NYCFC Supporters Club Paints the City Blue

NYCFC’s first supporters group continues to grow rapidly, organizing and sharpening its focus as their club’s debut season approaches
by Nick Chavez   |   Friday, May 02, 2014

Blue City – column on New York City FC (NYCFC) & the NYC area soccer scene.

The ever-growing, still-unnamed (but they’re working on it!) New York City Football Club Supporters Club gathered for a “pub crawl” through Manhattan last Saturday, April 26, in order to help decide where its future home will be while watching most NYCFC away matches, as well as to get to know each other better.

The pub crawl started at Nevada Smith’s, and included trips to The Mad Hatter, Tonic East, The Churchill Tavern, Jack Dempsey’s, Stout and Houndstooth Pub.

Meeting first at Nevada Smiths, the Supporters Club was greeted with a serendipitous omen, as an older gentleman wearing an NYCFC shirt just happened to be in attendance, and claimed to have not been aware of the New York City SC’s scheduled meeting there that day and just happened to be throwing back a couple at the bar. Without a doubt, a sign that the Soccer Gods looked favorably upon this journey through Midtown Manhattan.

From there they left and paraded into Mad Hatter’s in full voice, finding their way to the outdoor back patio where they gathered to sing a number of original tunes whose lyrics sometimes, shall we say, shone a decidedly negative light upon a certain MLS side in Harrison, N.J. NYCFC SC members Dan Lawson (a Leeds United supporter) and Neil Clinton (an Aston Villa man), amongst others, expertly led the crowd in song, which cheerfully carried on loudly at Hatter’s for about an hour, and also carried on everywhere the group walked on the streets of midtown Manhattan.

Zach Lewis, a native New Yorker and one of the organizers of the Supporters Club event, did a head count that totaled about 50 people at the Mad Hatter’s pub, with a number of a notable NYCFC supporters (like those who own some of the more prominent NYCFC twitter supporter accounts) not able to make it due to scheduling conflicts. The number fluctuated throughout the night as some members left earlier than others, and some weren’t able to join up until later.

When the NYCFC SC marched upstairs several flights to the outside rooftop bar at Tonic and started singing to the people of Manhattan from their newly found perch, the security guard rushed upstairs and asked them to please stop since they might disturb the neighbors. Given that it was only about 8 p.m., the SC decided that Tonic wasn’t the ideal home to watch away matches for them, but a portion of the SC didn’t leave without getting a decent souvenir:

Blue City – column on New York City FC (NYCFC) & the NYC area soccer scene.

Contrary to popular expectations, as has been observed at previous NYCFC SC get-togethers, the vast majority of these New York City FC supporters aren’t fans of Manchester City. There were several Madridistas, some Cules, Red Devils, Gooners, and fans of other clubs that run the gamut in the European and South American leagues especially.

It was a very interesting mix of passionate, proud supporters of some of the world’s most historic clubs, all enthusiastically uniting under the umbrella of the very promising New York City Football Club, the only MLS team that will play its games in New York City at the iconic Yankee Stadium, NYCFC’s recently announced temporary home.

It was a mosaic of fans as culturally-diverse as is their football allegiances and tastes, but all finding a common thread in New York City. It’s a story as old as the big city itself. A true, American “melting pot” of football support. And, believe me; it makes for some lively banter.

There was an instance, when the supporters met in the basement of Jack Dempsey’s, that the some of the Madridistas launched some Bernabeu-bred, expletive-laced “canticos” (short song) at a FC Barcelona supporter, while all 3 were draped in the sky blue and navy of New York City FC. It was all in good fun, and everyone got a good laugh of it.

This is what the future holds for the diverse pool of NYCFC supporters present and yet-to-be; a fascinating “E Pluribus Unum” culture of New York City’s soccer-mad community. It’s a tapestry of unrivaled multi-cultural richness that only New York City can provide, united in support of their local football club New York City FC, that has finally arrived, and not a moment too soon for these rabid football supporters.

About the goals and progress of the NYCFC SC, organizer Zach Lewis had this to say:

“Right now, we are at a point where we are building a base group of supporters who will make up the core of the NYCFC Supporters Club (yet to be named),” he said. “At the moment, there are a number of us working on member outreach and the social media aspect of the group.

We are organically coming up with cheers, songs, etc., which is great as we go forward. The same group who are doing member outreach have also come up with organizational structure that we are hoping to implement once our base group is secured. We want every member to have a voice, to come into the group knowing that his or her input will be heard, considered and respected.

“Eventually, there will be some formal elections, as we understand that a big part of what makes New York great is the diverse spectrum and array of its people. We want to bring in all of those interested in joining us, because who knows what unique ideas, talents, and perspective they may be able to contribute that might improve aspects of the supporters group.

“Currently, we are finalizing paperwork to register as a non-profit. We are planning formal meetings where minutes will be taken within the next few weeks that will stipulate and clarify our schedule for the next few months as MLS Kickoff 2015 approaches.”

When asked if the NYCFC SC had a message to give to the fans, Zach said, “Our message to the fans is simple: Everyone is an important part of this mosaic that we are creating, and all of those unique characteristics that they bring, we want to incorporate into our NYCFC-supporting community.”

All of this is without NYCFC signing a single player.

Imagine what their membership numbers and enthusiasm might look like around January 2015, with Jason Kreis’s NYCFC roster filled and competing under his intense, scrutinizing gaze for a starting spot in this team’s historic debut game.


To contact or get involved with NYCFC’s Supporters Club, visit and join, follow @NYCFC_SC and @NYisBlue on Twitter, or search for the corresponding pages on Facebook.


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This is the longest-running column focused on the only team representing the 5 Boroughs in world football: New York City FC. Long may its supporters continue to make history.