Supporters are a major part of the beautiful game. They bring passion and enthusiasm to stadiums around the world. They dedicate their life to their club and are far more than casual or “fair weather” fans. Supporter is a fitting term as they support and serve as the true foundation of any club.
Supporters have made the news in recent years for a load of good things: supporting a cause, donating to charities, or even saving their club. FC United of Manchester is the classic example of supporters that care. They created their own club, built their own stadium, and are currently working their way up the English football pyramid with a supporter-owned model.
Very few clubs in America boast those kinds of credentials as it is an amazing feat. But there is hope in the form of clubs large and small that are working ever so closely with supporters. Nashville FC, an NPSL side in the league’s Southeastern Conference, is one of the few supporter-owned organizations in American sports.
Detroit City, another NPSL side in the Midwest Region, is another success story due to the strong support of their Northern Guard. That club is rolling out a community investment program, renovating a local stadium, and hosting the aforementioned FC United of Manchester in May.
Yet Triangle Soccer Fanatics (TSF), an independent group dedicated to the NASL’s Carolina RailHawks, have earned an even higher profile. Their work for the community and club has made the Cary, NC franchise one of the strongest in American soccer. The group’s commitment and dedication made them a model for others to follow and many have done just that.