2011 Supporters Summit in LA this weekend

Event promises to be biggest yet

The 2011 Supporters Summit will be held in Los Angeles, California, this weekend as part of festivities for Sunday’s MLS Cup. LA Galaxy supporters group Angel City Brigade will serve as hosts for the event, in collaboration with MLS and LA Galaxy.

There will be a number of fans from Vancouver attending the summit including Massimo Cusano of ‘La 12’ and Brett Graham of the ‘Southsiders’.

“It’s a fun weekend,” said Brett. “You get to see a lot of different supporters groups every year that you would normally only see maybe once or twice in a season. It kind of becomes a supporter’s convention. The supporter element is a big part of the league now.”

Brett and Massimo have previously attended the Supporters Summit – both we’re at the ’09 event in Seattle, while Massimo was also in Toronto last year – but this will be their first time attending after the club have played a season in MLS.

“To be there as a member of the league this year will be exciting,” said Massimo. “From my understanding, 2009 is when the supporters summit really kicked off. Toronto tried to build on it last year, and from everything I’m hearing it’s going to be even bigger in LA this year.”

The weekend will include fun events such as a friendly gathering on Friday and a soccer match on Saturday, but there will also be important meetings to attend, including an independent supporters council meeting aimed to bring together the league’s supporters.

“It’s a bit of a group that is trying to replicate what is going on with some of the supporters unions in Europe,” explained Massimo. “Just to talk about what effects supporters and how we can discuss things with the league as a unified voice.”

Also included as part of the event will be a roundtable where representatives from the supporters groups of each team around the league get to sit at a table and discuss important points with MLS executives.

“From past summits that has probably been the most meaningful portion for me,” explained Massimo. “We get to talk about some of the things that have gone well and some of the things that have not gone well. There still are some things to work on and that is really the time to bring up some of those issues and hopefully work towards resolutions.”

And with those resolutions comes a constantly improving experience for all.

For more information on the 2011 MLS Supporters Summit, visit http://www.mlssoccer.com/fans/supporters-summit.