Gabriel Moya, Chief Communications Officer for UNITED in the States and the head of the Los Angeles Red Army, gives us the history of one of the fastest-growing supporter clubs in the USA.
Our group was formed back in February of 2011. It all started when our very own, Tristan Keller-Finn, asked a question on YELP about whether or not there where any United supporters in Los Angeles and if there was a United pub where everyone watched matches. Soon after, Tristan created a group on Facebook for United supporters in Los Angeles (Manchester United Fans of Los Angeles).
For the first year and a half after the group was formed, a small group of us watched United matches at a small British pub in Studio City named The Fox N’ Hounds. Even though Premier League matches on the West Coast are super early in the morning, the pub would always be open for all Premier League matches. Everyone was wide awake once they had they first couple rounds of coffee or a drink of something else.
Despite the pub being filled with Arsenal supporters, the Fox N’ Hounds was a great host to our newly formed group and that pub is where I first met Tristan and other United supporters such as Devin Doherty and Bern Edelen. They all shared the same passion for United and, with their help promoting the group, we all began to see more and more United supporters join us at the Fox. During our brief stay at the Fox, we enjoyed watching United secure their 19th league title to knock Liverpool of their perch and watching our return to the Champions League Final, despite losing to Barcelona.
Our Home Pub
In the Summer of 2012, Ye Olde King’s Head opened their second location in Studio City, which made for a great opportunity for our group to move into a newly opened establishment and make it our home pub. The Kings Head owner, Donal Tavey, and his staff welcomed our group with opened arms from the very first day and they have been a great host to our group. The pub is also shared with other Premier League supporters groups which makes for great banter among the groups. During our first season at the Kings Head, both the Club and our group enjoyed immediate success. Our group was rapidly growing in large numbers and United captured their 20th league title.
What once was a small gathering of four guys at a small pub in Studio City isn’t so small anymore. Over the past four years, our group has grown into a group consisting of over 600 members. The majority of our members live within Los Angeles County. The group also consists of members who join us from much greater distances such as, Orange County, Riverside County and San Bernardino County. The average attendance at the pub for a midweek game can be anywhere between 20-30 members and 40-60 on weekends. The numbers really sky rocket for some of the bigger matches, such as Liverpool, City, Arsenal, Chelsea and Cup Finals. The attendance can range between 60-100 for those matches.
If you want to learn more about our group, please visit our new website at www.laredarmy.com