Monday, August 1, 2011

Better Know a Supporters Group – Gorilla Football Collective

We continue our comprehensive coverage of American soccer culture with our series “Better Know a Supporters Group,” just like Steven Colbert’s “Better Know a District” from “The Colbert Report“. 

Our goal: to feature each of the MLS teams’ supporters groups. We’ve sent e-mails to each and every SG in Major League Soccer and soon you’ll be able to check all what each is all about and what awesomeness they have to contribute to our growing American soccer world.

When we devised this idea a while back it was cool to be able to see what each supporter group is about, but in light of the terrible, one-sided, anti-American, condescending profile of Philadelphia’s Sons of Ben SG by the British GQ (not even going to link to it to give them the site hits) we think its all the more important to give supporters groups in Major League Soccer the proper exposure and voice they deserve.

Today we feature one of Seattle Sounders very visible and very vocal supporters groups, Gorilla Football Collective.

As told to the Free Beer Movement, by Melina Young, one of the group’s “captains”.

The Basics

Photo Credit: Greg Mauch

SG Name: Gorilla Football Collective

MLS Club: Seattle Sounders

Stadium: Century Link Field (Previously Qwest Field)

Year SG Founded: 2009 (same as the Sounders)

Section Name (if other than SG name): We sit primarily in section 120 in the stadium, but there are members that are scattered throughout the stadium.

Any other SGs apart of your section? We sit next to the Emerald City Supporters (ECS) and some of them overflow into 120.

Location of SG in Stadium (section #, side, direction): South (Brougham) End

The Meaty Questions

What are the origins of your groups’ name?

The history of Gorilla FC goes something like this… Gorilla FC ‘s core group are a bunch of
activists that put together a soccer team way back when. With all the excitement of the Seattle
Sounders FC, we decided to get it back together and be more or less an open loose group then
we were before! We are still holding on to some of our roots though and will support our local
communities through various benefits.

Favorite chants/songs?

There are so many chants and songs that go on throughout every game, it is hard to pick a favorite. We love to chant along with the other supporter groups to try and create the best possible environment at the game. One chant that almost everyone participates in (throughout the whole stadium) is a “call and answer” style chant, where our side of the stadium yells “Seattle” and the rest of the stadium answers with “Sounders” it is really cool to experience.

Why is being in the supporters section the “best seat in the house”?

Well, ours really are great because we start in the first row behind the goal, where the players warm up, and walk to the locker rooms. A lot of our players do high-fives, handshakes or autographs after the game (sometimes give away their jerseys or other stuff to loyal fans) so it is a great place. It is also great to attend the game with a supporters club and sit in the same section, because you get to sit with 50-100 of your closest friends every time you go to the game. Usually, no matter who you are sitting by, they are just as enthusiastic about the game (and hanging out with you) as you are, so it is always a lot of fun.

Brag. What makes your SG one of the best supporters groups in MLS?

Gorilla is very inclusive in our membership. We state proudly on our website that: “We accept all those who are willing to chant with us, drink with us, and Support with us no matter your race, religion, political view, sexual orientation or gender. Gorilla FC helps support the Seattle Sounders FC as well as our local community.” This helps set a standard for our group. We also have a code of conduct to ensure that everyone has fun at the games.
Gorilla is also very involved in charity work and put on several events each year (with and without the Sounders club) to raise money. We raised more than $20,000 in one day for Doctors Without Borders after the Haiti disaster.

Greatest game(s) in team history?

I am sure everyone who is asked will have a different response, but one really great moment was when the Sounders won the US Open Cup for the second year in a row, in front of a home crowd, last year (2010). Every game is great in its own way.

Predictions for this season?

I predict that the Sounders will win a third US Open Cup this year, and make a great run for the MLS Cup too.

Why Major League Soccer? Why American soccer?

Soccer is a great game. It is fun to play and exciting to watch. The Sounders players are really great guys who are really involved in, and love, the community here in Seattle. This is a sport that is still in its early years, and it is a great time to get involved and support different clubs. Soccer is the world’s game for a reason; we want it to be big in America too. The Sounders care about getting input and support from the fans, which is why they have an Alliance Council and allow the fans to vote. This is pretty unique in American sports, and we are all just excited to be a part of it.

For more information and/or to join Gorilla FC, check out their website.

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Anonymous said…

ha….these guys sound like hippies. So very Seattle.

Anonymous said…

We call it soccer.

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