By Ryan Peterson
Soccer is the world’s biggest game, but in the United States where soccer is most disrespected, the strongest fan base exists. In Detroit, Michigan professional soccer players are part of the Detroit City Football Club (DCFC). The Northern Guard are Detroit City FC’s hilarious, crazy, passionate fan base, and the heart and soul of their club.
Countries like Germany, England, Brazil, and many more breathe soccer; it’s the main sport in their lives. In a country like the United States, soccer isn’t the main sport not even the second, or third or even fourth.
Yet, we have the Northern Guard. The Northern Guard is passionate for this sport but more importantly their club and city.
Detroit once was a thriving industrial city but faced many hardships. In recent years, Detroit is in an urban rebirth yet some people still call it a “dead city.” The Northern Guard embraces that and tries to bring life back into Detroit by wearing things like skull masks.
The Northern Guard’s Founder Ken Butcher said, “…Well, if we are dead, then we’re gonna be the walking dead.”
The Northern Guard thrives from the hate toward their city and turns it into energy and passion. They makes every DCFC match more than just a soccer match. With their chants starting prior to kickoff and not ending until the final whistle, the Northern Guard sings, shouts, and pours all of the emotion inside of them into the chants.
Not always politically correct, one of the Northern Guard’s favorite chants to do after every DCFC goal is, “HEEEEEEEEY, Hey [OPPONENT] Ohh, Ahh! I wanna knooooooow, why you suck so much! YOU! SUCK! YEAH!”
Chants like these are just one thing that makes the atmosphere so lively. The bright colorful smoke bombs, loud roaring drums, and enormous flags turns the atmosphere from great to an experience. Add in the welcoming members of The Northern Guard who support issues such as immigration and gay rights, the Northern Guard is so much more than just a soccer fan club. At the end of the day, it is not just a fan base or a supporter group, but a movement to be a part of to help bring the community of Detroit back together and strengthen American soccer.