This coming Saturday, Vancouver Whitecaps FC will be celebrating Fan Appreciation night at BC Place, as they take on Colorado Rapids in their season finale . In honour of the outstanding support that the club has received throughout their inaugural MLS season, whitecapsfc.com profiles some of the fans who've packed the stadium week in and week out.
If you’ve been to a Whitecaps FC match at BC Place recently, you may have noticed two gentlemen standing in front of section 251 with megaphones in hand. Meet Patrick Parent and Kristjan Aug, head capo and assistant capo for the Vancouver Southsiders supporters group.
What is a capo you ask? Derived from the Italian term for leader, the capo is the conductor of the supporters. He directs the chants and cheers and gets as many people involved as possible. That was difficult for Parent and Aug early in the season, but with a move to the new stadium they’re finding that things are on the upswing.
“At Empire we were kind of spread out and it was difficult to get everyone chanting together,” explained Parent. “Now we’re more condensed together and unified at BC Place.”
Parent is a longtime ‘Caps fan who has supported the team since the 86ers days, while Aug is a more recent fan. Both bought season tickets for the first time this season and have become leaders in organizing the new wave of fandom.
The pair started with paper megaphones early in the year, then upgraded to plastic, and now they’ve taken another step further by adding a full-blown electronic megaphone that they use to coordinate the sea of Southsiders in their support of Whitecaps FC.
Being capo comes with a great deal of sacrifice, though. In order to lead the masses, capos must have their backs turned to the action for the majority of the match. But together, Patrick and Kristjan are making it work, and the reaction of the players on the field has given them all the motivation they need.
“To know that they’re seeing you and acknowledging you is just unbelievable,” said Aug.
Though this is their first time as season ticket holders, expect to see them both back again next season, doing what they do best.
“I like being where I am,” said Parent. “Leading the Southsiders in song.”