Emerald City Supporter,

2013 was a year that started off with disappointment, followed by euphoria, and ending in utter failure. The 2013 Sounders season can best be described as a “tease”, especially as far as supporters are concerned. At times we played some of the best football our club has ever played to then be followed by un-recognizable, un-Sounders football that had us all frustrated in the stands. It was the type of year that tested us as individuals and as a group. There were a lot of negative firsts as well: worst road record which weighed heavily on the minds of the thousands of ECS that travelled in 2013, and some embarrassing Cascadia clash results which left some in a state of downright anger. What is important though is that we stuck together and supported throughout. In fact, the ECS stepped up on several occasions during this season that provided me and should provide you with a great sense of pride.

As a group, we travelled just as well, if not better than years past considering we had more Cascadia away trips. Our tifos were inspirational as usual with the added use of new techniques that put our displays on par with world football tifo choreographies. We have improved our social media impact greatly and have streamlined our membership and merchandising. ECS FC has reached new heights by continuously growing, signing a sponsorship deal, and expanding the ECS Pub league. Our subgroups have stayed the same in number, but their membership has grown and solidified and are now crucial parts of the ECS on the road and at home in the Brougham End.

Most importantly in 2013, I feel that, with the growth of our section and more supporters standing next to each other in the supporters section, our level of support has improved. Our songs keep getting louder and are spreading. There is no question that, unlike 2009, our songs are now an integral part of Sounders lore, intertwined with the club and its fanbase for decades to come.  To a certain degree I feel as if 2013 was a consolidation year for our group and fanbase. The novelty has worn off, we have not won silverware for 2 seasons, expectations are still high, and there is always optimism for the years to come.

2014 will see some changes in the ECS that provide a continuation of our vision of one day filling the entire Brougham End with the ECS style of support. Many of these changes are new people stepping up and into new roles and other changes are simply process related or organizational. I will spare you from the details as I will leave it up to Aaron Reed, the new ECS co-president to outline them later this offseason. Yes, you read correctly, Aaron Reed is the new ECS co-president with me. Keith Hodo, whom I would like to thank immensely for his dedication, passion, and fervor for the group, will be stepping down as co-president and will be managing game-day operations full-time in 2014. Aaron will be the front office and MLS liaison for the ECS in 2014. Aaron will also be responsible for interviews with media. Aaron was chosen by Keith and I and approved by ECS leadership and Board of Governors to be the new co-president because of his work as prior travel director for ECS and his ability to negotiate with the front office and team officials. Aaron has all the tools necessary and should have your full backing as ECS co-president as I am thoroughly convinced he will advance the ECS agenda over the years to come.

I will remain a co-president, but I will be focusing on tasks that need to be accomplished behind the scenes. I will also provide Aaron with background and historical information in order to not miss a step and provide continuity.

I would like to close this write-up with a personal message to you, the Emerald City Supporter. We need to realize as a group and as individual members that the ECS and supporter culture are still in their infancy in North America. Yes, it has been 5 years, but we are still at the beginning. We are, in some respects, learning as we go. We are learning in the same way that storied supporter groups around the world had to learn over the past 100 years. We are still in a very unique position to be at the beginning of something - to be there when it all started. To me, the prospect of being part of the creation of something that is bigger than yourself and that will outlive you, has to be one of the most thrilling things in life. As you know, it is when children are in their infancy that they are the easiest to meld into the people we want them to be. To a certain extent the ECS is the same way. We are a reflection of what our members do and what they want. The ECS isn’t the way it is and wont be the way it will be because of ECS leadership decisions, it will become what its members want it to become. So I ask you, the Emerald City Supporter, to take ownership and realize that we need your help in every aspect of what we do, every day, to move this group forward and to morph the ECS into what we want it to be: a world class supporters group that fills the Brougham End supporting our beloved Sounders while instilling a sense of fear in opponents and their supporters. Long live the ECS!

See you on the terraces,

Greg Mockos

ECS Co-President