UPDATE (2 Oct): Thanks to your help, I've achieved the 25 votes necessary for Alliance Council - I'm very appreciative of your support! If you have not yet voted, please consider voting for Angeline Bounds (@angelinebounds) or Tom Challinor!
It was my very first away game.
I had purchased tickets through TicketMaster before I knew about the ECS Travel Monkeys, and I was sitting mid-pitch in the 10th or 12th row by myself. The Columbus folk were friendly, I think they were surprised someone would fly all the way to their city just to cheer on the team, then turn around and fly back the next day.
Kelly had seen me on television, and this photo was later posted on my Facebook wall:
Yes, we stand in Seattle. The folks around me got a bit annoyed, so come the 72nd minute I was only standing when the play was in the attacking half of the field, the Sounders attacking half. Columbus was at the top of the table at that point in the season, but with a 36th minute goal from Roger Levesque, they could never recover. I remember only a few things from that match (that's what happens when they sell $4.50 Budweiser 32oz beers), but what I remember the most was going down and shaking hands with Seb LeToux and Freddie Ljungberg post match.
I was hooked.
Fast forward almost 3 years and here I am after 22 away matches (in which the Sounders are 11-5-6, +12 GD). I've spent countless hours reading and commenting on S@H, attending (almost) every home match and a handful of reserve/academy matches, I've been to the America SCORES auction (yes, I am the proud owner of a pair of signed Freddie Ljungberg cleats), and my favorite memory was probably the Colorado v Washington Special Olympics match held after this year's Rapids/Sounders tie-up in Denver. But with all of that, I still want something more, something where I can help shape the future of our club and help be a part of "Democracy in Sports".
When I last wrote asking for your support, I highlighted two major topics that I have a passion for and wanted to ensure received the appropriate discussion:
- Ensuring a positive away fan experience (specifically non-Cascadia matches, both for SG- and non-SG associated fans)
- Providing feedback on the CRM program that the FO is beginning to roll out
I'd like to add to that a third:
- Better engagement of young fans and Sounders fans outside the Puget Sound area
As we know, Soccer is now only 2nd to NFL as the most popular sport among ages 12-24; I'd love to see the Sounders organization work more on bringing out the college-age range of supporters in away cities (most of which have a sizable college population, and many of which likely went to Sounders matches before they traveled back to college).
If you're a Alliance member (season ticket holder), I'd appreciate your vote. Login using the link below and write in Brendan Vaughn.
You'll need your account number to vote - it can be found on your tickets or your ticket card. Each named seat on an account receives one vote per year and as you're probably aware candidates require 25 votes to join the Council.
I very much appreciate the 17 of you who have already voted for me. I am in search of 8 more votes.
Two things I am sure will continue - Columbus will still continue to email me with season ticket offers, and I'll continue to use whatever miles or $ I can scrounge to fly to a city on the other side of the country to watch my team and come back the next day.
It's just what I do.