As part of Supporters Week here on MLSsoccer.com, we are launching a new series called "Know Your Capo," which will highlight the men and women who stand up in front of MLS' various supporter groups and lead the charge during matches. Sometimes they miss the action, but as one capo told us, "The focus is on putting supporting ahead of the actual match."
Name: Zachary Meisenheimer
Club: Vancouver Whitecaps FC
Supporters Group: Curva Collective, which Meisenheimer helped organize with Massimo Cusano and others in 2011.
First game capoing: The away match in Seattle in 2011. It was nothing we planned. We just met with the other supporters outside the stadium two hours before the match. Mass brought his drum, and he was just like, "Hey, let's get to the front of the section. We're stuck here forever. Let's just teach some of the people we've been doing." I was, like, "OK." That was the first time I ever capoed. I spent the whole match facing the crowd.
Favorite chant(s): We are constantly bringing in new songs that we find meaningful. ... My favorites are the club songs, like one we call The Kai: Allez Allez O // Allez Allez O // Whitecaps FC // You're the one for me.
Special moment missed while capoing: I didn't actually see Eric Hassli's wonder strike. Because it was the first day I ever capoed. But I don't regret that. It was an incredible day and a meaningful experience for me. And that game is what led to the foundation of Curva Collective.
Great quote on capoing: "Capoing is an individual thing, a community thing expressed by one person."
Craziest expression of support: I took my son to the Voyageurs Cup match in Montreal this year, and when I landed, I got this text from the club PR guy, saying," Martin [Rennie, Whitecaps head coach] has a request." So I talked to Martin, and he asked me if I wanted to come into the locker room and speak to the team before the game. So that was good. The speech was surreal. I know all the players but not in that context. I've never been in the room where there are so amped up and so focused. It was crazy. ... And, of course, we arranged our return flights later so we arrived three hours before kickoff against Portland.
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