The tradition of “pre-gaming” before a sporting event is one that can be found across America; fans get together to eat, drink and enjoy each others company before each game. This ritual is nothing new, but during the past couple of MLS seasons, a group of LA Galaxy fans formed a unique faction that differentiates them from the rest.
It began with two separate groups of diehard Galaxy fans who spent a few hours before games at The Home Depot Center hanging out and talking soccer. This was also around the time when the social networking site Twitter exploded in popularity.
As fans joined Twitter, they found and followed each other by searching for terms like “LA Galaxy,” and tweeted before, during and after games. Galaxy fans bonded over things like favorite players or game analysis, with numerous tweets back and forth on those subjects. This was a community of people who had never met but were able to forge deep bonds because of their passion for the Galaxy and soccer in general.
After a while, friendships formed even though most users hadn’t met each other…yet.
Then, during one of the Galaxy’s away games in 2010, there was a viewing party at an official LA Galaxy pub, The Olde Ship. Fans tweeted about meeting there and upon arrival, introductions using Twitter handles were made, and the two groups came together.
It wasn’t long after this meeting that the name “Galaxy Shore” was born. It started as a joke made at one of the pre-game gatherings, in reference to the popular reality TV show “Jersey Shore.” It turned into a hash tag on Twitter, the hash tag took off and “The Galaxy Shore” became the official name of the fan group.
Since the end of the 2010 season, the Galaxy Shore has expanded its presence on social media, with its own Twitter handle @GalaxyShore. The Twitter profile allows the Shore to grow, letting newly discovered fans know when and where the pre-game festivities take place, and if anything is needed—usually carpooling, drinks, food or tickets. Shore members with extras make sure they are paired with the people who want to go, helping grow the Galaxy fan base with every match. Spreading the love of the team and the sport is part of what the Galaxy Shore does best!
Aside from the distinctive way the Galaxy Shore was formed, there’s another special quality that sets it apart from other “official” LA Galaxy supporter groups. While members of the group gather together before the match, once inside the stadium, everyone sits in different sections. This is because the Galaxy Shore is made up of fans of all kinds. There are season ticket holders and people who come to a handful of games; members of the Angel City Brigade and sometimes fans of the opposing team (Timber Joey paid the Shore a visit once).
The Galaxy Shore has the makings of a typical “supporters” group; they show up hours before kickoff, and have plenty of game day traditions—tequila and Squirt, car washes, Five Guys, and homemade treats. But what sets the Galaxy Shore apart is that it’s not just a group of Galaxy fans: it’s a family.
This family loves the beautiful game, and their passion brings them together before every match. Beyond that, they truly care about one another as human beings. Whether it’s a birthday, an engagement or the birth of a child, they celebrate together. Even in the off season, there are Galaxy Shore gatherings. Last winter, the group got together for a special holiday celebration. When life takes a bad turn, they support each other, whether it’s something as simple as an uplifting text or a Twitter hashtag.
Critics of social media say that it takes away from real-life, human interactions, but the Galaxy Shore proves them wrong. This is a group of people who would have never met were it not for Twitter. That is how this incredible collection of people found each other, bonded and created a tight-knit family, whose arms are always wide open to welcome their newest member. You can find the Galaxy Shore on the grass just outside the Northwest entrance of The Home Depot Center - come stop by and say hello!
Photos of the "Galaxy Shore"