Meeting recap: March 2019

Alliance Council Meeting March 5th 2019

By: Carmen Hall

Julius Caesar was warned “beware the ides of March” by a soothsayer– I’m not sure that FC Cincinnati needed an oracle to foresee how their first MLS game might go but there are some things that, in retrospect, seem predetermined by the fates.  Whew, that was fun to watch! This month’s meeting on March 5th could be summarized as follows:

  1. We spent 2/3 of our time talking about the future
  2. Then we wrote the first draft of a Vision/Mission Statement for the Alliance Council
  3. We quickly covered the feedback we’d heard about the Value Menu – we’re passing that along to the Club along with some recommendations for better signage in the stadium to make it easier to find.

That’s it.  That’s what we did.  Technically my write up is done so indulge me and let’s talk about why we blew off the intended agenda to spend so much time in the ‘art of the possible’ space. First, happy 10 years in MLS!  That’s not just a milestone for the Club but for the Alliance as well.  And, as 10 year olds often do, we got slightly introspective and asked ourselves a variant of the age old question: What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up? Adrian has said that the goal is full stadium sellouts within the next 10 years; assuming that our STH ranks scale with that vision, we’re going to welcome a lot more Alliance members into the stands. We recognize that there is a need to evolve the Council to differently represent the Fan voice as the Alliance grows along with the Club vision. We had a really involved conversation on what we thought our opportunities were and, frankly, if we thought that change was attainable.  Generally speaking, we’d like to have Council representation better mirror the Alliance base, be stronger, and more visible.  But we need to define what that looks like and how to get there. Thus enters the Vision/Mission statement. We wanted a North Star – something that we could look at as we make strategic and tactical decisions and check our intentions.   We should be able to tie everything that we do back to the principles that we outlay in our Vision.   We came out of the meeting with an initial draft that we’re bouncing around in email a bit since we wanted some time to let it soak.  This is important, and we want to get it right. This was a really great working session and everyone was participating openly and respectfully as we discussed some hard topics with honesty.  And while everybody really contributed during this exercise, Louis and Todd helped the team think aspirational and Martin managed to herd all us chickens and keep us productive. Look for more on this as we keep working on it. I’m writing this on the morning of Saturday, March 9 – today we play Colorado and here’s hoping for another 3 points at home and staying on the top of the table.  Spring is coming, the days are getting longer, and it only snowed once this week so things are looking good in Soundersland – Scarves up, Seattle, let’s take them all!

Meeting Minutes: February 2019



5 February 2019 – 6.30 pm

Present (14 of 19): Alex Eagleton, Ben Slager, Cameron Collins, Carmen Hall, Gilbert Ko, Jeff Williams, Jerry Neil, Jesse Kilgore, Kelsey Gallo, Martin Buckley, Nicholaus Biela, Molly Wagner, Stephanie Steiner, Todd Cowles

Absent (2): Chris Urquart, Dan Roe

Via telephone (3): Darla Langdon, Lisa Angeles, Louis Garcia

Note: this meeting was scheduled for an early 6.30pm start. Roll was taken at 7.00pm.

I. Call to order: Martin Buckley

II. Roll. Jeff Williams: 14 of 19 present at 7.00pm.

III. Closed session with Garth Lagerwey, GM and President of Soccer: Garth spent time discussing multiple aspects of the forthcoming season with Alliance Council. Thank you to Garth for spending time with us.

IV. Working session: report back from workgroups

Our top collaboration areas with the Front Office will be around Jersey design, Scarf Vote, Alliance Council future state and Inclusion. Inclusion will specifically include areas around perceived affordability and sitting/standing.

JERSEYS. No update.

SCARF VOTE. No update.


INCLUSION. No update.

OUTREACH. No update.



ALLIANCE COUNCIL FUTURE MODEL. Workgroup will meet late February.


PLAYER RECOGNITION. Martin Buckley reported that this project to build a Hall of Fame is broadly supported by the club and Front Office – but the timing for funding and other investment is not right. For 2019 the club will be working on Ten Years in MLS with some specific MLS player recognition this year. Alliance Council will look to be included in that work.

The Hall of Fame/Player Recognition workgroup should meet to wrap up this workstream – with action items and a work back for a future year. Alliance Council will work with the Front Office to secure priorization for this – along with funding.

V. Other business: The club will announce their goal to become Carbon Neutral. Alliance Council recognizes this work and commends the club for their leadership. There is a planned Tree Planting event that Alliance Council have been invited to attend in late February.

Molly Wagner was noted for her work on social media, especially regarding the more human side of the Zulily kit sponsorship announcement.

VI. Adjournment: Moved. Seconded. Council votes unanimously to adjourn.

Meeting Recap: February 2019

Alliance Council Meeting February 5th 2019

By: Carmen Hall

Garth Lagerwey, GM and President of Soccer – and Alliance Council

Happy “wait, since when does it snow in Seattle?” February!

Before I start, here are the two things that I learned about The NINETY when we had our monthly Council meeting on Feb 5:

1) The codes to the bathroom end in * … not # like every other code that we seem to have in our society Just, you know, you have the opportunity to impress someone by getting it right the first time.

2) Bring a hoodie or something – that place is chilly. Awesome, but brrrrrrrr.

On to the meeting!

The first half of our time was spent meeting with Garth Lagerwey, General Manager and President of Soccer – you may remember him from that voting thing last year. While I won’t cover any specifics, I will make a couple of observations about the conversation. First, I marvel at what an opportunity that we, as the SSFC Supporter Community, have with the Democracy in Sports concept. The fact that we are able to have this sort of access to Club leadership is something that we should appreciate as part of the very unique fabric of our Club’s DNA. Secondly, Garth was personable, respectful, straightforward and very generous with his time. This meeting easily could have felt perfunctory – one of those “Ugh, I have to go do this THING with these PEOPLE” meetings – and yet it didn’t. That says a lot about who Garth is as a person and what the Alliance Council has done to foster those relationships over the years. It was great to see.

When Garth was finally pulled away, after a couple of pictures (damn, we’re a good looking group!) we got down to business – an update from some meetings with the Front Office, and then quick read outs from the working groups. On the working group front, most of us are still ramping up so we should start having more to talk about in the next couple of meetings – both Youth Outreach and Merchandising will be on the agenda for March and I expect we’ll see more get added in the next couple of weeks.

We had a big discussion around the current Hot Topic – player recognition. The Alliance Council working team has done an amazing job with some concepts that incorporate community participation in the process and we’re all really excited about it – the feedback from the Front Office is that we’re not aligned with their timing. So, while everyone agrees that recognition is something that’s important, the Council proposal is going to go on the back burner for just a bit. The working team is SO passionate about this that there’s no danger of this just fizzling out, it’s a matter of planning and keeping the pressure on. Keep an eye on this one – we’re not done here!

The last update was from Martin and Stephanie about how we strategically spend the time we get with Front Office representatives. This year, we’ll focus our “Club Time” on the Scarf vote and Jersey design, Inclusion (how do we make the game day experience more inclusive so that all feel welcome and represented) and the Alliance of the Future (how do we evolve, what role does the Alliance play as we move into our second decade in MLS). What this means is that these are the areas we’ll really press into and look for collaboration with the Club as we expand out our ideas.

At this point, we were all pretty cold (I might be projecting a bit) so we had a quick round table ending with a SHOUT OUT WHOOP WHOOP to Molly for k-i-double l- ing it on the socials. She did a fantastic job on the zulily reveal party and really caught some great moments of the guys being… themselves… before the event. High five!

That’s it! First games are right around the corner and, let’s face it, we’re all ready to see the Rave Green back in action. Season Ticket packages are shipping and they just announced some new budget friendly food options… it’s happening, Fam!

So, until the next time… Scarves Up, Seattle!

Meeting Minutes: January 2019



8 January 2019 – 7.00 pm
The Ninety

Present (15 of 19): Alex Eagleton, Ben Slager, Cameron Collins, Carmen Hall, Chris Urquart, Daniel Roe, Jeff Williams, Jerry Neil, Jesse Kilgore, Kelsey Gallo, Lisa Angeles, Louis Garcia, Martin Buckley, Molly Wagner, Stephanie Steiner

Absent (4): Darla Langdon, Gilbert Ko, Nicholaus Biela, Todd Cowles

Via telephone (0): None

Note: this meeting was re-scheduled, so is not counted for Council attendance.

I. Call to order: Martin Buckley

II. Roll. Jeff Williams: 15 of 19 present.

III. Welcome and introduction: Carmen Hall: She wants to participate in conversations about the experience, and to work with the bylaws and constitution. Welcome to Carmen.

IV. Working session – ideation and prioritization of workgroups for 2019:

Council discussed the priorities the we would like to concentrate in 2019. These areas of focus will be the working groups for 2019:

JERSEYS. Cameron Collins volunteered to head up the jerseys group this year. Past groups have worked with the Front Office and with short notice meetings. He would like to get a little more pro-active and have more influence if possible.

SCARF VOTE. Carmen Hall volunteered to head up the scarf vote this year. We have had successes in the past and would like to continue with the influence we have had. Martin Buckley offered to help with the online and Alliance Council voting piece.

CONCESSIONS. Alex Eagleton is heading up the workgroup, and some priorities are: diversification on beer selection, to work on a better choice of food in the Club area, and affordable meal packages.

INCLUSION. Chris volunteered to lead the workgroup to review and make recommendations on a broad range of inclusion issues such as sitting/standing, people with various disabilities and their matchday experiences, and affordability of the match day.

OUTREACH. Nicholaus Biela volunteered to lead the workgroup to focus on outreach. This will be done in conjunction with Molly Wagner and her focus on communications and social media. The goal is to increase the awareness and visibility of the Alliance Council and how the Council is involved with matters that impact the Alliance.

AWAY TRAVEL EXPERIENCE. Chris Urquart volunteered to lead the workgroup to look into a premium travel opportunity. Alex summarized the work that had been completed in the past – namely that for most away matches tickets are allocated to the various Supporter Groups through the Front Office and there had been little demand for a premium travel offering.

YOUTH OUTREACH. Todd Cowles was nominated to lead this workgroup to link the visibility to Council and maybe include links to new Club activities. Cameron Collins talks about the future and how the youth can contribute to the future.

ALLIANCE COUNCIL FUTURE MODEL. Martin Buckley and Jeff Williams will set up a workgroup to continue to investigate and make recommendations on Alliance Council future state. The workgroup will address questions such as what does the Council look like in 5 years to 10 years from now.

MERCHANDISE AND SIZES. Kelsey Gallo volunteered to lead this workgroup, looking into inclusive sizes and more. The group is exploring what kind of merchandise kids would like. Looking at extended size ranges – we’ve had requests for larger sizes for several years.

PLAYER RECOGNITION. Molly will lead this workgroup to continue the work on player recognition.

Some other ideas discussed but not prioritized include:

  • Survey to promote and find data
  • Create a group meet your neighbor
  • Grass v Turf: energy can be spent better in other areas
  • Ten years of The Alliance: content created from this project in 2018 will be posted to the Alliance Council website and added to over time.

V. Proposed Bylaw 12 – Voting Procedure for Executive Committee: Second Reading. Minor punctuation and typographical improvements were accepted. Section 12.2 – strike “nomination by the nominating committee” replace with “nomination by the election committee.” Unanimous vote for acceptance with changes. This Bylaw is accepted and incorporated into the Alliance Constitution and Bylaws.

VI. Opinion Statement honoring Sigi Schmid: Cameron Collins proposed an Opinion Statement honoring Sigi Schmid. After review and some light editing this was unanimously voted to be accepted. Kelsey Gallo and Molly Wagner volunteered to write additional language to support the Opinion Statement.

VII. Player Recognition:

There was a presentation from Molly Wagner and Kelsey Gallo on creative ideas for a Hall of Fame. The group would want to make a plaque per person that tells the story and playing history. There was a mock-up presented; it was received well as the direction for the presentation.

There was discussion on the nomination and approval process. A nominating committee and screening committee will be set up after the decision on how the members will be selected. It was proposed to create a board would form the selection committee. We want to determine how to accept a nomination and how to vote them in.

Martin Buckley urged that these ideas need to urgently be put in front of the Sounders Front Office to get feedback on whether the project is possible.  The plaque idea is the preferred design; The designs have been drafted but need more work. The workgroup will work over the coming weeks to bring the creative ideas and the process to a single, short presentation that can be used to gather support and gauge interest from the Front Office.

VIII. Other business: Martin Buckley and Stephanie Steiner have a sync call with the Front Office to align these workgroups and projects with the Front Office.

IX. Adjournment: Moved. Seconded. Council votes unanimously to adjourn.

Recognizing Sigi Schmid

Sigi Schmid

He was a man we are lucky to have had in Seattle.

Sigi Schmid, had an ability to look beyond a player’s abilities and see their potential. He gave  them chances. He put his faith in players and he built the foundation of a team with them versus around them. He gave players the opportunity to earn their spot on the field, and lead with a positive attitude in the locker room and in public

His methods gained players’ trust and offered them a level of reassurance as if to say, “Don’t worry. You’ve got this. Try again. Prove everyone saying you can’t, wrong”.  He understood the value of veteran players sharing their experiences and mentoring the rookies. Trust on the pitch isn’t just coach to player but player to player. The team belonged to the team. They were victorious together. They fought, they fell, and they succeeded.

Sigi passed away December 25th 2018 as the most successful coach in MLS history. He left an undeniable mark on US soccer and his legacy goes beyond his statistics. It goes to the heart of every player that he has ever worked with.

In soccer there is often no greater sign of respect to leadership then calling them by the title they have earned or stepped up to the challenge to take.

With this in mind, thank you Coach Schmid.


WHEREAS, Sigi Schmid was the first ever Manager of the MLS Seattle Sounders FC, coaching the Club from 2009 to 2016;

WHEREAS, during his tenure as Manager, the Club compiled a record of 158 wins, 65 draws, and 105 losses, reaching the playoffs in every season he coached;

WHEREAS, during his tenure as Manager, the Club won a Supporters Shield and four U.S. Open Cups;

WHEREAS, during his tenure as manager, Coach Schmid created a culture of winning and family at the Club that survives to this day;

WHEREAS, Coach Schmid is the all-time winningest coach in Major League Soccer history;

WHEREAS, Coach Schmid has been honored by the National Soccer Hall of Fame and the UCLA Athletic Hall of Fame;

WHEREAS, it is timely, upon Coach Schmid’s death, to reflect upon his role in transforming the sport that we love;

NOW THEREFORE, the Alliance Council honors Sigi Schmid for all that he has done for the Seattle Sounders FC Club and Community, as well as for soccer in the US. While he will be missed, the mark that he left upon the sport will be felt for generations to come.

Opinion Statement adopted by Alliance Council, 8 January 2019 

Meeting recap: January 2019

Alliance Council Meeting January 8th 2019

By: Stephanie Steiner

The NINETY’S mannequins are ready for a rousing match of Shirts vs Skins
Image of mannequins, some with shirts, some without.
The NINETY’S mannequins are ready for a rousing match of Shirts vs Skins

Welcome new Council Member Carmen Hall!  Carmen reached her 25th vote about an hour before the meeting started.  We’re happy to have her.

Tonight’s meeting was about 2019’s priorities, what work groups we’d like to create, and our expectations for the year.  We spent a good hour in the conversation about how work groups work effectively and what causes stalls.  Many of the normal working teams are there for things you’ve seen in the past: scarf vote, jersey team, outreach, food &beverage, etc.  A blast from the past this year:  Merchandise – not limited to attire, but that could be a dominant focus and we’d like to have some youth feedback too. We are quite frustrated that sitting v. standing was flat-out shut down, and we think you are too. We’re looking to address this one differently.

We passed a bylaw that codifies how the voting procedures for the Executive Committee will work – nothing terribly exciting here, but it’s easier to do this than look up stuff in Sturgis.  Who am I kidding? It’s easier to do this than go find my copy of Sturgis.

We also passed a statement honoring former Coach Sigi Schmid, who passed away on December 25th, 2018.  The statement was penned by Cameron Collins (Thanks Cam!), and we’ll get it posted here on our site as soon as an introductory statement has been written. This is posted here. Please feel free to leave your memories and comments.

There’s progress regarding Player Recognition (Ring of Honor? Hall of Fame? Who to include? What are the limitations? ) Some very nice work has been done regarding the voting procedures (great work, Cameron) and the addition of visual references (way to go Kelsey Gallo).  Next the group needs to finalize it so that it can go to the front office for feedback and suggestions for moving forward.

That left us with a little time for open conversation and wrap up.  January 8th was a rescheduled meeting and does not count toward our attendance tally.

Meeting Minutes: December 2018



4 December 2018 – 7.00 pm – Rave Green Conference Room

Present (15 of 18): Martin Buckley, Stephanie Steiner, Daniel Roe, Nicholas Biela, Todd Cowles, Ben Slager, Cameron Collins, Molly Wagner, Kelsey Gallo, Jesse Kilgore, Gilbert Ko, Chris Urquart, Lisa Angeles, Jeff Williams and Louis Garcia

Absent (3): Alex Eagleton, Darla Langdon, Jerry Neil

Via telephone (0): None

I. Call to order: Martin Buckley

II. Roll. Cameron Collins: 15 of 18 present.

III. Matchday presentation update: Todd Albright. Todd described some proposed changes to matchday presentation.

IV. Welcome and introductions: New Council members. Kelsey Gallo, Ben Slager, Louis Garcia, Chris Urquart. Each new member introduced themselves; described why they joined Alliance Council – and what they hope to achieve.

V. Recap of Executive Committee Nomination and Voting Procedure: Martin Buckley

VI. Nomination of Election Committee: Daniel Roe and Jesse Kilgore were declared by proclamation to be the members of the Election Committee.

VII. Nominations and Elections for Executive Committee.

President: Martin Buckley was nominated to be Council President and ran without opposition.

Martin Buckley was declared President of the Alliance Council for 2018-2019 Council Year.

Vice President: Stephanie Steiner was nominated to be Council Vice President and ran without opposition.
Stephanie Steiner was declared Vice President of the Alliance Council for the 2018-2019 Council Year.

Secretary: Nicholaus Biela, Darla Langdon and Jeff Williams nominated themselves to run for Alliance Council Secretary. After each candidate delivered thoughts on why they should be elected Secretary and Council asked questions, a vote was taken. Darla Langdon had prepared comments delivered by Stephanie Steiner. Nicholas and Jeff tied in the voting in the first round.

Jeff was elected Secretary of the Alliance Council for the 2018-2019 Council Year.

At Large Position 1 (focus on outreach): Todd Cowles, Nicholaus Biela and Darla Langdon nominated themselves to run for At Large Position 1. After each candidate delivered thoughts on why they should be elected and Council asked questions, a vote was taken. Darla Langdon had prepared comments delivered by Stephanie Steiner.

Nicholaus was elected At Large Position 1 (outreach) of the Alliance Council for the 2018-2019 Council Year.

At Large Position 2 (focus on social media): Molly Wagner and Darla Langdon nominated themselves to run for At Large Position 2. After each candidate delivered thoughts on why they should be elected and Council asked questions, a vote was taken. Darla Langdon had prepared comments delivered by Stephanie Steiner.

Molly was elected At Large Position 2 (social media) of the Alliance Council for the 2018-2019 Council Year.

The 2018-2019 Alliance Council Executive Committee is: Martin Buckley, Stephanie Steiner, Jeff Williams, Nicholaus Biela and Molly Wagner.

VIII. Proposed Bylaw 12 – Voting Procedure for Executive Committee: First Reading

This proposed bylaw was reviewed and modified by Council. This will move forward to Second Reading at the January 2019 meeting.

IX. Matchpass charitable donation process. Council discussed and reviewed several options for our annual charitable donation from Matchpass proceeds. RAVE Foundation was nominated as the charity to receive these funds.

Moved for a vote. Seconded. Passed unanimously by Council.

X. Other business

The next meeting will be 8 January 2019. This is a rescheduled meeting – so will not count for attendance purposes.

Workgroups and priorities for 2019. Council were asked to prepare for the January meeting and consider the workgroups that are of most importance.

Player recognition. Nicholaus prepared some additional material for review which will be shared with the Council.

XI. Adjournment

Moved. Seconded. Council votes unanimously to adjourn.

New Alliance Bylaw: codifying the voting procedures for Alliance Council Executive

9 January 2019

By Martin Buckley

Alliance Council is structured and operates according to the rules set out in The Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure – except where clarified or modified by the Alliance Constitution and Bylaws.

The Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure is informally known as “Sturgis” and previously as The Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure by Alice Sturgis. This is similar to the more well known Robert’s Rules of Order.

Bylaw 12 was written, reviewed and adopted by the Alliance Council in January 2019. It describes the procedures for nomination and voting for the Alliance Council Executive Committee.


Voting for members of the Executive Committee is carried out at the first business meeting of the Alliance Council business year as defined in the Constitution and Bylaws.
Vote tallying, scrutineering and counting is performed by an Election Committee, convened exclusively for this annual election.

The order of elections is:

  1. President
  2. Vice President
  3. Secretary
  4. Treasurer (if required)
  5. At Large positions
    The composition of the Executive Committee is described in the Alliance Council Constitution and Bylaws.

12.1 Election Committee. At least two Alliance Council members, who are present at the first meeting of the business year, and who are not standing for membership of the Executive Committee shall be chosen to conduct the election and act as the Election Committee.
12.2 Nominations. Alliance Council members may self-nominate, or be nominated, for any of the positions on the Executive Committee.
• An Alliance Council Member may contact the outgoing Executive Committee by email after the final business meeting of the business year, but prior to the first business meeting of the next business year and state which position for which they would like to be nominated.
• Any Council Member can give a nomination from the floor during the announcements of the nominations by the Election Committee.
12.3 Nomination and Voting. The following procedure is used to nominate and vote for the members of the Executive Committee:
• The outgoing Alliance Council President, or other member of the outgoing Executive Committee, will pass any nominations for each Executive Committee position to the Election Committee.
• The Election Committee will first give the names of the nominees for the office of Alliance Council President received prior to the first business meeting.
• The Election Committee will then ask for nominations from the floor for the office of Alliance Council President.
• Voting will then take place for the office of Alliance Council President.
• This process will continue for each office until all have been completed.
• The order of nomination and voting is:
o President
o Vice President
o Secretary
o Treasurer (if required)
o At Large positions
• An Alliance Council member can be nominated for multiple positions.
• An Alliance Council member nominated for multiple positions is removed from the nomination pool for subsequent positions once elected.
• An Alliance Council member can withdraw from the election at any point during nomination or voting
• If a nominee is unopposed, the nominee is elected by declaration
• For offices with two or more nominees, each nominee will be given up to five minutes to speak to and take questions from the Alliance Council as to why they should be elected.
• If a nominee cannot be present at the meeting, they can submit a speech ahead of time to a member of the Alliance Council to read on their behalf.
• After the conclusion of the speeches, the Election Committee will manage ballots for Council Members to cast their votes. The votes will be returned to the Election Committee.
• Members of the Election Committee will count the votes to ensure the validity of the vote.
• In the event of a tie with three (3) or more nominees: The lowest vote nominee will be removed from the election pool, and the vote re-run
• In the event of a tie with two (2) nominees: there will be a drawing of lots (for example drawing a name from a hat). This drawing of lots will be overseen by the Election Committee.
• At Large positions are separate positions on Executive Committee and each vote is independent of the others.
• Voting is in-person. There is no proxy or voting by telephone.
12.4 Recording of Election results.
• Vote totals are not retained outside of the count and scrutiny requirements of the Election Committee.
• Vote totals are not recorded in official minutes.
• Official minutes should record the nominations, the winner of the election and whether the nomination was unopposed.
12.5 Voting for Vacancies outside of the first business meeting.
If an Executive Committee position becomes open, through resignation or expansion of the Executive Committee, the above procedures should be used to elect a replacement member of the Executive Committee from the Alliance Council.

Recognising a new Supporter Group

10 December 2018

By Martin Buckley

Alliance Council often hears of fans looking to set up as a Supporter Group. Back in March 2017 we sat down with the four current Supporter Groups and created a process to recognise new Supporter Groups.

If you are interested in the detail – it’s all documented here as part of that discussion.

To be recognised as a new Supporter Group – there are several administrative steps required:

  • Identified group leadership which is responsible for coordination and can speak on behalf of the group
  • At least twenty-five (25) identified, paid members
  • Organized participation as a group in support activities
  • Established history of conducting supporter group activities in support of the Club
  • Have appropriate corporate entity registration with their local state (for example non-profit, 501(c)3 etc
  • Make a request for recognition as a Supporter Group to the Executive Committee or other Committee created by the Alliance Council assigned to this task.
  • Provide documentation to the Executive Committee showing that all the required standards set forth above have been met.