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.

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.

Meeting Minutes: November 2018



November 6, 2018 – 7:00 PM – The NINETY

Present (13 of 17): Lisa Angeles, Nicholaus Biela, Nick Biesold, Martin Buckley, Cameron Collins, Todd Cowles, Alex Eagleton, Roberta King, Darla Langdon, Jerry Neil, Stephanie Steiner, Molly Wagner, and Jeff Williams.

Via telephone (0): None.

Absent (4): Michael Dollard, Jesse Kilgore, Gilbert Ko, and Daniel Roe.

I. Call to order: Martin Buckley

II. Roll: Cameron Collins: 13 of 17 Present

III. Farewell to the 2017-2018 Council: Council President Martin Buckley thanks all of the Council Members who are attending their final Meeting for their service. There are three current Council Members whose terms are up and they are hoping to get their votes to return next Council year.

IV. 2018-2019 Council Voting Procedures: Voting rules laid out for Council elections that will occur next month, the first Meeting of the Council year. These rules were first developed by Council Member Daniel Roe and then laid out by Council President Martin Buckley.  Here is a brief outline of the procedure for the vote:

  • The order of elections will be 1. President, 2. Vice President, 3. Secretary, 4. Treasurer (if required) and 5. At Large positions.
  • Nominations may be made advance or at the Meeting where voting is to take place. Alliance Council Members may be nominated to self-nominate for any of the positions upon which the Council will be voting.
  • Two Council Members who are not standing for election to the Executive Committee will oversee the elections as the Election Committee.
  • For positions that are unopposed, the nominee is elected unanimously. For positions with two or more candidates, each nominee will be given two minutes to speak to Council about as to why Council should vote for that candidate. If a nominee is not present, another Council Member may speak on their behalf.
  • Whomever receives the most votes will be elected to that position.

A question was raised in Council about the role of the Treasurer. This position is not currently voted upon by Council and exists in the Constitution in the event that Council has a budget to manage. At that time, Council will elect a Treasurer.

A question was raised about the role of the At Large members of the Executive Committee. Council talked in the last several months about making the At Large members responsible for specific tasks. One of the At Large positions should be the social media person. The second At Large position will focus on Outreach. The goal for this person will be to focus on the Season Ticket Members in the stands, helping them to understand that they have more than a commercial relationship with the club.

V. Sounders Player Recognition: Player Recognition workgroup had a phone call to further discuss how to develop this. The voting process would take place by the Council as a whole. The rough plan is having the framework for how to enshrine people in place and once that is set and have Council has elected its inaugural class, a presentation will be made to the Front Office laying out the entire plan. This project needs to be put on a fast track to make sure it gets done.

VI. Other business

Alliance Stories: This project seems to have stalled. On a recommendation from Stephanie Steiner, the content that was written will be posted as longer form blog posts or stories on the Alliance Council website.
Community outreach: Darla gave an update on her conversation with the Front Office regarding this topic.
Garage sale: Four Alliance Council members supported this event.

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


Meeting Minutes: October 2018



October 2, 2018 – 7:00 PM – The NINETY

Present (12 of 17):

Martin Buckley, Cameron Collins, Todd Cowles, Michael Dollard, Alex Eagleton, Jesse Kilgore, Roberta King, Gilbert Ko, Darla Langdon, Daniel Roe, Molly Wagner, and Jeff Williams.

Via telephone (0):


Absent (5):

Lisa Angeles, Nicholaus Biela, Nick Biesold, Jerry Neil, and Stephanie Steiner.

I. Call to order – Martin Buckley

II. Roll – Cameron Collins: 12 of 17 Present

III. Council Work Sessions

Retired & Notable Player Recognition:

  • Key questions include: Who do we include? (1970s to the Present?) How do we honor them? Where do we honor them? When do we honor them? What is the process for deciding who to honor?
  • Nicholaus Biela submitted a framework. Dan, Nick, Jerry, Roberta, Alex, Molly, Cameron in the group. Discussion was held in the Facebook group on how the recognition should be carried out. The group liked the idea of a Hall of Fame type structure that would be presented by the Alliance. The group looked in to how the other local teams deal with honoring players. Council will start off developing the process and then sell the Club on recognizing what we are working on once we have decided on procedure.
  • How is this different from the golden scarf? How do we differentiate between this and what the club does? What is the dream scenario? Ideas the Council put forth included: a ring of honor similar to the Seahawks, stars on a walk of fame type thing, bricks honoring the individuals. The key ideas are to look in to big ideas, find a solution that is accessible and visible to the Sounders fanbase. Another option mentioned was bricks from the March to the Match to the stadium where you walk over the names of the legends, making them a part of every march.
  • Council can make opinion statements honoring players. That provides a level below a Hall of Fame type honor.

Alliance Business Meeting 2018:

Council President Martin Buckley had a call with the Front Office to start working on the meeting. The Club is currently looking at other potential venues that are somewhere in the 200-300 person capacity range. It will likely be held during the FIFA break, most likely the 13th or 14th of November due to the other events going on that week.

2017 meeting: At the end of the year, everyone received a survey from the front office. It had two questions…. 1) did you attend and how was it? 2) if you didn’t attend, what would make you attend? 5% very satisfied, 10% somewhat satisfied, 80% did not participate, 3% were somewhat unsatisfied, 2% were very unsatisfied. Last year we primarily streamed it and had some in people present in person. There were 70 seats for the general public that were given out by a lottery. Every single person who applied was offered a seat, yet there were people who didn’t show up, leaving open seats. The #1 complaint was that people wanted it in person, but the people who complained either didn’t request a seat or didn’t show up.

The only exception in the attendance numbers year by year was an uptick in the year of the Schmetzer announcement. At that time there were also locker room tours, autographs, and other such events. Those types of events are now separate, as they have become part of the summer celebration. The Club has committed to doing that event moving forward. The Alliance Business Meeting is now just about the business of the alliance. The fun event is during the summer.

Questions for the Council and Club to consider: how important is in person attendance? How important is streaming? 3x to 4x the in person attendance watched online. Streaming is important because people can also watch it after the fact. What if there is a memento for the people who win the lottery and get to come to the meeting?

10 Years of the Alliance:

Interest from the Council in moving this forward seems to have dried up. If there are multiple articles, there can be a longer form text with photos/videos in a timeline. Molly Wagner will still be interviewing former and current Council Presidents. She has been interviewing Paul Cox. Next, she will interview Stephanie and Martin. If any Council Members have input or comments, engage on the TEAMS site. If we do not get more content, we will not be able to carry out the project, so the Council must lean in to get it done.

Recognition of Council Members:

One of the things to propose for the new council come December, we need to start finding a way to reward those who do work. At that time, Council will revisit some of the previous ideas proposed to do this.

IV. GM Vote:

A lot of people voted online and in person when the vote launched. Voting then slowed down, but jumped again at the next home match. Council wants the club to push the vote before the next match and during halftime, as well a use a push notification on the app.

V. Next Alliance Council Meeting:

The next Council Meeting is the week before the Annual Business Meeting. Should we have a meeting or reschedule like we have in the past? The Council says yes, there will be a meeting next month. It will be the first Tuesday of November. The following week will be the ABM. December is the start of our new business year.

VI. Adjournment

Moved. Seconded. Council votes unanimously to adjourn.