Busy night at Subaru Park in Chester, where the Union and Red Bulls battled to scintillating nil-nil draw and security removed signs calling for Union ownership to sell the team, among other things.

The U haven’t won a game since May, they’re having their worst season since 2017, and a large portion of the fan base is frustrated that ownership hasn’t done the necessary roster work to stay competitive in MLS, just two years after going to the championship game.

A sampling from the stands:

Major League Soccer has rules about banner size and pre-approval in the fan code of conduct. You’re not allowed to bring “signs, banners, or flags larger than 3′ x 5′” into any stadium, though it’s not like we can get out the ruler for a proper measurement here. Unless I need to get my hearing checked, in that first video I hear someone say “there is no pre-” before other voices come in and the camera pans to the guy yelling “he just grabbed my dick!”

Regardless, the optics of confiscating ownership-critical banners is always going to look bad, league rule or not. Makes it look like you’re cracking down on dissent, which isn’t necessarily synchronized throughout The River End, where the supporters groups sit. That includes the Keystone State Ultras and Sons of Ben, the former group being more demonstrative and the latter remaining silent for the first five minutes of Saturday’s game as an entry-level type of protest. The SOBs released a statement before the game, explaining that they met with former board members to talk strategy and figure out the best way to proceed. They’re also going to be meeting with ownership soon, according to a Twitter post shared after the game.

If you’re an O.G. Union fan, you might remember the last fan protest, which took place in the Summer of 2015. SOBs carried a coffin with CEO Nick Sakiewicz’s face on it, the words “we deserve better” written on the side. Sak was labeled a “serial franchise killer” and other reaper-ish imagery and language was used. At the time, SOB leadership was split on whether to take the protest further, and a line was drawn at bringing the demonstration inside the stadium, because they didn’t want the players to be negatively impacted and keep the ire directed at the front office and ownership instead.

So we’ll see what happens here. The Union were a mess back then, didn’t have a playoff win in five years, had three starting goalkeepers, no player-personnel executive, and nothing to be excited about. They were hardly a functioning franchise. This is different. They’re coming off the best run in team history and falling back to Earth. It’ll be up to the fans to figure out how they want to go about this as the Union find themselves in 14th place in the East on July 6th.