2009 was great year, but the sudden growth that we saw put a massive strain on all those who helped run the group. We had not anticipated the Sounders and ECS to be as successful as it has been ever since. We nailed it in 2009, but we still were not very organized. Several individuals did multiple tasks, did not delegate, and we found ourselves constantly overlapping roles to cover as our "real lives" got in the way. The offseason before 2010 we acknowledged this fact and set forth the correct it. We had to manage our tasks better and had to seek out help. We also had learned several lessons from 2009 about the GA section and how to better manage it.


At the onset of the 2010 season we set out to accomplish two sets of objectives: external and internal.

The main external objectives were to increase ECS' presence in the south end and the GA. whereas the "Brougham End" and "Brougham Faithful" mottos were used; it was in 2010 that they were truly implemented voluntarily. We saw it as a way to bring the entire south end together regardless of whether the supporters were ECS or not. We also managed to get over 200 ECS members (who had signed up in the offseason) to get into the GA as there was significant change-out of season tickets. The other major external objective was the introduction of the PA system. We needed a means to reach all those supporters in the Brougham End and due to the acoustics at Qwest Field this was only achievable with a large scale, two speaker PA system. Bullhorns weren't doing the job.

We were able to successfully achieve our objectives in 2010. We had more members in the GA section. We had greater participation. Now all of 122 were in tune and on the same page. We had more flags up and waving across the GA. We also were able to manage getting the stadium to participate in more of our songs with the call and repeat, the boom boom clap (BBC), and so forth. Sounder fans were growing to understand that the ECS wanted everyone to stand, support, and chant and the effect was magical. Remember the USOC final? Yeah, I do. It was amazing support.

The main internal objective for the ECS was to formalize an organizational structure. We decided to form a board of directors (which included Yukataninja, myself, Keith Hodo, Sean McConnell, EricG, Justin Adair, and Finnfan). We also split the group into disciplines or sectors: tifo (Rob Scott aka Size8), website (Mark Inderhees aka Yukataninja), membership/merch (Justin Adair aka Drephe and Ciana Nickel), travel (Arthur Kim aka liquidmj), propaganda (Nisha Miles), game day operations (Sean McConnell aka Ultra666), ECS FC (Brandon Lynch aka Skarpian) and security (Jason Ross aka null78). These individuals sought out to organize and recruit help in their respective sectors. It was a learning experience for all involved. We had to learn to stay within our respective boundaries and not overlap and double up work – something that is easier said than done.

Regardless, this re-organization led to become a team that could support a much larger group so that the organizers stopped being the bottleneck when it came to ECS' growing numbers; numbers which reached 2000 new members by the end of the 2010 season. When all was said and done, the re-organization helped focus the group and expand into areas and improve our performance as a supporters group from tifo to song participation, from online social media to gear, as well as travel.

In 2010, ECS was also officially registered as a 501.3 non charitable nonprofit organization in the State of Washington. We set up a bank account – so that we did not have to deal with ECS funds as individuals. We also began the process of trademarking of our logo and name. ECS was becoming a hot commodity and we needed to protect our identity.

Did I forget to mention 2010 tifo? Wow, we did a lot of tifo in 2010. The ECS became the tifo standard in 2010. We used several new techniques as you can see here: The new things we tried were the use of cards in our displays. We also tried vertical banners and combinations of overheads and flags/cards. The use of cards in display is important and I will emphasize it. The use of cards in a display requires organization. It is done to create a massive effect without the need for cumbersome overheads. However, not every group can pull this off due to either small numbers or to poor organization. Note the difference in these two displays and you make the call: and The increased complexity of our tifo in 2010 is a direct reflection of a group that is more organized than in 2009 as well as more numerous and in more control of its own section.

And we all know where we went in 2012….but you'll have to wait for the 2011 season until next month for Part 4 of the ECS in MLS articles!