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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.

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: http://www.weareecs.com/groups/. 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

Emerald City Supporter:

2012 was a year full of ups and downs for our club; a year full of elation followed by devastation; a year of great memories and dashed opportunities. Our beloved Sounders once again turned in a winning season and played their hearts out. Yes, we did not win any silverware – a first for this club at the MLS level – but we also made it further in the playoffs.

The ebb and flow of this season was probably felt more than in the previously three years in MLS. In those first three years the novelty had not worn off, the expectations were contained, and the maturity of our club was still in development. This year we felt more like a tested club that has been around the block, a club that was ready to set a concrete and realistic goal before itself. Not all the goals set were achieved, yet this, I believe, is a new starting point for the club. In certain ways, our first 3 years in MLS felt like our adolescent years: we were maturing, we were figuring out who we were, we were defining what we wanted and how we wanted to play. In 2012, I feel this club matured and truly became aware of its ambitions and identity. 2013 will be a continued maturation process and without a doubt, our Sounders will set the same goals as this past season: continued improvement, silverware, and continue to be a top-tier MLS club.

In the same fashion, the ECS lives and breathes alongside the Sounder organization. We share the same desires and our support matches our players' drive. In parallel to how I described the growth of the club, the ECS has also grown in similar nature. Don't worry, I'm not talking about numbers. Surely we continue to grow, but it is the belief that the ECS is going to be here for a long while that was really cemented in 2012. We are a dedicated group of passionate supporters that have an embedded mentality of passing on our passion and infecting those around us. We have a sustainable structure that enables new members to climb the ranks or empowers members to support the way they want to support. We have a supporter group that can always be relied upon home and away. We are able to do more with less, we are able to reach out to new supporters while still relying on those that have been around a while. We all understand that this group will outlive us and that is an amazing feeling.

The accomplishments and lessons learned in 2012 by the ECS are too many to count. We made amazing tifos, our songs are louder than ever before, our travel is awe-inspiring, our charity efforts are focused, our communication avenues are expanding and improving, and our leadership structure is making strides to accomplish our ultimate objective: enabling our members to support our boys to their fullest. I could make a long run down of specifics, but I don't want to distract you from the underlying vision and goal of this organization. There is a lot we can do better, but we are confident and assured that our vision of the entire Brougham End singing, pogoing, waving, flags, and chanting is well within our reach.

The vision of creating the most inspiring, intimidating, and dedicated supporter end in North America is alive and well. In 2013, we will be one season closer.

See you on the terraces.

Greg Mockos

ECS Co-President

 A New Location

We are excited to announce that ECS FC now has it's own dedicated website.  This is yet another step FC is taking to move towards the goal of US Open Cup qualification in the future.  While the store and forums will continue to run through our main site, there will be more information now available specifically for ECS FC followers on the new site.

The Emerald City Supporters have their own soccer teams. ECS FC was formed by Supporters of the game with the objective of encouraging others who love soccer to join us in supporting Sounders FC. If you’re interested in playing with ECS FC, leave a message on the forums.

Teams

  • Outdoor GSSL – Three different teams that play in Greater Seattle Soccer League on Sundays in the Open Divisions.
  • Indoor Redmond – Plays at Arena Sports in Redmond on Wednesdays in Men’s Division C.
  • Indoor Coed – Plays at Arena Sports in Magnuson on Mondays in Coed Division.
  • Over 40 – Plays in Greater Seattle Soccer League on Wednesday in the Over 40 Divisions.
  • Adult Academy – Sessions teaching adults learning to play soccer. Plays in Co-Rec Soccer Association in lower levels of the Men’s Division.

Join A Team

Interested in playing with ECS FC? Then send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.! We have many teams of all levels, playing throughout the Puget Sound, and on different days of the week.

 

Visit ECS FC

 

All In vs Portscum 2012

 

What is a choreo?

Choreo is short for choreography and is a category of tifo that requires a coordinated effort of the group, usually with large elements such as overhead banners, curtains, or cards but also with displays of flags or two-poles.  These large displays are typically done pre-game and they are on a large scale and can be used to inspire the team and to bring the crowd to a fevered pitch.

How is it created?

This depends on the display and what it entails. For larger projects such as overhead banners, coordinated displays of flags, two-poles, or card displays, it usually involves quite a bit of design work up front and money to purchase materials. It is common to need a large group to do work such as painting large overhead banners, or constructing and placing cards in a pattern inside the stadium for card displays. Volunteers are crucial for these sorts of projects; whether with money for materials beyond that which is raised through memberships or club donations, or with time and talent to paint or sew.

We prefer to make our own tifo. There is more pride and prestige in creating something ourselves, versus just dumping a bunch of stuff off at FedEx Kinko’s or some other high-volume place. Many groups take the easy way out and use mass-produced stuff like this. Mass-produced stuff is easily recognized and doesn’t reflect well on the group, giving the impression that we take the easy way out or the quickest possible shortcut.

The better supporter groups around the world make most of their own stuff. It tends to be more original, edgier, and creative. The time spent creating something as a group fosters teamwork and a bigger sense of belonging to something important. It ties the supporter more to the group and to the club. Mass-produced stuff funded entirely by big corporations, such as the big jersey flags made by Adidas or Nike are created with ulterior motives for advancement of their product. We’d prefer to do our own thing for our own aim!

It is common to use overhead projectors (digital or old-school using a transparency sheet) to transfer complicated images onto fabric. The colors are filled in after the outlines of the image have been created.

Match day, what do I do?

Tifo execution on match day is subject to direction by the capos. Capos are the designated section leaders and usually toward the front leading chants, often with a bullhorn. It is their job to ensure that tifo display execution comes off properly and to communicate to the rank and file what to do. Usually it is discussed what is to occur (in private) days before a match on private sections of the message board and before the game.

Capos are necessary with larger groups because it is impossible to shout instructions to the entire group in a noisy stadium. Without them, a large group can disintegrate into multiple songs/chants going on at the same time, tifos being uncoordinated, etc. Just like the military, a chain of command is necessary for the group as a whole to execute something in a disciplined and unified way.

When a tifo is to be displayed, follow the capos’ direction. Don’t display flags, banners, or other items that are not part of the display while the choreo is going on. If you do not understand what is going on or what is to be done, ask! If you see people next to you who do not understand what is going on, educate them or make sure they get in contact with someone who does.

Upsidedown Banners

This is usually intentional, and not simply carelessness.  If it is their own banner, usually this is a protest of some sort. This could be bad treatment by the club, by the stadium security or police, or other issues.  If it is a rival banner, usually this is a way of mocking a rival group that has had their banner taken.

Guidelines for handling of choreo materials

Do respect the gear. A lot of time went into its creation, treat it and display it with the honor it deserves.

Do watch out for it when not in use so that it stays in good working order. Make sure tifo is stowed properly when not in use to avoid getting them wet, beer/food stains, etc. When flags and two-poles are not in use, they should be placed on the unused seats. Do not place them on the ground. Don’t let tifo be unaccounted for or stolen by infiltrators from rival groups. Also look out for individuals who might think it is okay to take home tifo that was given to them for displaying at the stadium.

At away matches or home matches where contact with rival groups is possible, make sure the gear is secure and take whatever precautions are necessary to avoid it being taken by force by rivals. At away matches where you are outnumbered, transport it with the maximum numbers possible. 

Overhead Banners

When being displayed, pass/unroll the material backwards to the row behind you. When the banner is up, do not wave it or hit on the underside. We want the overheads to lay flat. When taking it down at the capos’ direction, roll the material being passed back to you such that when it reaches the front row, it can easily be re-rolled back out again.

Table Rolls

Hold them as flat and as even as you can and do not wave them. Try to line them up with the rows that are above/below/beside you.

Card Displays

These will be laid out in a matrix so that when each card is held up, it forms a collective image, slogan, or colorful display. Do not move cards, leave them as is, otherwise the image will not be correct! Do make sure your neighbors follow this and hold the card up when prompted. Also try to line them up with the rows that are above/below/beside you.

Two Pole Banners

Make sure they are facing the right direction (the field) and that you hold it flat (no sagging), particularly if multiple two-pole banners are combined for a choreo. For these, follow the capos’ leads on when to hold up and take down. For individual ones, don’t hold them up during organized displays, but feel free to hold them up at any other time. Sometimes during a game a capo will ask everybody to put their two-poles up.

Flags

Read the section on Two Pole Banners plus be cautious of the people around you. We do not want people to get hit with the flag poles. If a flag starts to rip, stop waving it, stow it on the chairs, and let a capo know when possible. The big flags should only be waved by people who know what they are doing. Before the match and before the GA fills up is a good time to try it out. Before matches, we will need people to help with setup, and at the end of matches, help in tear-down and storage. Make sure gear ends up where it originated from, if it is something that is used match-to-match.