Archive for the ‘chicago’ Category

By Jake Coburn

One of Section 8’s capos leading on the crowd. Dan Perlea/

With flags waving and people chanting “fire,” all of the groups meshed into one supporters section behind the goal at Toyota Park to take on Chicago’s rival, the Columbus Crew.

Since Section 8 is a mixture of Fire fans that may identify with a different name, their chants did not involve the name of their supporters group like we have seen in other cities. The chants were purely regarding the Chicago Fire and rooting for them to come out on top.



By Jake Coburn


Chicago Fire supporters tailgating before their last match against the Columbus Crew. Dan Perlea/

Section 8 cannot be defined as one group or one identity, but rather, they are a melting pot of smaller groups and cultures that share one common thread: They bleed for the Chicago Fire.

“Section 8 is the umbrella organization,” said the Director of Communications Dan Martin, “no one can say what to do.”


By Evan Ream

From left to right: Doug Jotzke, Raphael and USMNT super-fan Tanya Keith. Dan Perlea/

MLS Road Trip met up with USMNT super-fan Tanya Keith, her husband Doug Jotzke and their five-year-old son Raphael at O’Donovan’s in Chicago (our plans to go to the Globe fell through) to watch Spain play France in Euro 2012. During the game, she recounted a story that was too good to not share.

Doug, who was a US Soccer referee for ten years, forgot to block the day of his available games for their tenth wedding anniversary in 2005. On their anniversary, Doug was scheduled to ref a Portland Timbers game — they live in Iowa.

They decided to make a weekend out of it, so Tanya went to the game and sat with the Timbers Army, the supporters group for the then-minor league Portland Timbers.

Tanya told me that some Timbers Army members asked her what she was doing at the game in their section. She told them that the man in yellow on the field was her husband. Doug interjected, telling me that he wasn’t wearing yellow, rather, he was wearing blue. He remembers because Tanya led the Timbers Army in a “blue bastard” chant towards her husband. Tanya responded by saying “if you don’t block your tenth wedding anniversary, then you are a blue bastard.”

Soccer and family: two things that go hand in hand.

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