Sporting a red scarf around his neck, Adam “Stripes” Lauer gives “fair warning” to the first row of the student section. He shouts the goalkeeper’s name, and then introduces himself. “My name is Stripes and this is my Crew. Get to know us because we’re going to be all over you for the next 90 minutes!”
The Crew, a group of dedicated fans who passionately support the University of Maryland men’s soccer team from the stands behind the net of opposing goalkeepers, describes its mission as bringing a “European football atmosphere to Ludwig Field with a PG filter.” But the mission of getting inside the goalkeeper’s head starts long before the Terps’ opponents take the field.
The fan base uses social networking sites to research and learn more about opposing goalkeepers, and then incorporates that information into their cheers and jeers.
“Before the games, I’ll go find the goalkeeper [on social networks]. I’ll look up his old MySpace account and I’ll get his phone number – all publicly available information [and] stuff that the goalkeeper doesn’t expect that we’re going to know,” sophomore government and politics major Sam Ward said.