By Greg Mockos
This is the final part of our series on supporter cultures from around the world, starting with the English, Continental European and South American styles and then the MLS style, a blend of the three. So the next obvious question is what support style do the Emerald City Supporters embrace?
The ECS style of support can best be described as a blend of German and Italian influence with the infusion of English style chants and the community aspect of South American barras. The ECS sings for the full 90, we deploy tifo, wave scarves, we pogo and we are supported by a closely knit community of supporters who engage on and off match day. So how did this come to be? The answer is highly complex and almost impossible to answer as the group is so dynamic and has significantly evolved since its day in the United Soccer Leagues (USL). However, let me say that there was no magnificent plan about the ECS style or explicit direction that was chosen by a few individuals. The ECS style came to be mainly due to the work of the individuals that gave the group its structure and, most importantly, membership. As some of you may know ECS members have diverse experience supporting in other countries, mostly Germany, England, Italy, Argentina, Colombia, Mexico, and even Finland. Naturally, those members' contributions to the group over the years shaped the group’s style and image.
Today the ECS is able to intimidate rival teams and supporters with deafening chants. The ECS organized the first and the largest march to the match in North America. Several ECS songs have spread to being sung stadium wide due to the awesome interaction we have with the Sounders faithful. The ECS has a reputation for having best and largest tifo, drawing accolades from supporter groups around the world. The ECS has a proud crew of capos that inspire the Brougham End to sing for a full 90. The ECS has its own football club, with numerous championships in local leagues. The ECS is a tightly knit community of supporters at its foundation. All of these components, and many more, are evidence of the fact that the ECS has its own style and that was inspired by influences from outside North America. We continue to observe other groups in North America, Europe and South America so that we can continue to learn and evolve. At the present the ECS style is something that you can immediately recognize whether at home or away. The fact that we were able to achieve an identity within the supporter group world, where imitation is common place, is testament to our membership and to the notion that there is in fact a distinct ECS style that is embraced by all our members.