Montrealers love their soccer. Impact fans aren’t as riotous as Habs’ fans – no one will forget the celebration riots in 2008 after the Canadiens won game seven over the Bruins – but they know how to support their city. When the MLS brought soccer to Montreal last year with the Impact, the fans showed up in droves. In June 2012, the Impact set the record for the largest crowd at a professional soccer match in Canada, with 60,860 at the Olympic Stadium when they played the Los Angeles Galaxy. The Impact now plays all their games next door at Saputo Stadium and the fans have moved with them.
Rowdy Impact supporters are crucial to the team’s success and are a part of the reason they have only lost two games at home this season. If you’ve never been to a game before or have season tickets, take a look at MTL Blog’s Top 5 fans you’ll see at a Montreal Impact game.
If you’re sitting next to Section 132 in Saputo Stadium where Ultras Montreal assembles, you might think you're at a Man U game. The Ultras Montreal are your diehard, euro-type fans. They’re the ones chanting, all decked out in blue and white, jumping for all 90 minutes of the game. Their motto is “always faithful” and they’ve been true to that since they were founded in 2002.
Montreal fans hate Toronto teams whether it’s hockey or soccer. It’s a rivalry that goes beyond sports but plays out most viciously on the pitch/ice. Whenever Toronto’s in town, Montrealers show up to combat the thousands of TFC that invade Saputo Stadium. At both home matches this year, the Impact has beaten Toronto FC, most embarrassingly at the game on May 1 of this year when the Impact shut TFC out 6-0.
The Habs are number one in terms of sports in this city, bar none. But when the ice melts and the hockey season is over, proud Montrealers want another sports team to rally around. At third place in the Eastern Conference, the Impact isn’t a bad alternative to the historic Canadiens.
With all the top-tier universities in Montreal, the city is crawling with international students who live and breath soccer. They’ll maybe go to one or two games during a season, but wont really have much of an allegiance to either team. They’re just going to enjoy the game.
Tailgating is key to any sporting event and these guys are all over it. A bit more relaxed than the Ultras, 127 Montreal always posts up in section 127 of Saputo Stadium. They’re just as diehard as the Ultras, but they’re out in front of the stadium hours before the game grilling meat and drinking beer.
Have you seen these fans before? Did we miss a type that you’ve noticed at the games? Let us know in the comments below.