NWSL supporter’s clubs are something that don’t often get spoken about by the general fan bases. Each team has one and all but one is run separately from the team itself. Orlando is the only team in the league to start their own.
I sat down with one of the leaders of the Cloud 9 supporters group Jennifer Muller, the group that supports Sky Blue, to shed some light on the group.
RJ Allen: about how many members does Cloud 9 have? If you had to ballpark it.
Jennifer Muller: We had close to 40 paid members last year.
RJA: How much are member dues?
JM: $20. That includes a free scarf.
RJA: How close is the relationship between Cloud 9 and Sky Blue?
JM: We have a very good relationship with Sky Blue. Last year was our first as an official club, and they were very supportive. This year, even more so. They know that a strong supporters group is important and they want to help our numbers grow. So, while we are an independent group, we work very closely with the club.
RJA: When you look on the Sky Blue site both section 1 and 9 are called “Supporter Bleachers”. Does Cloud 9 have a section they usually congregate in for their home base at home games?
JM: We are in Section 9. Section 1 is being used for away supporters.
RJA: Are there any Cloud 9 transitions forming? Chants when a player comes in or out or scores or anything like that happening yet?
JM: We’re working on a few new chants right now. Nothing is concrete yet so I don’t want to elaborate too much.
RJA: Understandable. Wouldn’t want to give them away when they haven’t finished cooking yet.
RJA: What are the other fan’s reactions to Cloud 9? Either that are sitting in section 9 or in other areas of the stands?
JM: For the most part I think it’s been positive. We’ve been able to get others around us to join in. The kids seem to get into the most. Occasionally we’ll get someone that doesn’t like the drumming, but we didn’t have too many issues last year.
RJA: What does the afternoon for the average home game look like? Prep time involved, gatherings before hand, any and all of the pre game and post game stuff you’d like to share.
JM: A few of us get there fairly early to set up banners and drums. Then we’ll hang out in the lot to tailgate until the gates open, which is about an hour before kickoff. We’re hoping to have something a bit more organized in terms of the pre/post-game meet ups this season. And we’ll be working with the team in that regard as well.
RJA: Do you have any event ideas this year that you are able to share? Or maybe events you did in the past you’d like to redo?
JM: Nothing is set yet. But we are looking to do an organized road trip to at least one of the games in Washington. And we’ll choose one or two games to make a push for supporters of the area MLS teams to come out and join us.
RJA: Which games are you most looking forward to this season for Sky Blue?
JM: I like that the league is building up rivalries. So I would have to say the matches against the Spirit. Being a RBNY fan, my hatred for DC runs strong. Though I will say that their supporters are much nicer than their MLS counterparts.
RJA: Were you surprised that was the team the NWSL matched you guys against for the extra two games?
JM: Not at all. Seemed like the logical choice.
RJA: What has the player’s reaction to Cloud 9 been?
JM: It’s been great. Many of them follow us on Twitter and will tag us from time to time. Kai has been amazing in that regard since the day she was announced. No one wants to play in front of a silent crowd. Even though our numbers are small at times, they appreciate the support.
RJA: Speaking of Kai are you looking forward to having such a fan favorite back for Sky Blue?
JM: Definitely! I’m so glad she’s back. Not only for the sake of those of us who are fans of hers, but also for those who never had a chance to see her play. I think they’re going to love the energy she brings. She’s just flat out fun to watch. I think that’s something this team needed.
RJA: Thank you for doing this.
JM: No, thank YOU. It’s important to acknowledge the supporters in this league.
RJA: Where can people find you guys? Twitter, Facebook, pimp Cloud 9 all you want.
Web We’ll be putting up 2016 memberships for sale online very soon.
I’d like to once again thank Jen for speaking to me and wish Cloud 9 a productive season in section 9.