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Colorado Rapids supporter groups unite

Welcome Centennial 38. It is the new, unified supporter group of the Colorado Rapids.

After years of dividing into three groups within Dick's Sporting Goods Park -- the Bulldog Supporter Group, Class VI and Pid Army -- the supporters of the 2010 MLS Cup champions decided to combine.

"I think when you have large groups of people,” former Bulldog president Dave Wegner told Goal.com, "and those folks that are leading their groups are cheering for a common goal, there is going to be some natural push to come together.

"The leadership of the three groups had been working on relationships with each other all [2012] season," he said. "Towards the end of the season, we effectively worked together to resolve a substantial issue within DSG Park. With the success of that, we started discussing the idea of uniting the groups to become more effective when dealing with the front office, supporting our members and growing the supporters culture in Colorado."

In the past, these three supporter groups have offered different characteristics. The new group leaders hope that combining the groups will cause more fans to take notice and want to be a part of Centennial 38. The name harkens back to Centennial Firm, one of the two groups that eventually became Pid Army.

"It is always hard to say when you incorporate three distinct cultures with the goal of making a new, single group," Wegner said. "[The new SG board] all know there are going to be some growing pains, but we think that there are more things in common with our members than there are different. The demographics of the group encompass the whole spectrum, so needless to say there will be a great diversity in the new group -- a great foundation to build from.  All that being said, unless the Rapids rebrand sometime soon, the new group is going to look very burgundy and blue."

The Centennial 38 leadership will consist of a board of six members who have roots in each of the merging three groups. There will be equal say from all, with no president or board chair. In the stadium, the location of the supporters will continue to be in the terraces and section 108.

"The message is that the supporters culture in Colorado has stepped it up to the next level," Wegner said. "Working together will allow for bigger achievements and a bigger presence in the stadium. The top supporter groups in the league are those that have gone down this path, and [Centennial 38] is looking forward to getting in line with those supporter groups."

Along with louder unified chanting and singing, fans and players can expect to see even bigger tifo. This choice to unite should result in increased visibility for Rapids support.

"If they come together I think that is a great idea," Drew Moor told Goal.com. "I know that not all supporters groups get along, but if we can have them all on the same page, and hear from them as we do every home match and even some of the road matches, then that is huge. I think it is a great idea."

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