My dreams of being a pro athlete died a long time ago. I was quite accident-prone as a kid and in the Army. My dreams of being in a Front Office remain alive; I got kind of close recently as I was the “owner” of a team (really just the sponsor) in the ECS Pub League. Players wore kits with the Leviathan logo, knowing that Sounder at Heart sponsored the team.
One afternoon, I watched my team kick the ball around, running a 2-3-1 or a 3-1-2 as needed. They lost and drew the two games I watched, but the thrill was watching the camaraderie of a team of soccer players bond over the game. As they rotated on/off the field due to unlimited substitutions they would do a mixture of three things — hydrate, ice and talk tactics. It was a few hours of fun devoted to the game we all love.
Soccer is what brought us all together, no matter the skill level. Pub League isn’t about the most skilled players. It’s more about the least skilled players, or the formerly skilled players. Most importantly, it’s about love of the game and fellowship.
Some of the participants are people who played as youth and now return to the game in a less intense version of the sport. Others are people who are fit, but never played soccer before they took up Pub League. My team, the Killer Bunnies of Caerbannog (a Monty Python themed team, with all jerseys being “Sir _____ the _____”), won the Shield and were 2nd in the playoffs.
I’ll sponsor a side again, because it’s great to see a part of the Sounders community grow beyond the gameday experience and re-acquaint themselves with soccer as players.
Max, who is the assistant director of the operation, explains more about Pub League.
Devoted to having fun and expanding participants’ knowledge and understanding of soccer/football, Pub League was started in 2012 and is for those who are interested in playing in a semi-formal, organized and fun environment. The ECS FC Pub League (ECSPL) is open to anyone, regardless of experience, fitness, and talent. Players with playing experience are encouraged to join the league as team managers, coaches, trainers and mentors.
The mission of the league is that a person can step on the field for the first time in their lives and not only have fun, but feel like they have a place on the field.
The games are played on a half-field with two 25 minute halves and are 7-v-7. The cost is $100 ($90 if you’re an ECS member) for a ten week season with two games per week. A team jersey is included in the cost. For the Fall 2018 season, games are played on Sunday mornings in North Seattle, starting September 9.
Pub league has two divisions: Classic and Premier.
Classic is for people who have either never played soccer before or prefer a relaxed atmosphere. It’s focused on skill development over results and is very friendly (it’s not abnormal to cheer when the other team does something good against your team). If someone is too good and won’t play down to the level of absolute beginner then they are moved up to Premier. In the words of one of our long-time players, “Classic is beginner friendly. You don’t need to be beginner, but you do need to be friendly to beginners.”
Premier is for people who are comfortable with soccer, but for various reasons (travel, time commitments, friendliness of Pub league, etc.) don’t want to play in RATS or GSSL. It’s more competitive-minded than Classic but is still lower than most other adult leagues in Seattle.
The player placement clinic (aka “The combine”) is Saturday, August 11, with a make-up session on Tuesday, August 14.
More league information can be found on the ECS Pub League Facebook Page.
Premier Division signups can be found here.
Classic Division signups can be found here.