In stadiums across Major League Soccer, visiting goalkeepers expect the same chant from nearly every home supporters section. It is the infamous “YSA” chant that can be heard clearly both throughout the stadium, as well as on televised matches. The chant has spread throughout the league and its effect can be felt from the seats of fans to the club and league front offices.
MLS is determined to eradicate this indelible chant from the league, as it reflects poorly on the stadium atmosphere the league is trying to maintain and market to supporters and sponsors, alike. The New York Red Bulls are now willing to compensate supporters groups to put an end to the YSA chant.
On Monday, the Empire Supporters Club (ESC), one of the three supporters groups of the Red Bulls, officially published the letter received by all three New York supporters groups on July 2nd, which outlined the consequences of the continuation of such offensive chants. The letter stated,
The attempt to allow Red Bulls Supporters Clubs (Empire Supporters Club, Garden State Ultras, and Viking Army) to self-eliminate YSA chants has yet to show progress despite the groups undoubted passion for their club. Because of this, a strong evaluation will be made during the month of July at both home and away matches as to the Clubs commitment to eliminate YSA and other foul language chants.
New York Red Bulls’ beat writer, Mark Fishkin, tweeted on Monday that the front office of the Red Bulls organization will give $500 to making tifos, (large banners created by the supporters groups to show support for the team) for every match without the YSA chant. They will also give an additional $2,000 to the supporters groups for each match without the chant.
The ESC has responded in support of this effort on their official Facebook page, stating,
In this instance…we feel that getting rid of YSA at this juncture can only help us in the future in that regard…. As you can see in the letter…MLS and RBNY FO have made it clear that there may be consequences if we don’t step up our efforts with regard to YSA.