Before Sunday’s 3-2 Los Angeles Galaxy victory over the New York Red Bulls, a hundred-foot tech green, black, yellow, and white TiFo that read “New Era. Same Traditions,” hung prominently in the back of the Victoria Block section of Dignity Health Sports Park.
— LA Galaxy (@LAGalaxy) April 25, 2021
Eve Silva, a member of the Angel City Brigade since 2011, has had different positions during her tenure, has been working on the massive declarations of love to the Galaxy since then.
In almost a decade of working on them, however, Silva has never seen one go up in the stadium.
“I’ve never seen what it (TiFo) looks like when we put it up,” Silva said ruefully. “I’m always telling people where to go or what to hold. I always have to see it in pictures later.”
It’s good those pictures are being taken because Silva can certainly be proud of what she and ACB accomplished.
Silva explained that she has kept working on the huge banners because she has seen how people are willing to come together in their spare time and help each other. She has seen how connections have been built, friendships have been struck, and the love for the team has grown through them.
More than anything, though, Silva works on them for her daughter.
“I want to leave her something. Women are starting to have their place in the soccer world, and I want to make sure she (her daughter) is represented,” Silva said.
Whereas Silva is a veteran in the TiFo game, 18-year-old Randy Hernandez worked on his first one a week before the home opener.
He carefully traced the bordering of the letters made big from a projector across the parking lot. Perched atop a ladder, the first-year ACB member shared that the TiFo represents the love that a team’s fans have for it.
“It helps the team because the hard work and love that we put into it, the players see that, they get inspired, and it helps them,” Hernandez said.
He added that the people that have worked on TiFos before, like Silva and ACB President Rudy Quevedo are helping to build a culture of community for the Galaxy that comes together not only to cheer at games but to work hard and create something like the TiFo.
“We do it ‘cuz we love this club and the people around us,” Quevedo said while he painted.
“It’s the reason I woke up early this morning at 7:30 to go get paint, and it’s the reason why we’ll be out here till this paint dries.”
By the time the paint would have dried at the end of the second full day of tracing and painting by a crew numbering between 4 and 10 at some points, it would be about 10 hours.
Add that to the work of carefully folding the TiFo, coordinating volunteers and supplies, not to mention keeping it safe so that rival supporters couldn’t deface or react to it and Brian Zuniga, the man in charge of the TiFo, had basically a part-time job on his hands.
An original member of ACB, Zuniga has been in charge of the TiFo since he can remember, and he was all business as he and his crew worked on the monumental task.
According to Zuniga, though, Sunday’s TiFo was nowhere near the biggest or complex that they’ve done. Covid restrictions prevented ACB from trying to create another TiFo six sections long, the largest he’s participated in.
But Zuniga isn’t sure the moment needed such a massive or involved TIFo. Instead, the simple block letters and the message of “New Era. Same Traditions” seemed more direct and to the point for the 34-year-old.
He wanted this year’s TiFo to convey the sense of tradition that the club has and will continue to have while also acknowledging that this is a new era of players, coaches, and club culture. It is also a new era for the club to make newer fans like Hernandez, who, under the guidance of Zuniga, Silva, and Quevedo, will learn what the traditions of the club are.
He will also learn how thanks to their hard work and selflessness, they will continue to ensure that things like the TiFo exist for all Galaxy fans until the day we’re gray and old.
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