Albion SC Pros (4-0-2) are coming into the rivalry game NC Battalion as the only undefeated team in the NPSL Southwest Division. Albion Pros took game one of the San Diego Derby or #CraftBeerCup on the road at Del Norte Stadium by a score of 3 to 1. Albion Pros celebrated the first #CraftBeerCup victory over the NC Battalion in front of a stunned home crowd. Albion SC Pros are coming into this game as the top defensive team in the NPSL Southwest Division meanwhile NC Battalion have league leading firepower having scored the most goals. This rematch should have plenty of sparks as the first ever matchup yield two red cards and eight yellow cards.
Albion has come into the picture in a rambunctious manner from having skydivers deliver the game ball, to having 1,200 + fans attend games and finally to beating the La Galaxy II in a closed exhibition game in LA. It is time to see if Albion is the real deal as this game will feature the highest number of San Diego Soccer fans and for the first time in the history of this series they will be protecting their home turf. One group of fans will be key in helping Albion Pros defend home field and that is The Deep End. We sat down to talk about the upcoming game and soccer in San Diego.
David: How was the deep end created?
The Deep End: The Deep End Supporters Group was created in March of 2015 when Craig Elstien hit up David Chamberlin the President of the American Outlaws San Diego Chapter. He saw the indoor world cup support and he wanted to create something special for the San Diego Sockers who have been around since the 1970’s. The first Sockers game we attended we got the love and support of the team straight away and did everything we could to give the Sockers a home field advantage.
David: I know that The Deep End has been around longer than NC Battalion Supports group. Do you have any comments on the NC Battalion Supporters Group?
The Deep End: We like that they trying. We like that we have a second fan group in the city. It shows that we the fans can support teams in our city it’s been a stigma of San Diego. Looking at the Padres, Chargers and the Clippers back in the 80’s. For Instance we went up to UC Riverside to play against Deportivo Coras and it was just the 10 of us. We were the only people making noise at the game. We love our team and have been to every home and road game this season.
David: I want to add-on that even the NC Battalion have a fan bus that takes their supports on the road to road games. It is not just the Albion SC Pros fans that travel. Having been around the soccer scene in San Diego and having worked for the San Diego Flash this is a new thing. Besides players families we never had a supporters group or any people going to road games. I really think that San Diego is hopping on the soccer bandwagon so to speak.
David: What is the goal of The Deep End?
The Deep End: The goal that we have in mind is to become an MLS supporters group here in San Diego. We know that it starts here with the Albion Pros games. We thank Albion Pros for giving us the opportunity to giving a great show and atmosphere for their games.
David: Do you think the Xolos would support an MLS team in San Diego?
The Deep End: There would be some pushback but you have to remember that they would be playing in two different leagues. The only time that the two teams would meet would be in exhibition games or in the CONCACAF Champions league. The Xolos would be playing on Friday Nights and the MLS team would be playing on Saturdays or Sundays. It would make for a great soccer weekend in San Diego.
David: Is The Deep End doing anything special besides the Facebook event to get ready for the 2nd round of The Craft Beer Cup on Saturday night?
The Deep End: The Craft Beer Cup is the official name to us. Both supporters groups representing Albion Pros and NC Battalion love craft beer. We will be having a rally at the TapRoom San Diego (1269 Garnet Ave, San Diego, CA 92109) on Thursday night at 7 pm. You will have us, supporters, players, personal and maybe the owner. They will be handing out swag to get everyone ready to the game.
David: Does The Deep End have a favorite player?
The Deep End: The Deep End supports everyone on the team but my (Lucas Oliveira) favorite player on the team is goalkeeper Jean Antoine. He has been fantastic for us this season (790 minutes including exhibition games he has allowed only 3 goals) and he is a great person in general. Jean is our Superman.
David: Do you want people to join you guys in The Deep End this weekend or do you want fans to make noise on the road side of the field?
The Deep End: We rather have people join us in the deep end. We always say that once you get a taste of the deep end you are going to come back. We could be singing 80’s songs or something really simple.
David: During the 2nd half of every game little kids run the track with the Deep End Flags. How did that come to be?
The Deep End: Real San Jose game we were trying to figure out something to do. We figured that we had a ton of flags and kids so why not let’s let them run with the flags around the track. The team got pumped. We conceded a PK and Jean made a save with the kids/flags behind the goal. The view from that was amazing and we have decided to do it every game since.
David: Do you have anything that you want our audience to know?
The Deep End: We are a group of fans in San Diego that love the sport. We are happy to do whatever it takes to make San Diego a soccer city. San Diego is probably the 2nd or 3rd biggest market without a team. We know that we should have an MLS team. We are taking the right approach. We want to build what we have and make something that we are proud of.
David: Do you #StandWithDCFC ?
The Deep End: As supporters, there are things we can control and things we can’t. We can control our presence at our games and in our community. We can’t control our leagues or our owners. We feel extremely lucky to have the relationship with our club and its ownership that we do. We are all in the same boat, and we are making this journey together. Detroit City FC and their supporters have built something strong and viable, and they did it together, the way it should be done. Anyone who thinks they can walk in and steal that just because they have some money and a fancy stadium drawing have already displayed that they don’t have what it takes to run a soccer club, and they are incapable of connecting with their potential supporters and their community. We are San Diego faithful but we #StandWithDCFC
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