Members of the Northsiders. Photo by Nap Badillo
At San Francisco City FC’s first home game as a supporter-owned club in 2015, the original five members of the Northsiders convened in the North bleachers at Kezar Stadium. They decided to form a supporters group while painting a tifo before a Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup match, and in the five years since, the Northsiders have positively impacted their community in more ways than one.
The group was named the 2019 Supporters Group of the Year in League Two, and it’s easy to see why. Aside from their tremendous vocal support of SF City FC on match days, the group takes an active role in community volunteering.
The Northsiders don’t charge a membership fee or sell merchandise, but instead create a new patch every year which members earn by volunteering at club-sponsored community service events, helping paint tifos, flags, and banners, and traveling to away matches.
“The most obvious thing that makes the Northsiders unique is that we, the supporters, control our own club,” said Northsiders member Peter Bogdis. “There’s no front office telling us what we cannot say or do. We’ve proudly built our club from the ground up, and we will continue to grow our club with unmatched passion.”
The Northsiders volunteer at many community events, carrying the group's Kezar Pigeon logo with them. Photo by Nap Badillo
According to Bogdis, one of the pillars of SF City is helping the community through the sport of soccer, a mission which every Northsider takes to heart.
“We always take on the hardest jobs at volunteer events, which the organizers love,” said Bogdis. “San Francisco is going through a challenging time, and we look forward to being a positive force in improving our community.”
The Northsiders announce their presence with red and yellow smoke. Photo by Nap Badillo
On match day, the Northsiders create a fantastic environment. Members arrive hours before each game to set up at Kezar Stadium, followed by a tailgate in the parking lot. The Northsiders then march to their section, singing and chanting from before the first whistle until after the final whistle (with a break at halftime, of course). Members support and greet the players every game, regardless of the outcome, before cleaning up the stadium post-match.
There are a few matches on the schedule that stand out: derbies against crosstown rivals San Francisco Glens SC.
“It’s safe to say that the highlights of the season are the matches against our rival,” said Bogdis. “We love taking over their stadium on the away leg, and nothing beats the home match with the fog rolling in through the West gate at Kezar.”
The Northsiders won’t have to wait long for that moment this year, as the club’s home opener is against the Glens on May 10. For Bogdis and the rest of the Northsiders, the 2020 season represents the opportunity to continue the group’s fantastic work, showing pride and passion both in their community and in Section Q at Kezar Stadium.
“Being supporter-owned means that every member has a voice in how the club is run,” said Bogdis. “You often hear sports fans refer to their favorite team as ‘we,’ and for us it’s real. This is literally our club.”
For the complete San Francisco City FC 2020 schedule, visit the team’s page on the League Two site.