AO Seattle and Columbus

In case you want to know what's happened regarding AO Seattle and the events in Columbus, here's the summary that I've pieced together through social media monitoring and talking to several of the parties involved:

AO National had tried to raise the overall level and consistency of support for the US matches. They'd tried to do so before themselves, and failed. They called for capos, and no one answered the call. Then Seattle-Panama happened, and AO National and US Soccer said "Yeah...that." Portland happened and AO National and US Soccer said "Yeah. That, too." Then Salt Lake happened and AO National and US Soccer said "Not so much that."

AO National asked AO Seattle to help forward coordinated support at USMNT matches. AO Seattle said that it was a huge honor, they'd love to help, and they'd send a few capos to be a part of Columbus, and provide feedback on operational aspects, like single microphones and multiple speakers so that both ends could coordinate with a lead capo.

Columbus AO seemed to be OK with it. Crew supporters were not. They don't use capos in Columbus, and the very idea was insulting, as if their support wasn't good enough. Seattle said that this needed to be cool with everyone, or Seattle weren't interested. That's when the Crew SGs started blaming ECS and AO Seattle for coming up with the plan to "take over USMNT."

Instead of AO National saying "whoa whoa whoa...WE asked THEM," AO National denied asking any such thing. They refused to comment at all, save for "that's not what we said." At that point, a whole bunch of Crew SG members started making things up, as if they were all on the now-infamous call, accusing Shawn of all manner of things that flat weren't true.

During that time, a whole bunch of Crew supporters accused ECS of being behind all of this, which, of course, couldn't be further from the truth. But ECS has a "no one likes us, we don't care attitude," and people are quick to believe the worst of us, true or not. So what was made up became "TRUE." During all of this, AO Columbus said nothing, and AO National kept saying "no, no...the Crew SGs are in charge."

Ignoring that the Crew SGs are MLS supporters, and AO Columbus should have had jurisdiction, the Crew SGs ran the show. At this point, Shawn and the rest of the AO Seattle crew said "screw this, we're going to the match as supporters, and y'all can do whatever. It's clear we're not welcome."

In the meantime, Seattle plays Columbus in MLS, and beats them with 10 men. ECS (me, in this case) starts all manner of nonsense regarding the fact that we won because we we had capos. Crew SGs respond in kind. Normal trash talk for match day.

Seattle supporters go to Columbus, and there are mixed stories of good times, bad times, name calling, being refused service and access to tailgates, and so on. A lot of that is anecdotal. There have been several reports of declaring parties "Wheeler-Free zones" and bartenders refusing to serve people wearing Seattle scarves.

Match starts, tifo is raised, and it says Ohio and Home, and so on. Later, when AO Columbus is praised for this, Crew SGs raise their hands and say "AO had nothing to do with was all us."

During the match, people believe, incorrectly, that there are Seattle capos there. There aren't. There are capos, but they're poorly organized and people call out the fact that "Seattle has tried and failed" including Ives and other writers. In the second half, they shut off the microphones of the capos, and the place devolves into white noise, with three and four chants going on at the same time. US wins anyway.

Columbus takes credit for the win, and continues with the "We didn't need Seattle after all." Unify and Strengthen, indeed.

AO Seattle members responded with leaving AO in disgust.

And now, several AO members and chapters are blaming all this "drama" on Seattle.

Net: AO National was happy to let AO Seattle take the fall for their inability to organize properly. We're a lot of things in Seattle, but disorganized isn't one of them. That AO National, a group specifically organized to help unify the different groups across the country, doesn't organize anything at all. They don't arbitrate, they don't standardize process or anything else. They collect money, and use it to travel around the country on our dimes.

Columbus, who aren't relevant in the soccer world any more unless the US is playing Mexico at home, got upset that there are many more teams in the league that have better, more organized support, and the insinuation that there's something that they could learn offended them. So they're lashing out at the easy target, and other SGs are happy to jump on board.

By the way, worth pointing out that Portland didn't join this witch hunt. KC is quiet. In other words, clubs with organized support haven't said a word. This is largely Dallas and Columbus...with other scattered individuals mixed in. It's the splintered SGs.

tl;dr: Club before country.

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