The Weirdest Sounders FC Match I've Ever Been To

Seattle took three points, second in the West

September 17, 2019
ECS walked out of the match 9/15/2019

Heading into halftime with a 2-1 lead, things seemed pretty normal and super positive inside CenturyLink. 

Some moments into the second half, Emerald City Supporters started packing up their flags and shouting at members in their large, multi-section, supporters group to exit and things got really weird. 

ECS members left the match following the ejection of one of their leaders. That leader was breaking a rule set by MLS about not flying political imagery inside a stadium. The political imagery in question is the Iron Front logo and it's three downward facing arrows - a symbol flown against the oppressive forces of fascism a century ago. 

ECS walked out of the match 9/15/2019

The ensuing commotion and following vacuum changed the tone of that stadium like I've never experienced. Over the course of the following 15-20 minutes, flags were packed away, fans vacated - some trying to find another unused seat - and the murmuring went into full effect. Not everyone in ECS was ready to stop supporting their team:

ECS walked out of the match 9/15/2019

Eventually, someone would come and gather that flag.

The entire process took my attention off the match, including missing the equalizing goal by New York. By far the worst part of the intentional/unintentional distraction created by ECS was having to sit there hearing the 40-ish people who traveled from New York singing songs and banging away from the far end of the stadium way up in a lonely section:

ECS walked out of the match 9/15/2019

Now, we're left with the post-match Twitter-hosted fallout and frankly, it's ugly. The details of the day, the order of operations that led to the removal of ECS, are unclear and leave a stain on the league and team in the build-up to one of the most exciting end-of-season playoff races in recent memory. 

Say what you will about the subject, but I think it's pretty cool that ECS sees a problem with rules set by the league and take action in a way to protest in a decisive yet non-violent manner. That's the example I like to see set by/for people who seek change. Also, the showed up to the match calling for unity and backed it up when faced with the consequences of breaking the rules.

ECS walked out of the match 9/15/2019