May 7, 2015

By Karl Picard, Alliance Council Member

This is the first in  a series of Alliance Council meeting recaps. For more information about the Alliance Council, click here.

At the May 5th Alliance Council meeting we met with Maya  Mendoza-Exstrom (Sounders FC General Counsel and Executive Director of the Rave Foundation) and Petyr Beck (Publisher at Documentary Media). Maya has been involved with the Sounders since she was a baby going to games, with her father as General Counsel for A-League/USL Sounders, and now she works with the MLS club. She has also played and coached in the area at several levels, really just being part of the soccer fabric around Seattle.

Maya and Petyr are building a book around the history of the Sounders with the proceeds generating funds for the Rave Foundation as it’s first fundraiser. The focus is not your typical history of a sports team but rather around the relationship between the community and fan base that has developed from the 40 plus years of Sounder history. Petyr was actually a roommate of Adrian in college and has been around the Sounder legacy for his whole life.

The book will contain lots of full-page photos depicting Sounders related interactions around the community, not just in the stadium or at games but from bars and events. The book will contain quotes, memories, and a few short essays, but will mainly be driven by the photos. They are looking for the community to help them in this effort by offering pictures and stories; anything that reflects the soccer community and its influence on the Sounders and soccer in the region. The best stuff will likely come from a personal perspective, from being at the stadiums to viewing parties to events. We’ll have more to come on how to share those experiences, but get your photos and stories together.

Maya also talked to us a bit about the Rave Foundation and their efforts around equity and access to the game of soccer. How do they influence urban areas and deliver the game to those who can’t afford the youth leagues in the area, similar to what the NBA has done with basketball. They are looking to build tennis court size fields in neighborhoods and areas of the City that are field deserts or which do not have quality places to play that are open and accessible without having to rent the field.  She also mentioned they are planning small-sided, pick-up street soccer events throughout the City.

The last hour of the Council meeting was dedicated to ongoing business, mostly updates regarding progress about the General Manager Vote conversation with the Club.  The previous week, Stephanie Steiner had met with Taylor Graham to discuss several options we had come up with to manage the GM Vote as well as outline concerns expressed by the Alliance which needed to be addressed in conversation with ownereship.  Taylor took back all of the documents after review and the request and will bring them to Adrian Hanauer.

Additionally, all work groups which were present gave updates regarding their tasks:

SG Work Group:  Mark Nesterhoff, Dan Roe, Brendan Vaughn, and Stephanie Steiner held a conference call to outline questions for the Club.

EOY Business Meeting:  Kristina Vaughn was told its too early to discuss the EOY BM – we disagree.  We only have five more regular council meetings before we are at the EOY Business Meeting.  She will revisit the conversation.