By Andres Mills Gallego

When I think of supporter culture in S. America I think of one thing - organized chaos.  I think that most supporters culture really is a mirror of that country's culture in everyday life.  It is what I love about supporter culture in the MLS; it draws from so many different cultures both in the supporter sense and in the backgrounds of the members that make up each group.  It is also a very true statement when talking about the supporter groups in S. America.  The same vibrant chaos that you feel in the stadium is felt at the markets, plazas and especially when driving a car.  The supporter styles vary a bit between countries, but there are more similarities than differences.  Like in many other parts of the world, supporters mainly come from the working class.  South Americans are very, very proud of where they come from and this shows in the stands.  For me personally watching and supporting the Colombian National team was what I was first the most passionate about.  In Colombia when the national team plays everything stops and EVERYONE watches.  Generally speaking soccer is always on the brain, whether it be playing or watching.  While the belief that S. Americans are very, sometimes overly passionate is a stereotype; it can also be a true statement.  This same passion finds its way into the stands and leads to some of the best support in the world.  That same passion also often leads to violence both in and outside the stadium, I will talk more about that a bit later.  First let’s look at what are the typical things one would see in the supporters section.


By SImon Moyse

To understand the current status of English supporter culture, it is important to have an awareness of its recent history. In many ways, the culture has had to fight to survive in the face of great challenges. It’s a big topic, but I will aim to give a short potted history here.

We have to start with the years when hooliganism blighted English soccer, mainly the 70s and 80s. Organized hooligan groups cropped up all over the place, the most notorious probably being the ‘Chelsea Headhunters’, and West Ham’s ‘Inter-City Firm’. At this time, most English stadia had considerably more standing space than they did seating space, so it was easy for groups to gather and move around the stadium. Groups would regularly fight pitched battles, battling to ‘take’ each other’s section. Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge was a great example. Back in the day, the Bridge was very different to how it is now; it was basically a big bowl, one huge terrace, with one covered area, known as The Shed, located at one end. The Chelsea Headhunters gathered in The Shed, and it became the stated goal of many opposing hooligan groups to ‘take’ The Shed. Cue many vicious pitched battles for territory. Similar battles took place across the country as the ‘English disease’ (as it became known) spread to all corners of the land.


By Simon Moyse

When compared with styles in the rest of the world, English soccer culture is largely characterized by what it doesn’t have, more than what it does have. At its core it is a very unstructured style, driven less by organization and authority, and more by emotion and spontaneity. Generally speaking, it is more in tune with what is happening on the field than other supporter styles globally. At its best, that can make it a huge part of the emotional rollercoaster that is a great soccer game. At its worst, it can be as dreary as a 0-0 draw at Plymouth on a wet Tuesday night.


By Shawn Wheeler

What does it mean to love?  We sing about it in a lot of our songs, but what’s it actually mean?  Do the words ring hollow, manipulated by modern society?  Or do they have a meaning, something deep and powerful?  Walk with me on a journey through the word and you’ll see why we never stop loving our Sounders. 


By Dylan Vanderhoof

We've already written articles about some of our various forms of tifo; About the flags we wave to show our support during the match, about the chants we sing to lift up our players and fire up the crowd.  However, when most people talk of tifo what they're actually talking about is "choreos", large choreographed displays covering one or more full sections of the stadium.  These can be large painted overhead displays and hoisted curtains taking thousands of man hours to build, card displays in abstract patterns or letter mosaics, table rolls, streamers, and a variety of other elements, often blended in the same display.

By Sean McConnell

In the formative years of the Emerald City Supporters it was determined that we would use a Continental European Style in regards to how the terrace was led on match day. Previous to this, songs were started organically, but there were usually only a handful of people that would actually start the songs. Granted, this was at a time when supporters numbered in the tens, not the thousands.

By Brandon Lynch, ECS FC Director

ECS FC started in 2008, featuring our founders Sean McConnell as a winger and Eric Gilbertson as our goalkeeper, with current presidents Keith Hodo playing centerback and Greg Mockos playing in the midfield.  In its first season, that team finished in GSSL’s lowest division with one point and a -46 goal differential.  The growth of the club since that time has been amazing, this current season we have a team in all 5 of GSSL’s Sunday Men’s divisions.  We also have a team in GSSL’s Over-40 men’s league, RATS women’s division 1, RATS men’s division 2, 3 teams in Arena Sports Indoor, 1 team in Starfire Indoor and 1 team in Starfire Outdoor.  With numerous championships and individual records accumulated across those leagues, ECS FC is a powerhouse of amateur soccer in Seattle.  In addition to all of that, we run our own ECS Pub League for supporters who want to play and get a better understanding of the game they love. 

That’s all great, but the question is: Why? 


By Shawn Wheeler

There are few things a supporter does that are more exhilarating than marching into enemy territory and making it your own home for an evening.  Outnumbered by the home supporters, your only option is to let loose of your vocal cords, raise your two pole and make sure that our players can hear you.  You’ve traveled hundreds or thousands of miles to be there, and there’s nothing on your mind other than getting in, supporting The Boys, taking three points and getting out. 

By Greg Mockos

It’s a simple, straightforward question and the answer can be simple: “because we love our Sounders!” Great answer, but I want to dig even deeper and provide more context than the typical blinded-by-love answer above that you see incessantly on the forums or on blog comment threads.

By ECS Leadership

You’ve seen them, they’ve blocked your view, you’ve heard people complain about them. The BFFs (AKA big fucking flags) are an integral part of ECS support. BFFs are a very impactful element of color and add a fluid dynamic to the Brougham End. BFFs first made their appearance in the ECS section back in 2008 season of the United Soccer Leagues (USL) season. The first one was made of cotton, a mistake as it weighed a ton and did not wave well. The next batch of flags was three silk flags that you can still see waived in the Brougham End today. Sewn by hand, these flags in 2008 added a great visual impact to a group that typically relied on smaller personal flags and two poles.