The Emerald City Supporters have developed a reputation for being integral in the creation of the top atmosphere in Major League Soccer.
A large part of that reputation comes from their frequent use of overhead displays paying homage to everything in the organization, from legendary goalkeeper Kasey Keller to mainstay defender Zach Scott to the club’s historical dominance of the Portland Timbers.
This year, they have been recognized for the Tifo of the Year by MLSsoccer.com for their display covering the entire south end of the stadium prior to the October 7 match against the Timbers. The display depicted head coach Sigi Schmid at a card table with the phrase “Tonight we go all in” emblazoned across the middle and bottom of the display. The Sounders would go on to win the match 3-0 in front of 66,452 in attendance at CenturyLink Field.
“It is a nice accolade to add to our group's achievements. It’s a testament to the power of volunteer work in the ECS. Without people stepping up and giving countless hours of their time, there would be no tifo,” ECS co-president Greg Mockos said. “In addition to our expanding membership base, that allows us to fund such enormous projects. I think it also says a lot that we are able to do these completely independently of the Sounders organization. They are all fully-funded, made, and deployed by Sounder-loving ECS members.”
While the ECS has done incredible things in the stadium for each Sounders FC home match and planned road trips that have made the Sounders the best-represented road team in MLS as well, their work in the community also sets them apart.
Through their own Armed Services Group and the work of Sounders FC vice president of community relations Mike Flood, they have partnered with the Warrior Transition Battalion, bringing recently deployed soldiers and Wounded Warriors to Sounders game, where they enjoy the whole ECS matchday experience.
This year, they added a charity partnership with Special Olympics of Washington, raising money to support the Special Olympics soccer program while also volunteering to help support multiple soccer events, including the Seattle Unified Soccer League – a league for children with and without intellectual disabilities.
After a year of numerous events, including matches pitting the Special Olympics Sounders against the Special Olympics Rapids and Special Olympics Timbers, ECS raised over $7,700 for Special Olympics of Washington. Just as they will with their tifo displays, though, they will be looking to exceed that in 2013.
“ECS is proud to be continuing their partnership with Special Olympics of Washington into 2013, so expect bigger and better things,” said ECS charity coordinator Angeline Bounds.
The Tifo of the Year is part of the MLSsoccer.com year-end series celebrating the Best of 2012.