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Sounders Fans Are Turning Heads
A recent article in ESPN's The Mag compares the energy and devotion of Sounders fans to the notorious supporters of English football clubs. The writer also seems surprised that a soccer team is doing so well financially in an American city:
Sounders FC, a young franchise in a disrespected league, tucked away in a remote corner of a nonsoccer nation, is proving the sport can succeed in the U.S. "For everyone in American soccer," says Sounders coach Sigi Schmid, "I always tell people, you have to make a pilgrimage to Seattle. What you hoped soccer would be, it's actually like that here."
Per game, the Sounders outdraw the Mariners almost 2 to 1, with attendance through May 5 at nearly 39,000, which would place eighth in the English Premier League. Merchandise sales are on a par with the Seahawks, according to Gary Wright, Sounders senior VP of business operations. No wonder NBA commissioner David Stern, who let the Sonics leave Seattle in 2008 after 41 years, calls the Sounders "the most successful expansion team in the history of sports."
The article goes on to mine the history of the Sounders FC, attempting to explain why the team has evolved into such a successful business enterprise.
We at Seattle mag would like to add just one thing for the record: In your face, Timbers!