxy game or an international match, I have NEVER experienced an atmosphere like the one I did on Saturday. Although I was bummed that my team lost, I’m kind of relieved they did now because who know’s what would’ve happened if the US won. I completely agree with the OP about the security issues, and sincerely hope that something gets done about this so that I can enjoy these kind of matches in the future without having to fear for my safety.

  67. Lex Luthor says:

    “Thank you, this is the point we are trying to get a across”

    But it’s funny how if a Mexico fan comes here and posts how this blog is just moaning out of hate because you lost (not because of racism mind you) you guys answer him and say it isn’t. But you don’t answer to the posts of Americans posting stuff like “go back to your shithole of a country.”

    Double standards. LULZ

    5-0
    2-1
    4-2

    • I think that when people post dumb racist comments like that it is obvious to themselves and everyone around that they are idiots. I was choosing just to ignore them, maybe this is the wrong thing to do but I didn’t want to give them the time of day. I’m sorry if you or anyone else has been offended by these comments and I assure you that I don’t condone them. To respond to them would seem to be a lose-lose situation in that, I can’t change what they said and I can’t hold them accountable because of the anonymity of comments like this on the internet.

      -Evan

      PS (and I hope you know this is all in good fun)

      2-0 In 2002, the most important game ever played between the two.

  68. DanGarion says:

    I guess this just goes to show that we shouldn’t allow tailgating.

  69. Franklin says:

    Last week’s game was reminder, a warning – I may have naively brought my own family to this game to enjoy a GAME. But now I know there was too much of a certain element of our society there, too high a ratio, to be safe. Sadly, I’m realizing this is a reality in my own country. If the US won, I fear what would have happen and I have never in my life considered such a thing here.

    To say, “oh it’s just the way soccer fans are” is BULL. Tell me fans in Canada, Norway, Japan, Sweden, S. Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Holland, and more would behave like what has been reported from last week’s game. Was I there? No. Is there any doubt in my mind that lines were crossed WAY too often? NONE.

    I’m pretty disgusted that it’s come to this in the US. Of course security has to be good, but the ultimate responsibility falls on the fans. To too many El Tri Fans– I say FAIL!!! The world does not need such behavior – PERIOD!!!

  70. Franklin says:

    And to clarify what I mean but certain element of society, I mean the type of people that would do what was done in Pasadena. That’s all.

  71. USinNYC says:

    CONCACAF is responsible for security, but it seems like each stadium’s security was run differently. I was patted down and had my bag checked at Red Bull Arena, and I was patted down at RFK, but my bag wasn’t checked. The El Salvador fans at RFK were rowdy, stood in aisles in sections where they didn’t have tickets, and threw beer bottles onto the field when a penalty was called. My point is that while CONCACAF ran the tournament, each stadium seemed to have its own way of operating.

  72. Cascadia says:

    I have a serious question. If the situation had been reversed, and it had been seventy thousand USA fans and 20,000 Tri supporters scattered throughout the stadium, do you honestly think there wouldn’t have been similar incidences perpetrated against Mexico supporters?

    This kind of behavior is common at Every American sporting event where large numbers of opposing fans inhabit the same space? That doesn’t make it okay. But the issue shouldn’t be framed as being the fault of uncivilized foreigners.

    • Its possible, though I have been to many major sporting events and never seen things like this happen. It should be noted that most of the Mexican fans that were throwing things were probably actually Americans, just Mexican supporters.

    • Franklin says:

      I don’t think that is true at all. Have you hear of this kind of thing happening before (thing being what was written above in the original note). I have not.

      • Franklin says:

        can you image throngs of us fans throwing bottles, yelling a@@ hole to others, groping women, throwing full beers and bottles, just does not happen in numbers, sorry

  73. Cascadia says:

    I don’t want to discount the Trauma and Anger you suffered from being publicly abused at a sporting event. Especially since i didn’t experience it first hand. I feel, however this piece and the subsequent discussion in the comments section have been done a disservice by the vilification of Mexican supporters. I think the important thing to focus on is the obvious ineptitude of security staff which you illustrated quite well.

    It would be foolish to deny that there exist real cultural and socio-economic differences between the Average Nats supporter and the average Tri supporter (Latin-Americans invent the concept of Machismo after all). These differences are usually amplified in the intense nationalistic atmosphere of international competition. It would be a waste of energy to try to change the culture of either group, so the only real solution is have a large well trained security force to make sure that the hinchadas, supporters, and casual fans can all do their own thing without stepping on each others toes.

    I believe that this was intended to be the main point of the posting. I also feel feel the pragmatic bits about the need for more and better security were somewhat lost the emotional bits where you seemed to insinuate that hordes of un-screened minorities would inevitably rape and stab innocent sports fans.

  74. Cascadia says:

    As I said, I wholly believe that the intent of your post is to address security. But it was inappropriately sensationalized.

    Asking how long until someone is raped in regards to the behavior of a nearly homogeneously Latino group evokes reconstruction era media that inflamed racial tensions with stories of “Black Brutes” berserk with lust for white women. I know you never specifically mentioned race in that bit, but i don’t believe you were imagining a scenario where a Mexican “girl” (but not woman, boy or man?) gets raped by an American fan.

    I very much doubt that you were consciously trying to make this association with your question, but you should be aware that that’s how it reads. Rhetorically it’s as useful as saying that anyone who wants stadiums segregated by nationality and fans spontaneously searched is a Nazi. It only serves to inflame emotion therefore moving conversation away from the pertinent matter.

    If your post was purely intended to address security issues you’ve completely missed the mark because you also touched off a an utterly useless conversation on race and the politics thereof. Nobody should ever be attacked or molested at a sports game. Ever. This is a serious problem, but its not a racial, political or moral one. It’s almost purely a logistical problem.

    I get the sense you’d agree with that sentiment. Which is why i think you could and should have done a better job of steering the conversation towards productive solutions instead of fear and resentment. “How do we safely accommodate so many people of different points of view and expectations of behavior into one place at the same time?” would have been a better rhetorical question to summarize your point than “How long until someone get’s raped?”

    Cheers, and go Nats.

    • I appreciate your concern on this topic and I’m sorry that you feel that it doesn’t hit the mark. I don’t think we are insinuating that race has to do with the question “How long until someone gets raped?” that Russell asks. I think he is merely concerned about the protection of our female members. It so happens that the member in our group that got groped is a Latina. I think the points we are trying to bring up have to be asked among any society that has a passion for soccer like the Mexican fans do. The people could be Caucasian, Slavic, Asian, Indian, it doesn’t matter, it just happens that in this instance the people happened to be mostly Latino. There are non-Latino people that were supporting Mexico just as there were Latino’s supporting USA. I don’t think race has anything to do with it and if you read into us insinuating that I’m truly sorry because that is not what we, or Russell intended. I once again thank you for your concern and thoughtful comments.

      -Evan

    • Guest246 says:

      Rape is about power, and when you’re outnumbered 20 to 1 I’d say it’s pretty clear who’s intent on imposing their will.

      You could also look at, say, the past *possibly* being an indication of the future. Are there reports of Americans groping Mexicans?

      And if it were as easy as saying “how do we accommodate so many different types of people” well don’t you think that would have been done? And after hundreds of years of professional sports, and obviously still no clear answer, how “productive” do you think it is to sit around pontificating about questions that you already know have no answer?

  75. I too was at the Gold Cup final in Pasadena this past weekend, and encountered, and witnessed a lot of what you were talking about. I was the winner of the Nike #WeAreIndivisible contest, so I was down there with just me and my father, and when we got there we were a little surprised about the lack of US support that there was. Luckily I was following the AO on Twitter otherwise I don’t know where we would have gone for the few hours that we were there before the game, because in a lot of areas of the Rose Bowl, you would get heckled in a language you did not understand just because you were not wearing green. Although Mexico had a lot of rowdy, and rude supporters, we also came in contact with a lot of the more friendly ones that were wanting to take pictures and wish us luck as well… I did however see the way that some of the women were being treated by the other fans, and was a little disgusted… although I did not sit with the AO’s, I was in a section in which I was surrounded by a few US supporters, so I did not get much heckling from anyone until after the game was over. Overall I would say my experience was a great one because it was the first USMNT match I had seen, but I agree with the letter when it says that there could have been a lot more done to ensure the safety of everyone on both sides.

    -Brandon
    @brandonarose

  76. Patrick Weekend says:

    I’m sorry, but the irony is too much. American “Outlaws” complaining and whining about the lack of security/police. Too funny.

  77. Tom Hermon says:

    I have to believe that the majority of Mexican fans were respectful and nonviolent. Having said that the significant minority that perpetrated the violence and hatred should get Mexico banned from future gold cups. I take my grandchildren to these games. I will not put them at risk. Gulati only cares about the gate. Big money. Tell FIFA and CONCACAF. BAN MEXICO IN THE USA.

    • Nathan says:

      Only this didn’t happen in a Mexican stadium, it happened in the U.S. And for all we know, these were American citizens of Mexican descent perpetrating this. So no, you can’t ask to ban a country for what happens in your own stadium. Next thing you know Mexicans will dress up like Americans in Mexico and misbehave so that the U.S. gets banned.

  78. Sounds like a regular match in any latin american or english stadium. Here in Costa Rica we have a Stadium called Saprissa known as the MonsterCave, where USA and Mexico doesn´t like to play cause the Goal is less than 12 feet away from the Fans, and you can imagine how that goes for the players. It sucks that soccer isn´t a bigger sport in the States, that way you guys would outnumber the visiting fans and would let your USA team play like if they´re playing at their own stadium. You need to spread the soccer seed to have people invest their time and money to go see the USA team and make them feel the way they should be feeling. Like if they´re playing at their own stadium. Soccer has some violent hooligans and they are always the minority an example, los borrachos del tablon and los bosteros in Argentina, the 12 and Ultra from Costa Rica and a lot more around the world.

  79. randymh says:

    Sad to hear this. Rivalry is good in any sport, and football/futbol/soccer has a history of passionate fan but it provides no excuse for this. I think soccer hooligans in europe care more about fighting an opponent than watching games. I agree with many of you here, that you cannot put one ethnic group in a big bag and claim they are all bad and responsible. I’ve been to sporting events and suffered through obnoxious and violent/verbal behavior from Americans, African-Americans, South Americans, Latino and Hispanics and Europeans. Anytime passion mixes with alcohol the potential is there.

    I am shocked at reports of the scant and unresponsive security, especially the lax check-in at the gates. Something that CONCACAF, the Rose Bowl AND Homeland Security should immediately address.

  80. USA4LIFE says:

    I feel bad for the U.S. fans who were messed with and I can see Mexican fans doing that,but I know that not all Mexican fans and most of them aren’t. When you get a rowdy fan of any sport and they have had a few too many It’s a bad combination.

  81. silent e says:

    I was not at this game, but I was at the semi-finals in Houston, and I was at the 1998 Gold Cup final at the LA Coliseum between the US and Mexico. I should point out that both in the 98 game and the Houston game I experienced no trouble (and I suspect the ratio of US to Mexico fans was even worse in 98). Honestly, I can’t recall what security was like in 98, but in Houston security officials checked every bag carefully and patted down each attendant. Despite this, the time it took to enter the stadium was rather short, maybe 5-10 minutes for the whole process.

    I want to make it clear that I don’t feel the original posters were trying to direct their anger at the Mexican fans, but rather at the poor security at the Rose Bowl. Back in the day when I lived in LA and went to Galaxy games there the security was lousy, and it sounds like it has only gotten worse. In comparison, the situation in Houston (rather comparable to LA in ethnic composition and numbers of fans at the game) was great; I was there with my son and several of his teammates and their families, sitting in the section next to AO, surrounded by the green and black jerseys of Mexican fans, and not for a split second did I feel unsafe. This is all about stadium security creating a safe environment for attendees, and if they don’t create a safe environment then everyone will suffer. Rose Bowl, get your act together. For too long you have treated soccer games as a nuisance you would rather not have to deal with; but you certainly seem to like the money you get for hosting the games. I hope someone sues the crap out of you for your negligence in these events, as that is the only way you will get things right.

    • Thank you, this is exactly the point we’re trying to get accross.

      -Evan

    • Guest246 says:

      Well Southern California is very different from Texas. SoCal is a petri dish for all types of ethnic hatreds and theories. It is also very segregated and almost everyone has a huge entitlement complex. I think that’s most of the problem right there.

      • silent e says:

        Well, that’s kind of funny. It’s not every day you find Californians describe Texas as a land of positive multiculturalism and ethnic mixing. But actually, yes, when I moved to LA in 96 I was very struck by how much more segregated it was than the Houston I knew. But Houston is no utopian paradise, and there have been racial incidents at Reliant Stadium in the past; the difference is that Reliant has learned how to deal with these incidents by searching fans and having a large enough security presence that everyone feels comfortable. Contrast that with the Rose Bowl’s attitude, which was pack ’em all in, hire the minimum amount of security trained to the minimum level (ie too high a ratio of $8/hour part-time yellow-shirts instead of off-duty law enforcement or more highly trained $25/hour private security), and who cares what happens.

        It’s really not difficult; hire more security, don’t allow people to bring in items that can cause harm to others, patrol the parking lots, and quickly shut down bad drunken behavior rather than allow it to fester and grow.

  82. dave in socal says:

    Security is usually better at HDC, but I noticed they got tighter on certain things after the Gold Cup group games of 2009. A Salvador fanatico tossed a beer bottle at a Tico taking a corner kick. Some beer tossed in celebration of the Salvador upset win. Sort of a hindsight is 20/20 I guess. Gold Cup at HDC 2011 was better but only 21 thousand showed up and the second game was a tie. USSF has not learned the lesson from 2001 another day of infamy when Honduras pulled off the upset with a majority of sympathizers. In 2009 they gave Honduras a home game they should not have had and barely won. CONCACAF should have played the game on Sunday so it did not conflict with the U-17s. Their excuse was the Women’s World Cup. But they could have scheduled it so that the game happened many hours after the two women’s games.

  83. Thanks, I hope you enjoy the site!

    -Evan

  84. A USA vs Mexico friendly was just announced for August 10th at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. Hopefully Philly will not have the same security issues that we did.

    -Evan

  85. FOLLOW_UP LOL says:

    So where’s the evidence? I thought you were compiling a bunch of videos and testimony to back up your unsubstantiated account. You’re not trying to claim that your Rose Bowl Race War went down without a single cell phone video, are you? Cuz that’s pretty unlikely, IMHO.

  86. Eduardo Leon says:

    Russel, where are the videos of the attacks??!! not even one video to give validity to what you claimed happened at the game?

    I knew it. You are damn liar and a coward.

  87. […] Russell Jordan’s letter regarding the experiences of American fans attending the Gold Cup Final has propagated a similar response. Unintentionally xenophobic to the point that Jordan claims that it’s only a matter of time “until someone is killed, or a girl is raped” at a US-Mexico match, the letter has quickly spread through the internet on the back of RT’s by American soccer elites like Alexli Lalas and Real Salt Lake. I don’t mean to downplay Jordan’s story, but it only portrays one narrative of Saturday’s events, ignoring the countless number of fans who had positive experiences. As a result, much of the support Jordan has received has been based on notions of cultural superiority, rather than any real concern for security at soccer matches. […]

  88. […] and his short-lived segment “Russell’s Corner” was hilarious, but he also penned a well-done letter following the 2011 Gold Cup Final in which the stadium atmosphere was hostile for U.S. supporters, […]

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