Chivas USA have hit a skid in recent weeks, and morale is starting to dip. One group that is apparently feeling the frustration is one of Chivas USA's Supporters Groups, the Union Ultras. In a blog post on their website posted on Tuesday, Union Ultras leader and the man popularly known as "El Chiva Mayor" (as translated by Rik Escutia) called out the majority of CUSA players for not acknowledging or thanking the fans for taking the time to make the trip up to San Jose for Chivas' match last week, a 1-0 loss to the Quakes.
It's a compelling piece, and I would urge you to read it. The argument is that while the sacrifice players have to make in order to reach the pros is large, and often forgotten by fans, players should also recognize the sacrifice supporters must make in order to support the team, and without the pay or fame that comes to the players.
Here are a few key excerpts from the post:
This last Saturday, my team played in San Jose, California. We, the loyal fans that we are, did the near impossible to collect funds to make this road trip happen, $65 per person to be more specific. For an Ultra, traveling elsewhere to support your team builds up a certain adrenaline inside of yourself because you know that in the stadium you are visiting, it's you, your comrades and your team against the rest of the stadium. As almost always, my team ended up losing, but something happened that called my attention and that has been happening for some time now.
The players of the opposing team went to appreciate their loyal fans after the game had ended, they gave a bit of their time to personally thank their supporters they sign autographs and some even gave their shirts as a reward for said support.
It is a sad reality that we live and have to deal with, very few players of our team take their time to appreciate our support, We know that on various occasions their excuse was that they lost the game and that they were frustrated, but that doesn't justify said lack of appreciation because we also are frustrated and despite that they lose, we always give our support, because it is unconditional.
I know that there aren't thousands of us, that we are only a few hundred. The majority of you are used to seeing larger numbers in a Supporters' Group. Unfortunately, we are similar to you players in the sense that we are also by ourselves, abandoned to our luck by a mediocre owner and hated by the majority of the league followers.
Since we've talked of this issue on numerous occasions with the front office, the players, and the coaches and even with that, Most of them still ignore us.
The post has gotten some attention among at least one player already, defender Andrew Jean-Baptiste, who's used to the presence of the fans at his last stop with the Portland Timbers:
@elchivamayor101 @UnionUltras I'm sure the guys meant no disrespect. In the heat of the moment putting in a lot of hard work on the field...— Andrew Jean-Baptiste (@ajeanbaptiste92) April 30, 2014
@elchivamayor101 @UnionUltras..and unfortunately losing is hard on a player, so without even knowing the players went into the lockerroom...— Andrew Jean-Baptiste (@ajeanbaptiste92) April 30, 2014
@elchivamayor101 @UnionUltras..We all know in the lockerroom that the Ultras, Black Army, and etc have stood by us through thick and thin...— Andrew Jean-Baptiste (@ajeanbaptiste92) April 30, 2014
@elchivamayor101 @UnionUltras..And that reason alone I have so much respect for you guys and the effort you put in.— Andrew Jean-Baptiste (@ajeanbaptiste92) April 30, 2014
@elchivamayor101 @UnionUltras..And I'll personally make sure your support will never go unnoticed, On and Off the field.— Andrew Jean-Baptiste (@ajeanbaptiste92) April 30, 2014
@elchivamayor101 @UnionUltras...Not only recognition after the games but the Wins that you came to see. #StrongerTogether— Andrew Jean-Baptiste (@ajeanbaptiste92) April 30, 2014
Props to Jean-Baptiste for appearing to take ownership of this issue.
@elchivamayor101 @UnionUltras it's gonna be different now that I'm here.— Andrew Jean-Baptiste (@ajeanbaptiste92) April 30, 2014
We'll have to see if he or the team can give the fans some more attention, but it looks like a good step in the right direction. Hopefully the team recognizes the effort and support put in by the fans, both those in the Union Ultras and Black Army 1850 and those not affiliated with those groups, and remember to acknowledge the supporters, win, lose or draw.
What do you think? Leave a comment below!