Monday, May 01, 2006

Underrated Franchise: Seattle Sounders

I saw a public bus while in Seattle that had a massive advertisment on its side for the Seattle Sounders. Immediately, I decided that if Seattle ever gets an MLS expansion team, which has been mentioned as a possibility, it HAS GOT TO BE the Sounders.

Gots to be. This is imperitive.

Listen, the Sounders have been a franchise since 1974 back in the old NASL, which back then, was somewhat big time, or at least as big as American soccer got at the time. I mean, the likes of Pele, Johan Cruyff and Franz Beckenbauer rolled through town back then and played in the Kingdome, which somehow just seems wrong, but it happened and that cannot be changed. After a hiatus in the '80s, the Sounders were reborn in 1994 and currently play in the USL, which is sort of the 2nd Division to MLS.

Point is, the Sounders have been a team - nay, THE team - for Seattle for a long time. They've survived and existed, maybe even flourished at least in terms of lasting soccer franchises in a country where such a feat isn't easy. It would be a damn shame if an MLS expansion team came to Seattle and was given some new, probably horribly conceived, nickname. Seattle's team should remain the Sounders and I will not hear otherwise.

The Sounder were twice Soccer Bowl runner-ups to the New York Cosmos in 1977 and 1982 and have since won the USL league cup in 1995, 1996, and 2005.

On that note, the Sounders' two current big rivals are the Vancouver Whitecaps and Portland Timbers, a pair of franchises that have also somehow remained in existence since their birth in the NASL in the '70s. I think that's so cool.



Incidentally, soccer was being played over all over the place in Seattle. First place I saw it was in a park where several Mexican dudes had a scrimmage game going. I guess it's true what they say: No matter where you go, you can always find some Mexicans playing soccer in a park. OK, I don't think anyone ever actually said that, but it's probably true.

The next day I saw a scrimmage among some dudes in a park near downtown. (Lincoln Park?) Nice place. The entire joint had that newish artifical turf which is supposed to be better than astroturf and just happens to looks splendid in public places.

Most impressive, however, was a small park I passed that had an all-dirt field. Now, this wasn't an all-dirt field because the park was run down or abandoned. No, it was a planned all-dirt field in a nice area, an area where there wwas plenty of green everywhere, which is pretty much all of Seattle. Somebody planned this field. I mean, somebody actually said, Hey, let's make one of those weird all-dirt fields. I hadn't seen one of these since I played on some in Sweden and Norway. I thought, at the time, such fields were weird because it's not like there is a lack of, you know, grass. Not in Sweden, Norway nor Seattle. But for some reason, some people, apparently, enjoy all-dirt fields. Whatever. Point is, as weird as it seems and looks, some of these people exist in Seattle. This is good.

Long live the Sounders.

2 Comments:

Blogger Big Al said...

you've brought back sweet memories of attending Diplomats games at RFK.

3:05 PM  
Blogger UnknownColumn said...

Long live the NASL. I used to watch the Sting play at the old Comiskey Park. Good times.

6:58 AM  

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