- Fans sporting faux English accents attacked each other in Newark
- Sunday afternoon clash was just a mile from Red Bull Stadium
- Shirtless fighters apparently fans of New York Red Bulls or NYC FC
- Soccer-related violence was a huge problem in the UK, and riot police still offend attend games
- Sport has been getting higher-profile in the U.S., with many European players signing to American teams
- Red Bulls won 2-0, with goals from Felipe Martins and Brad Wright-Phillips
European soccer has enjoyed huge success crossing the Atlantic to American stadiums and TV screens – but it appears some of its worst excesses may have followed.
Two gangs of rival supporters were seen brawling in the streets of New Jersey Sunday afternoon ahead of a heated clash between the New York Red Bulls and newly-formed New York City Football Club.
In scenes reminiscent of the blood-soaked battles between British hooligan gangs, shirtless men bellowed ‘who are ya?’ at one another and lashed out with full trash bags and sandwich boards outside a supporters’ bar.
The unedifying confrontation raised the prospect of a violent soccer culture having migrated west, along with many of its best-known players, who have accepted big-money deals to devote themselves to U.S teams.
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Attack: Street brawlers were pictured in Newark, New Jersey, attacking one another with sandwich boards and shouting ahead of a New York City FC vs New York Red Bulls soccer match
‘Who are ya?’: The fighters were shouting at one another in faux-British accents, appearing to mimic the hooligan cultures which plagues UK soccer
The clash took place not far from Penn Station in Newark, and under a mile from the Red Bull Stadium, where the Red Bulls eventually beat NYCFC two goals to nil.
The fans fought – reportedly only for a few minutes – outside Bello’s Pub and Grill, a New York Red Bulls supporters’ bar.
A member of staff told DailyMail.com the clash did not involve patrons drinking inside and it is the first known instance of soccer-related violence around the stadium.
Violence and gang culture related to soccer fans has been a serious problem in Great Britain and other European countries, where riot police and mounted officers often attend the most emotional games in an attempt to keep the peace.
Soccer authorities have been promoting a sanitized version of the game in the United States, garnering many fans in the process.
The elevated profile of the sport – as well as big-money contracts – have seen famous European players moved to American teams.
Shirtless: Some of the fans wore little clothing as they clashed not far from Newark’s busy Penn Station
Intervention: An NJ Transit Police squad car was seen headed for the fans towards the end of the clip
Big names include David Beckham, Thierry Henri and Chelsea’s Frank Lampard – who played Sunday for NYC FC.
The violence tonight raises the question of whether individual soccer fans may be attempting to transfer the so-called hooligan culture across the Atlantic.
The video shows an New Jersey Transit Police squad car responded to the violence. DailyMail.com has contacted NJ Transit and the Newark Police Department for comment.
Reminiscent: The men seemed to be imitating the football violence which is common overseas – pictured above are fans in Germany being held back by riot police
Transplant: Former Chelsea player Frank Lampard, pictured above with his fiancee Christine Bleakley in Times Square, is one of several European stars to transfer to the U.S.
SOCCER HOOLIGANISM VIDEO ECHOES ELIJAH WOOD ‘GREEN STREET’ FILM
Soccer fans brawling in the streets may be new in reality, but the fascination of hooligan-style violence to Americans has been given the silver screen treatment in the past.
2005’s Green Street Hooligans, which stars Elijah Wood, demonstrated told the story of a Harvard drop-out who was enticed into the violent world of British sporting violence.
Wood’s character left college in disgrace after taking the fall for his roommate’s cocaine use, then moved to London and got caught up in the Green Street Elite, a group with links to London’s West Ham football club.
The young American gets caught up in the brutality and camaraderie of the so-called GSE, which organizes huge, bloody brawls with fans of rival clubs.
However, he is scared away from hooligan culture for good after a family friend is beaten to death when a fight gets out of hand.
Visceral: Elijah Wood, right, starred in Green Street, which saw him take on British football hooligans on their own turf