the largest ECS membership bump, bringing in over 2400 new members. It was also clear that the ECS was now a permanent fixture, an integral part to the Sounders community. Nothing cemented this more, than

the Decades of Dominance tifo


The effects of this tifo were immense and surely overshadowed the other amazing tifos we did in 2011. The importance of the tifo was that it sent a clear message to the team, took a dig at our rivals, and unified the entire stadium (remember the noise level when that thing went up?!). This tifo and the rivalry drew renewed interest in supporter groups, including the ECS. As a result, we saw increased exposure on national media and the ECS name got out there. Everyone was infatuated with the Sounders in 2009 and 2010. There was fear that in 2011 the shine would have rubbed off. Everyone wanted to put our rivals in the spotlight. But with that tifo, and our support throughout the year, the ECS made a clear statement that "We are here and we are still the best at what we do."

2011 was also a record year for travel. We brought, on average, 70 supporters to EVERY MLS regular season match, including matches in faraway CONCACAF Champions League (CCL) locales. We organized busloads of supporters to travel to Portland and Vancouver and even managed to pull off some excellent away tifo. Seeing over 800 travel north and south was a sight to see – reminiscent of traveling supporters overseas. Without a doubt, away travel is one of the areas in ECS which generates core members. Traveling away cements the love with the club and creates a bond with fellow supporters unlike anything else we do. That is why it is a huge part of what we do – right up there with tifo and singing on game day.

Last, but not least, ECS was also able to further funnel more members into the GA section as it was done the previous year. This time we managed to add 60 ECS. And during the season we could now start claiming all of 122 and half of 121 and 123. One element that helped us in this endeavor was the continued emergence of our subgroups. Subgroups have been forming since 2009 and have grown since then. ECS has several regional subgroups and if you are interested please go here: Subgroups assist the ECS by organizing supporters without the direct supervision of the leadership team. They help magnify the effect of what the ECS does. All subgroup members are required to be ECS members first.

I have written a lot and but have really just skimmed the surface recounting ECS' history in MLS. I hope you have enjoyed the 4 parts of this series. When 2012 is over, I will write a summary of this year as well. It is important that newer members understand at what point in the group's life they joined. Some have been here forever; some have just joined and may be oblivious to the growing pains, the successes and the failures that this group has encountered. I hope these articles provide some perspective, or, at the bare minimum, elicit a degree of curiosity from the reader. I hope this curiosity will take the form of members wanting to ask questions and discuss the history of our group with long standing veterans of the Brougham End. Doing this helps begin a dialogue to learn from our past and bring new ideas in order to make our future even brighter.

Up the Sounders! Up the ECS!

Greg Mockos

ECS Co-President