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My day with the Black Army

This story relates to the events leading up to the Chivas USA vs. San Jose Earthquakes match from July 6th.

Arriving from a previous engagement in which the Sweden beat the United States to close out the 1st round of the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup,lot 6 appeared to be a ghost town.  Fortunately a dedicated supporter from Las Vegas had arrived earlier.  And within a couple of minutes, flags andbanners had arrived.  No sooner than they had arrived, it was off to the stadium to set up.  A first, I was eager to help.  

As the rolls of painters tape used to hold up the banners slowly turned into cardboard rings, the southeast corner of the Home Depot Center turned into the Black Army's home staging ground.  Banners go a long way in supporters culture.  They are the first impression of the group that the casuals at the stadium get when entering.  Make it a good one, and they will remember it far after the match is over.  The smaller individual banners spread about the corner can also tell the casuals a little bit about the members.  From KISS to Bob Marley, and from Hope Solo, to the State of California, it's obvious that within this group there is an intense, yet relaxing outlook on life and soccer, as well as a high amount of civic and state pride. 

No supporters section is complete until the flags are in place though.  When it comes to flags, the Black Army carries quite the variety.  From black/white and red/white pattern flags (some reminiscent of the Polish flag), California state flags, and flags from the American Revolution, there is a flag for nearly every occasion.   None more so poignant than the US flag with Rainbow stripes that I found myself waiving for most of the second half.    

Upon finishing, it was back out to lot 6 and await further arrivals.  Little by little more and more of the Black Army arrived.  By kickoff everyone who would be there, was there and ready to support the Goats.  The match itself could have had a better 1st half, but considering the goals by Ben Zemanski and Nick LaBrocca in the 2nd half to end the match, it can be looked over.  

With a motto of "Solamente Chivas USA", this strong and determined bunch, known as the Black Army has become a fixture at home matches and plans to figure into Chivas USA's plans for years to come.