U-Sector is an independent supporters' group for
Major League Soccer's Toronto FC.
History and Name
It was founded in
2000by football fans in the Toronto, Canadaarea, as a supporters group for the Toronto Lynx. Originally known as the "Toronto Ultras," the U-Sector got its name because the group was always in Section 'U' at the old Varsity Stadiumduring matches. After leaving Varsity Stadiumfor less impressive pastures at Centennial Park Stadium, the nickname for the original home of theToronto Ultras would stick as a secondary name for the group.
2004off-season, due to the widespread use of the Ultrasname in world football, and some of the stigma which came with it, the group adopted "U-Sector" as its primary moniker. It is implied, however, that the 'U' stands for both the Varsity Stadium section where the group was formed as well as the original Ultras name.
Since the founding of Toronto FC in 2006, the group has expanded its primary support to the MLS side, although the U-Sector still occasionally holds Lynx-related events. Members are mostly located in
BMO Field's section 113, although there are many more dispersed throughout the entire stadium.
In addition to supporting TFC and the Lynx, the U-Sector has also travelled great distances to support the
Canadian national soccer teamat events such as the CONCACAF Gold Cup, having a modest contingent of supporters in Foxborough in 2003and in Chicagoin 2007. As well, the U-Sector has travelled to Canadian World Cup Qualifying matches and various friendlies, with members having attended matches in Canada, the USA, Scotland, Egyptand Estonia.
The U-Sector runs several events and programs for it members throughout the year. They organize away-game viewing parties, road trips to away matches, flag-making and chant-creating sessions, as well as social events including a full-fledged indoor soccer league. [http://usil.x10hosting.com/] Their message board is a very important communication tool for many Toronto FC fans.
Along with Toronto FC's other supporters groups, "
Red Patch Boys," the " North End Elite" and the "Tribal Rhythm Nation," the U-Sector forms part of the famously intense support that has led MLS Commissioner Don Garberto observe about BMO Field, "we don't have too many stadiums that rock like this one." [http://www.lastkick.com/?p=2316]
Influence on TFC supporter culture
The group has become well-known amongst the MLS community for the creative and unique flavour it brings to Toronto games, including many of the songs and chants that are now commonplace at BMO Field.
U-Sector has also contributed to the highly visual nature of TFC support, including the creation of 'Pink Streamer Day', a different take on the widespread use of streamers at the stadium, in which pink or lavender streamers are thrown during the annual visit of the Los Angeles Galaxy to BMO Field. The group has also become known for its creative signage and banners, including one aimed at
Landon Donovan, as well as a Claudio Reyna-themed "has been" sign (broadcasted live on ESPN2and The Score) that was held up behind Reyna as he took a corner kick a few feet away [http://www.soccerbyives.net/soccer_by_ives/2008/05/bmo-field-an-ex.html] [http://theoffsiderules.blogspot.com/2008/05/video-its-not-easy-being-claudio-in.html] . ESPNcolumnist Ives Galarcep highlighted the differences between the U-Sector and other TFC supporters groups in a Soccernet column in which he called U-Sector "a rowdier alternative to the Red Patch Boys and a supporter's group with ties to soccer in Toronto that extend beyond the arrival of Toronto FC." [http://soccernet.espn.go.com/columns/story?id=531102&root=mls&cc=5901]
ub-groups and affiliations
Since the inception of Toronto FC and BMO Field, the U-Sector has spawned a few sub-groups which work within the larger U-Sector umbrella. The largest of these is "The Red Brigade," a group which is based in the sections that populate the upper tier of BMO Field's main grandstand.
The U-Sector is also affiliated with
Ultras 114, a group based in the neighbouring section 114 at BMO Field, and the South Side Jumpers. Both groups have travelled to TFC away matches as part of the U-Sector contingent.
While there are no official affiliations between the U-Sector and fellow TFC supporters groups Red Patch Boys and North End Elite, the groups have co-ordinated on organizing large-scale road trips and
tifodisplays. Also, the U-Sector has worked in conjunction with The Voyageurs- a supporters group dedicated to the Canadian national teams - in organizing dedicated Canadian-centric support at national team games, and has taken the lead in such endeavours for Canadian matches in Toronto.
U-Sector Player of the Year
In 2007, the U-Sector established a Player of the Year Award, given following each season to the Toronto FC player voted by U-Sector members to have contributed the most to the team during that year.
On October 23, 2007, the group announced on its website that it had selected defender
Jim Brennanas the inaugural recipient. [http://www.embargo.ca/ultras/news/announcements/20071023-1.html]
* [http://www.usector.ca U-Sector Website]
* [http://youtube.com/watch?v=kSRhMuZoRrc U-Sector Christmas Reel 2007]
*U-Sector on TFC website [http://toronto.fc.mlsnet.com/t280/fans/supporters_clubs/]
*Inside Soccer article [http://www.insidesoccer.net/?p=143]
*Toronto Star article [http://www.thestar.com/printArticle/222351...409_211333_5452]
*Sportsnet article [http://www.sportsnet.ca/soccer/columnist.j...409_211333_5452]
*Knight: 'We don't pay for health-care!' [http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080330.WBsoccerblog20080330225542/WBStory/WBsoccerblog/]
*ESPNSoccernet: 'Toronto fan passion unsurpassed in MLS' [http://soccernet.espn.go.com/columns/story?id=531102&root=mls&cc=5901]
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