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Sky Blue FC fan culture

Soccer has a rich history in New Jersey, and the fans at Sky Blue FC, most notably Cloud 9, Sky Blue’s official supporter’s club, are making their mark with the team.

Members of Cloud 9 tailgate with members of the Spirit Squadron before a Sky Blue FC-Washington Spirit match.
Robert Plummer, Once a Metro

If you've ever been to a Sky Blue FC game, you know that the energy levels in the stands are nothing short of electric. Even watching a stream doesn't come close to the feeling of being in the stands, hearing the drums and the cheers and feeling the stands literally shake as everyone stands to cheer when a goal is scored. It's truly an exhilarating experience.

And it’s largely in part to Cloud 9, Sky Blue FC’s official supporter’s club. They’re the ones who bring the drums and often times lead the crowds in cheers and songs that have since become synonymous with a Sky Blue FC game.

And they don't just root, root, root for the home team. They follow Sky Blue on the road as well, so no matter where they are, our players know they have fans up in the stands rooting for them.

Cloud 9 member Jennifer Muller talked some about the group and the overall fan culture surround Sky Blue.

“The culture around the team and club is very much reflective of New Jersey. Soccer has a rich history in this region, and it’s something that we’re proud of. We may not have a roster full of household names, and Cloud 9 may not be the largest Supporters Group in the league, but we’re both fully capable of punching above our weight. We’re used to being underestimated and put down by outsiders, and we thrive on proving those outsiders wrong,” Muller said.

“[We would change] Nothing. This is who we are. If anything we just want MORE of us. Not only in Cloud 9, but the entire fan base. We want more people to experience what we have the privilege of witnessing every game. First-class athletes who leave everything they have on the field for the love of the game, their team, and their fans,” she added.

When we asked what they really wanted people to know about Cloud 9, the response is both encouraging and heartwarming.

“While our primary objective is to support our team for the full 90 every game, we're growing beyond that. We're a community of people who are seeking ways to grow the SBFC fan base (and WoSo interest in general) through viewing parties, road trips, and participation in charity events. Game days are where we shine, but it's what we do in-between those days that can make all the difference.”

Cloud 9 aims to make sure the atmosphere at every game is one that lets the players, on and off the field, know that they are appreciated, that their hard work is noticed and very much appreciated. They are proud to be, as Christie Rampone said in a recent ‘Thank You’ video to the fans featuring players and staff, the twelfth man on the field.

In an interview with Kim DeCesare, Sky Blue forward, agreed with Rampone’s statement, and went on to talk about Cloud 9, and about the road trip she took with the supporters group this season while she was on the injured list.

It was all set up on Twitter when DeCesare jokingly asked if anyone was going to the game “for a friend.” She hopped in the car with a couple members of Cloud 9 and set off for their four-hour journey, all the while with DeCesare documenting the trip on the Sky Blue Snapchat.

She goes on to speak about how this year in particular the team has gotten to know Cloud 9 better, and that it’s nice to have such dedicated fans, even if it’s just a couple. When asked to describe Cloud 9 in one word, she responded “dedicated”.

If she could tell someone who had never been to a game before it would be to “give [the NWSL] a chance and give us the respect that we essentially deserve… We’re the same full time professionally as any other men’s/women’s sports in the U.S.”

DeCesare says walking the railing is half the reason she gets excited for game day. She recalls watching the WUSA as a kid, and “going to the New York Power games, and begging for the player’s autographs”, so she’s happy to sign as many autographs for kids as possible.