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Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Turning Point in MLS History

















Is it possible there wouldn't be an MLS if the Seattle Sounders hadn't joined?  Prior to Seattle's first season in 2009, the league was still struggling and there were some doubts as to whether it would survive.

As soon as Seattle started playing in the league, an immediate difference could be detected.  The impact was undeniable on MLS's bottom line.

It was apparent from the first game; there was something 'Major' in the air in Seattle.  More than 30,000 people packed a sold-out stadium each game all season long, all season long the next season and all games ever since.

If Seattle hadn't made it into MLS, there may not have been franchises for Portland or Vancouver.  The fever in Seattle was contagious and ignited passions, whether dormant or simmering, for legions of fans across the country.

It is safe to say, no other one city has ever saved a sports league in a country, quite like the Seattle Sounders achieved.

All Seattle fans have done is provided a footprint for how Soccer can look and feel in this country, but they weren't asking for anything in return, other than a solid team to root for.

Their allegiance has been reciprocated by management.  It is the only one in all of American sports that can be voted out by fans as a rule put in by ownership.

They have been putting a quality team on the field each season and taking each championship seriously.

Seattle has led the way among all MLS organizations on showing the significance of winning the U.S. Open Cup.  They have won it in each of their first 3 seasons.

They have taken advantage of every opportunity.  The Sounders have made missing the Sonics of the NBA much easier for sports fans of Seattle.

They have been smart, too, by taking advantage of key partnerships.  With their NFL counterparts, the Seahawks, they have combined marketing schemes and strategies, including; sharing a stadium and using the same uniform colors.

What does MLS owe Seattle?  Nothing and everything.  Nothing, because the league did what they were supposed to do.  Everything, because all the franchises are worth much more and have put the value on purchasing a new franchise to come into the league a lot higher.

Everything turned on Seattle's entry into the league, the proof is undeniable.  All the present team owners owe them a big debt of gratitude.  All new team owners coming into the league from here on will only know of stories on the struggles of how it used to be B.S (Before Seattle) because they are coming in A.S. (After the Sounders).

15 comments:

  1. From a diehard Sounders fan who has attended over 30 matches in the past two years alone and who paid $400 for a plane ticket just to be able to see the first home playoff game against Houston.....

    The Sounders absolutely did not 'save' the MLS. This league was on the uptick beforehand. Chivas, Real Salt Lake, the building of soccer-specific stadiums, the success of the national teams, and a gradual increase in existing franchises attendance ensured the league wouldn't fold.

    Has the Sounders enhanced the MLS? Absolutely. No one has quite the fan base that we do.

    But to say that Seattle saved the league is ignorant and idiotic.

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  2. Eh, I doubt that. Portland and Vancouver had their teams announced before Seattle played their first MLS match. And while Seattle has undoubtedly helped increase MLS attendance numbers, I think the enthusiasm in Portland and Vancouver would have been exactly the same even if Seattle was still a division 2 team.

    Yes, Seattle, Portland, and Vancouver have improved the "atmosphere" of MLS. But no one of them alone has done it. Just as we cannot discount the new stadiums in Houston, Kansas City, and the other new teams in Philadelphia and Montreal.

    I'm sorry, but this article is exactly the kind of drivel Portland supporters make fun of Seattle fans for.

    (And thank you Patrick for your reasoned response disproving that all Seattle fans are self-aggrandizing idiots.)

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  3. The author is spot on. I'm from Seattle and I was there for the first season of the Sounders in 2009. MLS was horrid. I watched laughingly from my couch as the league sputtered. I'm glad that when the Sounders were created and started their first year of play the city of Seattle responded and now MLS is respectable.

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  4. As far as I'm concerned MLS didn't exist until we joined the league. The ECS taught all the other supporters groups how its done and now they all copy us because we did everything first. LA, NY, and especially Chicago, DC and the portscum timbers all copied everything we do and try to take credit for our work. I don't care though because the Sounders are the best fans, will be the best and always have been the best in north america. Don't be surprised when Montreal copies us as well since we set the standard for support in MLS. Sorry but its true. All you other supporters suck and the Sounders are the best. Pure and simple.

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  5. To All reading this article, there may be some confusion, but it must be set straight that I have no ties to the Sounders at all. I wrote the article according to how I see things and how I see the League. I live in Texas near to San Antonio. I love Soccer and it is my favorite sport to watch. My intention with this article was to show how I see things from my view here in San Anton. Maybe, when our team starts to play, I may see things differently. Right now, I am standing by what I wrote. Again, I have no allegiance to any team and hope only for the best for all the teams and the League. I could be completely off base with this article, but I call it like I see it.

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  6. Like when you guys couldn't sell tickets to play off games in USL? When we would and still do out sing you in your own stadium? TA is and always will be the best Supporters group in North America. You can try all you want to argue other wise but everyone else knows how insufferable you asshats up north are.

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  7. No kidding, Seattle fans are the worst. You still say "You suck asshole" on goal kicks? Seriously? I bet you loathe Mexican fans saying "Punta!" in the same situation. You are a bunch of idiots, there is no way in hell you guys are better than the TA.

    First off, stadium is great, hate Paul Allen because the blazers will forever be in mediocrity it seems with him and his cronies (Kolde et al) having his ear. Back on track now, you make nothing for noise, and ECS isn't even a united supporters front! TA may have ultras and 103 and 104 have their own sections, but we unite. You, on the other hand, are splintered.

    Second, highlighter yellow? I'm a Duck fan and I admit when the jerseys are atrocious, which is numerous times. You have the worst jerseys currently in the league, bar none.

    Third, you have the biggest bunch of divers outside of Dallas and Salt Lake, and that's not saying a terrible amount but Lord, Rosales, Montero, even Wahl gets in on the act. Love Lamar though, kid is dynamite and home grown for you guys to boot.

    Fourth, your fans behave like idiots. It isn't college, stay in your section and don't taunt little kids. Have your fun, win the game, cheer for your team, but stay the hell out of the TA. Next time it happens will be a black eye for all of soccer in America. Think more than beyond Lake Washington (see WTO and Occupy Seattle).

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    Replies
    1. It's "Puto" the Mexicans say. HeeeeeeeeeeeeeyyyyyyYYYYYYYY, PUUTOOO!

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  8. I'm a huge fan of their club, I'm sure that they will win the next game.

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  9. Wow, It must be tough to be a Timbers' fan. Arguing about who's fans cheer are better? Huh? How about looking at the team's record? Or shall I say Cal FC? How about virtually every attendance record in MLS? Good that Seattle came and saved MLS and made a spot for our little brother to the south.

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  10. Mo Doubt that the Seattle / Portland / Vancouver axis is one of the solidest fan bases the MLS has and is a great example to the rest of the teams. MLS needs one more indigenous club in So Cal to compete with it, may I suggest San Diego as a rival to Galaxy (Yay) Chivas USA (Boo)?
    A.J.

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    Replies
    1. san diego flash is trying to make waves.

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    2. It's just a sucky-ass name. It's so cheesy and derivative and easily mocked. "Flash-in-the-Pan," Ass-Flashers, just really really stupid-ass and lame. Flash would be better off just sticking to San Diego FC, at least the name would sound legit. And where do they play? Some high school stadium? Seriously? Flash are having some success on the field in whatever little bush league they now dominate, but get rid of the name, the name SUCKS and build a stadium. Then you might see some support.

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  11. Errr, I mean "No doubt" Sorry spell check!
    A.J.

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  12. SSS,CHIVAS,RSL,TORONTO FANS, and the ADDIAS contract turned the boat around along Garber and S.U.M.

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