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Monday, July 14, 2014

The Sounders Are Everything the World Cup Was Not, Which Is Awesome

Posted by on Mon, Jul 14, 2014 at 3:20 PM

SOUNDERS FANS Are the best fans!

Not long after I interviewed The Nation sports correspondent Dave Zirin following yesterday's World Cup Final, he headed over to CenturyLink stadium to see his first-ever Sounders game. Between his interview, Spike Friedman's dispatch about unfinished rail lines and Brazil's neoliberal emergence, and Argentina's loss, one could feel pretty down about soccer right now. But the Sounders won for the second time in a row over their arch-rivals, the Portland Timbers, 2-0 (highlights). And I could hear the 65,000 fans roaring all the way from the Central District.

Dave fell in love with the team, its fans, and even the ticket pricing. "Having recently returned from Brazil where I attended World Cup matches, it was not difficult to count off the ways that this experience was not only different but also 'ethical' in the way a FIFA-run tournament could never be," he writes today.

Aww, shucks. Seattle and its soccer team rock. Thanks for telling the world, Dave!


Comments (25) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
He chose a good game to go to no doubt. I like the soccer coverage here too.
Posted by BusyB on July 14, 2014 at 4:08 PM · Report this
Any suggestions on upcoming games i.e. which ones most interesting?
Where to sit?
Any other hints for novice soccer watcher?
Posted by caution&daring on July 14, 2014 at 4:30 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 3
Someone needs a hug.
Posted by Matt from Denver on July 14, 2014 at 4:31 PM · Report this
Tracy 4
"and of course standing for the full ninety minutes." Sadly, I experienced a WAY different thing in the upper 300 levels last night. Most everyone was sitting, which was a bummer. Then everyone was sitting, except for a couple 6 seats away from us. The folks behind them were super rude about these two. The man asked the couple to sit. The woman explained she was a diehard fan and she was giving her Full-90 (as the Sounders ad campaign encourages us to do). The man seated behind them instantly started swearing at her. The couple remained standing, and one other guy next to them stood in solidarity. Apparently the man behind continued to verbally abuse, and then started throwing quarters at them. Somehow, security was alerted, and a stadium employee climbed up. She removed the abusive man and his son (it's unclear whether he was ejected or just moved to a different section of the stadium). stadium employee spoke with the other folks seated behind the standing couple to see if they wanted to be relocated, but they said they were fine.

But then, 20 minutes into the second half, stadium employee returns and demands that the standing couple SIT DOWN OR BE EJECTED FROM THE STADIUM. What?!? The whole rest of the stadium stands, but because the majority of folks in the cheap 6-pack 300level seats are seated, you get thrown out if you stand for the Full 90. This was terrible. Several of us started asking what exactly was the rule supporting this, and saying that it didn't seem right. But stadium employee didn't care. Her word was law.

it just was so unlike all of my previous Sounders experiences. Such a shame. (I'm not a season ticket holder, but through the small packages and individual tickets, I make it to about 8 games a season. This was shocking). Especially as we were only a few sections away from the Timbers Army (who stood for the whole match).
Posted by Tracy on July 14, 2014 at 4:40 PM · Report this
Fnarf 5
@4, most of the stadium is not standing, and is not allowed to stand. If you want to stand you go to the ECS end and stand all you want. The rest of the stadium is pretty dependent on whether everyone in the section wants to stand or not, which is usually "no". We've seen people get into this exact same argument at nearly every game we've ever been to -- close to a hundred now. Note: if you are in the club seats you will never be standing. If your seat is plush, you will sit in it or be removed. Cheap seats might be standing.

I'm sure there's a city ordinance about this. It's Seattle, after all. Having fun is generally not allowed.

In addition to the excitement in the stadium it's also worth mentioning that we're a full ten points clear of second-place RSL in the conference, and we're in fact about as far in front of RSL than RSL is in front of the last-place Earthquakes (.55 PPG to .56 PPG). The best team in the East is seven points back, .39 PPG). We are OWNING this league, and are on target to not only win the supporter's shield but to be the best team in MLS history.
Posted by Fnarf on July 14, 2014 at 4:57 PM · Report this
biffp 6
You mean boring or not run by an evil non-profit?
Posted by biffp on July 14, 2014 at 5:05 PM · Report this
JonnoN 7
100 level is for standing. I have no idea what happens upstairs
Posted by JonnoN on July 14, 2014 at 5:21 PM · Report this
@caution&daring, if you want to go to a big game I suggest the LA game on 7/28, Salt Lake on 9/12, Vancouver on 10/10, or one of the playoff games that will occur. There may also be a US Open Cup Final game in late September. If we make that game then that will be must see.

Buy tickets for the lower bowl. On the west side and in the end zones of the stadium everyone stands the entire game.
Posted by Choska on July 14, 2014 at 5:21 PM · Report this
seandr 9
I saw last night's game from the front row (just off center), which is nice because no one is front of you at all. You can also see the glares the players (usually Dempsey) give each other.

Wonderful game once Obafemi came in for Barret in the second half.

* From the east side of the stadium, you could see the eerie blood red sky around half time due to that crazy sunset.

* The quality of the Sounder's play this season is as good as I've ever seen any team in the MLS. Some really great quick short passing, with occasional flashes of brilliance. They're a poor man's Barcelona.

* This is a really strong roster. Dempsey, Obafemi, Pappa, Neagle, Pineda, Yedlin and Alonso are all skilled creative players who regularly combine for some great offensive runs. Evans, Yedlin, Marshall, Scott, Traore, Gonzales, are solid defenders, with Anibaba showing improvement. And Cooper is a dangerous striker off the bench.

It'll be hard to keep all these guys around next year, but the Sounder's scouting has been excellent, and it seems that good players want to play here, so who knows, maybe we turn this thing into a dynasty.
Posted by seandr on July 14, 2014 at 5:34 PM · Report this
seandr 10
@2: Any suggestions on upcoming games i.e. which ones most interesting?

Vancouver and Portland bring the biggest crowds (60k+) , where they open the 3rd tier. Those are the most intense games.

Otherwise, LA and Real Salt Lake are usually pretty intense.

For more of a novelty, they have a friendly against Tottenham Hotspurs, an English Premiere League team, this weekend. If both teams play their starters, it should be an interesting game as you can see how we match up to Europe. (If you get into the Sounders, there's a good chance you'll end up getting into European football as well.)

I saw them play Man U a few years ago, and Rooney came on in the second half to score a hat trick, which was cool to see. I think we lost 5 or 6 to 0. Their guys ran a lot faster than our guys.
Posted by seandr on July 14, 2014 at 5:46 PM · Report this
mikethehammer 11
I've been to a shitload of soccer, football, hockey & basketball games and rarely, if ever, find a section of people standing. And it makes sense, as we've brought my (somewhat) elderly mother, who couldn't possibly be expected to stand for an entire game. If people in front of her were permitted to stand, she'd have no view. And to single out certain people (those who happen to just randomly be seated in front of elderly or disabled people) and not allow them to stand would be pretty lame.

Obviously, we're not going to bring an elderly woman into a notoriously rowdy section (i.e. the Timbers Army, as I'm down in Portland) and if we did, we know she'd likely be obstructed throughout the game.
Posted by mikethehammer on July 14, 2014 at 5:46 PM · Report this
Watched them lose to Salt Lake a month or so back 4-0. I have a hard time imagining how the same team receives so much praise. They looked like my grade school team crowding the ball, dribbling instead of passing, and no hustle on D. If this is the pinnacle of US soccer I'm surprised we made it out of group play in the World Cup.

I like Zirin and will have to read his post. But if he's praising the sounders for affordable tickets I have to ask how much his journalism/writing gig pays. If I recall correctly the cheap seats are still over $40
Posted by Upchuck on July 14, 2014 at 6:19 PM · Report this
Fnarf 13
@10, it's Tottenham Hotspur, not Hotspurs, although it is also Spurs (never "the Spurs"), which is admittedly very confusing. They're not the best, but I love them the best, and they are beyond a shadow of a doubt the best of the hams -- West Ham, Fulham, Birmingham (City), Rotherham, Nottingham (Forest), Oldham (Athletic), Gillingham, Dagenham (& Redbridge), Cheltenham (Town), Wrexham, Altrincham, or even Northam(pton), Southam(pton), or Wolverham(pton).
Posted by Fnarf on July 14, 2014 at 6:22 PM · Report this
Fnarf 14
@2, the best place to sit depends on what you want. If you want full-on crazy rowdiness, get GA in the ECS area. You'll barely be able to see the game, but you'll have a lot of fun singing and jumping up and down. The best place to see the game tactics-wise is high up on the center line; the best place for thudding man-on-man action is very low down, probably on the corners or anywhere along the sidelines.

I've sat in the Hawk's Nest, the ultra-steep bleacher seats at the north end, and enjoyed it a lot, even though I'm afraid of heights (counter to what you might expect, don't look UP) -- you've got a terrific view of the play unfolding. It's the view the tactical cam at the World Cup used.

Club sections are for sitting quietly and rattling your jewelry, though you do get a good overall view.

The best overall compromise between atmosphere, view, and price, in my opinion, is in the corners but a little towards the center but not into the club seats -- say, 113, 214, 131, 230. The closer you are to the south end, the more in sync you'll be with the supporters group chanting. The very best are the charter seat sections -- check the ticket exchange on the Sounders site for occasional deals. Craigslist is OK, too, but avoid the brokers unless you have money to burn.
Posted by Fnarf on July 14, 2014 at 6:36 PM · Report this
@12 Weird, I watched that same game and recall the Sounders winning 4-0. You might want to check your facts.
Posted by Bored@School on July 14, 2014 at 6:39 PM · Report this
@15 my bad, I was thinking of the 5-0 loss to New England on may 11...
Posted by Upchuck on July 14, 2014 at 6:48 PM · Report this
Fnarf 17
@16, since you only follow clubs that win 100% of their games, I guess you have a lot of free time for other activities.
Posted by Fnarf on July 14, 2014 at 7:00 PM · Report this
JonnoN 18
@14 I'm in 131, it's awesome :)

@16 you're clearly an expert
Posted by JonnoN on July 14, 2014 at 7:01 PM · Report this
And apparently i dont know how to shop for tickets. zirin got his for $24 with good seats?!? Anyway, I'm sure they're that affordable because sounders management is so progressive and nothing to do with demand...
Posted by Upchuck on July 14, 2014 at 7:04 PM · Report this
@fnarf & @18, I'm in 230. Under cover in the rain, but still standing and still close to the action. First year w/ season tickets and not regretting it one bit.

@12 The New England loss was a sad showing, but we were on the road with a couple of star players a hemisphere away and playing up a few inexperienced players. Our record so far this season speaks for itself. And sorry to nag, but I bought match pass tickets last year (3 game pack) and it was $45. $15 a game is super affordable IMHO. And my season tickets (16 matches + friendly) averaged out to $26.50 a game. And considering they're far better seats, they're still affordable.
Posted by Bored@School on July 14, 2014 at 7:12 PM · Report this
@20 do you have to buy way early to get those prices? Not sure what my problem was the last time I looked...
Posted by Upchuck on July 14, 2014 at 7:21 PM · Report this
seandr 22
@fnarf: it's Tottenham Hotspur, not Hotspurs,

Right, that's why I said "Tottenham Hotspurs", not "Hotspurs".

A team that produces the likes of Gareth Bale is alright in my book. Too bad for them they couldn't hang onto him.
Posted by seandr on July 14, 2014 at 7:31 PM · Report this
seandr 23
@Upchuck: That New England loss was an anomaly. The fact that it was their 3rd game in 8 days and took place on the east coast probably didn't help.

You can by four-match packs right now for $18 per match. Good games, too - Tottenham Hotspurs, Houston, Vancouver, and LA.

If you're the spontaneous sort, you can always haggle with the scalpers at the stadium. I was thinking of giving that a go for the Spurs game.
Posted by seandr on July 14, 2014 at 7:46 PM · Report this
@22: Southampton produced Gareth Bale (they're known for developing young, fleet-footed players, then losing them to big teams), not Tottenham. Tottenham are shit!
Posted by Ansel Herz on July 15, 2014 at 9:05 AM · Report this
Four match packs?!?! Hell, I can barely spare the time and dough to check out one...
Posted by Upchuck on July 16, 2014 at 7:26 PM · Report this

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