August 7, 2012 Leave a comment
Much has been made of the Northwest teams in MLS, and how their passion for the game is really putting a stamp on the legitimacy of the league. The trio of Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver have set a standard not just for who has the best team on the field, but who has the best fan base. But on Sunday night, the Seattle Sounders sent a message to any casual fan who happened to pass by ESPN2 between the Olympics and pre-season football. They posted a 4-0 win over the LA Galaxy in front of 60,908 fans at Qwest Field. That’s right, 60,908 fans. For a regular season MLS game. On a Sunday night….
The attendance stands as the highest ever for a regular season game, and pushes the Seattle Sounders to a league best 41,480 fans per home game. That attendance roughly twice as high as the Portland Timbers, who currently get most of the ‘most passionate fans’ tag because they are a little newer and shinier than the Sounders.
Of course, Portland and Vancouver do a great job with their franchises, and are way ahead of other MLS teams when it comes to creating a passionate fan base. But in 2009, Seattle started something that fans will someday look back on as a turning point in American soccer. It starts with majority owner Joe Roth, and his ownership group made up of knowledgeable soccer professionals (Adrian Hanuer), financial muscle (Paul Allen), and celebrity exposure (Drew Carey).
And on Wednesday, Seattle will go for it’s fourth-straight US Open Cup victory. A feat never seen in America’s longest running soccer tournament. If they can pull it off, they deserve to hold the title of ‘America’s Team’.