Congratulations to the Seattle Sounders for winning professional sports team of the year honors from SportsBusiness Journal and SportsBusiness Daily.
Here’s more info from the award’s press release: “From its ‘March to the Match,’ to its marching band, the Sounders offered season-long innovation and ingenuity, becoming the model franchise for other sports teams to follow. With 15 regular season sell-outs and 22,000 season ticket holders, the Sounders played in front of an average crowd of close to 31,000, setting a Major League Soccer record for the highest average attendance per match.”
In 1974, Daggatt partnered with Ned Skinner, Herman Sarkowsky, Lloyd Nordstrom, Howard Wright, Lynn Himmelman and Lamont Bean to introduce the Sounders to the city of Seattle.
"Walt has a huge place in the history of Seattle soccer," said Sounders FC owner/GM Adrian Hanauer, who was in attendance for many of those NASL games. "If not for the pioneers and risk takers like Walt, the state of professional soccer in Seattle and Sounders FC would look very different."
He reportedly maintained good health until a recent bout with leukemia and was even in attendance at a Sounders FC pregame ceremony last season honoring the original Sounders.
For more on Daggatt, read here.
With each passing road trip I am more amazed at the dedication and vigor of the Sounders FC supporters. This week in New York - or more accurately, New Jersey - there was a healthy contingent up in the far reaches of section 220 at Red Bull Arena that made it truly sound like a home match when Fredy Montero blitzed the goal for his third score of the year in the 85th minute to lift Seattle to a 1-0 victory over the New York Red Bulls.
I met up with a good portion of those fans outside of the stadium before the match and knew that our supporters were ready for what turned into an incredible evening. They were loud. They were supportive. They were Sounders.
One thing surprised me on this particular trip though.
That was a young New Yorker named Micah.
Micah stood out to me as I sat at my work station on press row well before the scheduled kickoff. He couldn’t have been more than 9 or 10 years old. He sat with his older sister - who wore an LA Galaxy jersey - and two other friends who wore soccer gear, but not in clear support of any particular club. Micah, though, was rocking a rave green Sounders FC top.
I went over and talked with him and later his father and found out that this kid knew the team as well as anyone. Turns out he knew the rosters of other teams throughout the league too. But the one team he loved most was the Sounders FC. His sister was a fan too, but grew out of the rave green kit that Micah was now wearing and was left with her Galaxy jersey instead.
“Kasey Keller,” Micah told me, “is one of my four favorites.”
He wouldn’t tell me his other three, but it didn’t matter. Somehow this little soccer team out in Seattle had developed such a following that a young kid in New York, right in the back yard of one of the original MLS franchises, picked them as his favorite team, his team to follow. I pictured him kicking a ball against a wall out of frustration after the Sounders 4-0 loss to the Galaxy last week - he watches all their games on MLS Direct Kick. I was thrilled that he saw such a dramatic win for the Sounders FC for his first chance to see them up close and in person.
He took home some incredible memories - and some souvenirs from what I understand. I knew when I met him that we had a special fan on our hands. After the game when I saw his ear-to-ear grin as he jumped up and down with the look of a child that found the perfect gift under the Christmas tree, I knew that we had grown a fan for life.
This game, this team and these supporters never cease to amaze me.
This morning in Zurich, Switzerland, the US Bid Committee submitted their bid to host the 2018 or 2022 FIFA World Cup. US Soccer President and USA Bid Committee Chairman Sunil Gulati was joined by Executive Director of the USA Bid Committee David Downs, Managing Director John Kristick and US Men’s National Team captain Carlos Bocanegra.
The USA Bid Committee Board of Directors features MSL Commissioner Don Garber, owner of the LA Galaxy and Houston Dynamo Phillip Anschutz, New England Revolution owner Robert Kraft, Houston Dynamo owner Oscar De La Hoya, LA Galaxy forward Landon Donovan and Sounders FC owner Drew Carey.
“MLS is deeply committed to assisting the USA World Cup Bid Committee’s efforts to bring the 2018 or 2022 FIFA World Cup™ to the United States,” said Garber. “Our bid offers the opportunity to showcase the United States as a vibrant and rising soccer nation, but we need the support of every soccer fan in our country. We are asking all of our fans to sign the petition at goUSAbid.com and show the entire soccer world the level of America’s commitment.”
The 1994 FIFA World Cup in the United States was arguably the most successful tournament in FIFA history. Crowds averaged 69,000 fans per game and broke the FIFA World Cup total attendance record with 3.6 million attendees, a record that still stands today.
The 1994 FIFA World Cup also established the legacy of the U.S. Soccer Foundation. Established to manage surplus funds, the Foundation has provided over $51 million in grants, financial support, and loans to help fund programs and projects across the country. These programs look to improve the health and well-being of children in economically disadvantaged areas by using soccer as a vehicle for social change.
FIFA will announce the host countries for both the 2018 and 2022 World Cups on December 2, 2010.
For a video on bringing the World Cup to the US, go to http://sndrs.com/wfmx.
One of the many ways the Sounders FC are offering their support is by tweeting the following message to spread the word about the USA Bid:
.@goUSAbid gives FIFA their bid to host World Cup. Sign petition to support the USA! http://www.gousabid.com #goUSAbid PLS RT
The Los Angeles Galaxy are one of the original Major League Soccer clubs from the inaugural season in 1996. They have twice won MLS Cup, the Supporters’ Shield and the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup and are one of two MLS clubs to win the CONCACAF Championship. They play their home games at the 27,000-seat Home Depot Center in Carson, California. The club counts among its former starts Mauricio Cienfuegos, Alexi Lalas and Cobi Jones, who is the only player on the team to have his jersey number retired. Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid left UCLA to coach the Galaxy in 1999 and stayed there until 2004. Current Sounders FC players Tyrone Marshall and Peter Vagenas played under Schmid with the Galaxy, as did assistant coach Ezra Hendrickson.
Coach: Bruce Arena heads the Galaxy, his third stint with an MLS side. He started his coaching career in 1976 at the University of Puget Sound. In 1978 he started his illustrious tenure at University of Virginia, where he amassed 298 career wins in 18 seasons. With the inception of MLS came a new challenge and Arena coached DC United until 1998, when US Soccer came calling and he took over the head duties with the US Men’s National Team, where he remained through the 2006 World Cup. That marked a return to MLS and a stint with the New York Red Bulls before he took over with the LA Galaxy midway through the 2008 season. In 2009, he guided the Galaxy to a 12-6-12 record and berth in the MLS Cup finals, earning him Coach of the Year honors.
Who to Watch: Amazing not to write the name David Beckham here, but the English international suffered a torn Achilles’ tendon in the off-season and will be out most, if not all, of the season. That leaves most of the offensive onus on midfielder Landon Donovan, who has over 120 caps with the US National team and is fast approaching his 100th career MLS goal. This season, however, striker Edson Buddle has been a scoring marvel. Through seven games, he has already tallied nine goals and one assist. Add to that the defense of Gregg Berhalter and 2009 Rookie of the Year Omar Gonzalez and the rock-solid play of goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts, and it’s no wonder they are outscoring their opponents 11-2.
Records: Seattle is 1-0-1 in two regular season meetings with the Galaxy in 2009, drawing 1-1 at Qwest Field on Mother’s Day and winning 2-0 at Home Depot Center. The Galaxy are currently leading the MLS Western Conference at 6-0-1.
For the past couple years, Seattle-based Pemco Insurance has run an ad campaign featuring the “Northwest Profiles” of stereotypical localites. The catchy commercials have depicted a handful of different personalities that populate this corner of the nation (Sandals and Socks Guys, 50 Degrees Shirt’s Off Guy, Green Lake Power Walker, to name three), but haven’t done much to justify your average Seattle sports fan. Which is where we come in.
Playing off of Pemco’s idea, we’ve come up with 11 new Northwest Profiles which all relate to sports, and more specifically, local sports fans. If you read between the lines, you might find yourself among this group of quirky athletic spectators.
Northwest Profile #11: Spiky-Haired Female Seattle Storm Fan
A denizen of what we will non-judgmentally refer to as alternative life choices, you are the WNBA’s biggest fanatic and your favorite team happens to be the Emerald City’s own Seattle Storm, nay Bing, nay Storm.
Wearing acid-washed stretch jeans, a baggy earth-tone t-shirt, and a Sue Bird jersey, you romp and roll your way through forty minutes of rowdy rambunctiousness, cheering your brains out for the one team in Seattle that doesn’t get the respect it sorely deserves.
Outside this venue, you’re looked at as different, what with your early-’90s Arnold Schwarzenegger crop-top hairdo and affinity to curb makeup for musk and whatnot. But amongst these basketball-loving peers of yours, you blend right in, in spite of the fact that you’re still unique in your own special way.
Spiky-Haired Female Seattle Storm Fan, you’re one of us. And without you, the Storm would be sorely lacking in attendance. So keep it up. For their sake.
Northwest Profile #10: Fat White Guy in the Ichiro Jersey
In complete denial over your beer belly, your age, your ethnicity, and your inability to sprout a carefully-manicured five o’clock shadow, you valiantly forge ahead with your decision to don the uniform of your favorite player to each and every ballgame.
Never mind that your favorite player weighs but a mere 170 pounds, while you nearly double that.
Never mind that he is faster than a gazelle, while you are only fast enough to consume three Dick’s Deluxes on your lunch break.
Never mind that he practices his batting stroke, while you just stroke…well, we won’t go there.
Fat White Guy in the Ichiro Jersey, you’re one of us. And while you take a minute to ponder your wardrobe dysfunction, we’ll begin our search for a thin Japanese guy in a Bucky Jacobsen shirt.
Northwest Profile #9: Leaves The Game Early To Beat Traffic Guy
With the seventh-inning stretch or the start of the fourth quarter to trigger your internal alarm, you leap from your seat and make a mad dash for the exits in an attempt to win the day and conquer that almighty equalizer, traffic.
Never one to waste precious gas mileage, you’re more content to watch seventy-five-percent of every ballgame you attend rather than spend an extra couple minutes in your Toyota Prius.
So what if you squandered half a year’s salary on season tickets? This is America, and as an American you have every right to leave each contest whenever you desire. You might never see the outcome of such a contest, but at least you can say you were there. More or less.
Leaves The Game Early To Beat Traffic Guy, you’re one of us. And as you plan your day around getting home as fast as possible, we’ll sit here and flounder our way through life in your stead.
Faced with the toughest of decisions — drop $6 for garlic fries, or make a ridiculous sign that will present you with a slim-to-none chance of getting those garlic fries for free — you always make the right choice.
All of which explains why on this cold, blustery Tuesday night, you’re standing with your shirt off in the right field bleachers of Safeco Field holding a piece of tagboard that says, “Hey Blowers! I Will Totally Blow You For Some Rally Fries!”
Dignity aside, you’ll do whatever it takes to save a few bucks and still be able to disgust all your coworkers with that day-old aroma of stagnant garlic. Yum.
And even though Blowers probably won’t take you up on your offer, at least you’ve proven in block lettering and colorful print that you are absolutely willing to do whatever it takes to win this contest. Up to and possibly including the act of fellatio with an ex-third baseman. That is dedication.
Rally Fry Sign-Holder, you’re one of us. And that’s, uh, great.
Northwest Profile #7: Misguided Chick Who Attends Mariner Games Because She Honestly Thinks She Has A Chance To Bang Franklin Gutierrez
You know he’s married, right?
Not that a vow of fidelity or a lifetime commitment to one’s soulmate would stop you from trying, or anything. Which is why we applaud your persistence, while simultaneously condemning your brazen desire to wreck this man’s wonderful home.
So you doll up for a baseball game of all things, sporting six inch heels, painted-on pants, and a low-cut top that allows every warm-blooded male a clear view of that cavernous valley that sits between your mountainous peaks.
You endure catcalls from jealous beyotches who don’t know style when they see it.
You withstand advances from drunken slobs who wouldn’t know what to do with that ass if you stuck a spout on your undergarments and told them to tap that.
You’ve had breakfast, lunch, and dinner but what you’re really craving is some imported Venezuelan sausage.
?Your mission resides in Safeco Field’s no-fly zone. He stands six-feet, two-inches tall. He weighs one-hundred-and-ninety pounds. He’s half-man, half-amazing, and all yours. Or so you choose to believe.
Misguided Chick Who Attends Mariner Games Because She Honestly Thinks She Has A Chance To Bang Franklin Gutierrez, you’re one of us. And frankly, you kind of creep me out.
Northwest Profile #6: Super-Casual Seahawks Fan
Don’t think we don’t see you over there, hanging out at the mall with your wife on those Sunday afternoons when the football team you claim to support happens to be playing a home game. You can’t hide behind the curved brim of your made-to-look-worn-but-actually-brand-new denim blue Seahawks cap. We know who you are, and we almost kinda sorta understand your predicament. Sorta. Kinda.
We get it. You’re the good husband who happened to choose the wrong woman. These things happen. She’s needy, you’re weak, and hence you end up spending half your weekend searching for lacy things with clasps and straps and pads that utterly bore you. And still you hold the pink shopping bag like a trooper. Or a real wuss. But we’re not here to hate on you like that.
You tell the boys at the office that you’re a Hawks fan. You bleed blue and green…or grey…or silver, or whatever their colors are. You saw that fourth-quarter comeback drive that led to a last-second touchdown pass from Hasselbeck to Houshmanblahblah. You saw it! You know exactly what Bill from accounting is talking about! You know! You swear you know! He totally busted that two-deep coverage! Hell yeah, the new chick in reception is hot! You would totally hit that, too! You so would! From the back, just like Bill said! The back door is totally your favorite door! Drinks after work?! Ah, wait, no, ah, no, you see, you can’t, ah, because it’s book club night and you, ah, you make the pina coladas for the group, so uh, no.
It’s okay. Because let me tell you something Super-Casual Seahawks Fan. You, my friend, are one of us. And while we may not fully support your life choices, we wholeheartedly support the fact that you’re trying. And trying, at the very least, is a step in the right direction.
Northwest Profile #5: Old Guy Who Doesn’t Realize That Willie Bloomquist Is Gone
Dammit. You have tried thirty-seven times this evening to get on the Mariners’ postgame radio show, but that damn producer won’t let you on the airwaves. You do not understand what the problem is. In years past, you’ve been a frequent call-in guest, and you have always discussed your all-time favorite subject, who also happens to be your all-time favorite athlete, who also happens to be the great-grand-nephew of your neighbor down the street who you play bridge with on Wednesdays: Willie Bloomquist.
Why don’t they give him a chance? Why won’t that Wakamitsubishi guy play him? You know, he could be an all-star if he just got to play every day. You’ve been around the game for sixty-some-odd years and that Bloomquist fella is one of the greatest players you have ever laid eyes on. And you saw Mays in his heyday.
You just don’t understand their ignorance on the matter. They’re playing Mexicans and Orientals and — dammit, now they’re hanging up on you again. And so you redial, but that takes too long because you can’t spin the numbers on your rotary phone that well anymore. And before long you’re asleep. And you wake up and there’s drool on your shoulder, and when on earth did you fall asleep? What time is it? Midnight? Crap.
Old Guy Who Doesn’t Realize That Willie Bloomquist Is Gone, you’re one of us. And even though your neighbor’s great-grand-nephew might not be a Seattle icon anymore, we’re still here for you and we don’t plan on leaving.
You have a scarf. With that scarf comes the divine right to consider yourself more knowledgeable, more informed, and more out and out cool than the scarf-less.
Your scarf says, “Hey man, I’m a real sports fan, so what does that make you? Huh? Where’s your scarf, bro? Where’s your scarf? What’s that? You don’t have one? What are you doing here wearing that Sounders shirt if you don’t have a scarf? What’s the deal? Get a scarf, poser, or take that shirt off.” Hell yeah.
You might not really know soccer, or even sports for that matter, but that’s completely irrelevant. The fact is, you belong to something. You are part of the group, the in-crowd, the clique. You belong to a fraternity. A fraternity of people who have scarves.
Holier-Than-Thou, Scarf-Wielding Sounders Fan, you’re one of us. Which kind of makes us douchebags for picking on people without scarves. But that’s how it goes, I guess. Eh.
Northwest Profile #3: Batsh*t Crazy Dawg Pack Member
With calf muscles the size of small villages in Eastern Europe, enough energy to kick the Energizer bunny’s cotton-tailed ass, and vocal chords strong enough to emit a droning “AAAAAAHHHHHHH!” for two hours straight, you are the ultimate college basketball fanatic.
You bring your tent to school each day, just in case anyone else wants to camp out a week early for the next home game. Which is funny, since you don’t even have class during winter quarter. Because you had the foresight to take an entire quarter off. Knowing your life would be consumed by the only thing that matters: University of Washington basketball. So instead you come to campus each day just for the hell of it. With your tent. Dressed in purple shorts and an Isaiah Thomas replica jersey. You also wear a purple headband. People don’t seem to mind.
Everything there is to know about each and every opposing Pac-10 school, you know. You even check Seattle Sportsnet before each game to read Dawg Pack Dirt (heh), just in case you missed something.
When tipoff finally arrives, you go from semi-normal human being to animalistic creature of prey, releasing days of anxious buildup on an unsuspecting walk-on guard who had no idea he was signing up for this kind of abuse. You even have this kid’s phone number. You talked to his mother last night. She’s a nice lady. But that won’t stop you from getting inside her son’s head.
You’re one of us, Batsh*t Crazy Dawg Pack Member. And for all your insane enthusiasm, we can’t help but love you.
Northwest Profile #2: College-Aged Red Sox Fan
With your leather Abercrombie flip-flops, your khaki cargo pants with the strategically-placed rips, and your Big Papi jersey shirt, you make a bold statement to the world that has you riding bitch in the backseat of the Boston Red Sox bandwagon.
Sure, you could be like most Northwesterners and be a fan of the hometown Mariners, but why do that? That’s what they expect. That’s what they want you to do. So instead you’re a Red Sox fan. Not because it’s cool. Not because it’s nice to be the underdog — or at least it was, up until about 2004, but whatever. Not because the Yankees suck. But because, you know, you’re original like that. You’re an original kind of guy.
So what if you were born and raised in the Seattle suburbs? You’ve been to Boston once. An airport layover when you were six and your family was coming back from London. It was the greatest city you’ve ever been in. It was awesome. About thirteen years later, you became a Red Sox fan. Because you just knew. You just effing knew.
College-Aged Red Sox Fan, you’re one of us. We’d rather you weren’t, but what choice do we have?
You love the Sonics.
You hate that their gone.
Given the opportunity to go Eli Roth “Bear Jew” apesh*t on David Stern, Clay Bennett, or Howard Schultz, you would not hesitate for a second. You’ve actually considered carrying around an old-school Louisville Slugger just in case the opportunity ever presents itself.
You still watch old VHS recordings of Sonics games you taped as a kid.
You have a poster of Ricky Pierce on your bedroom wall.
Your cell phone ringtone is Kevin Calabro shouting, “Good golly, Miss Molly!”
You cried watching Sonicsgate.
You have an Oklahoma City Thunder voodoo doll that you use to bring bad luck to the Sooner State.
Yep, you’re hardcore. And that makes you one of us, Starbucks-Boycotting, Greg Nickels-Hating Super Duper Supersonics Fan. Because you’ve sacrificed your coffee and laid blame on the ex-mayor all for your love of a basketball franchise that will always hold a place in our hearts. And that’s something we can all get behind.
Filed under: Top 11
We'll have more on where to watch the World Cup soon, but first I want to tell you about Lesley Bain's proposal.
Bain is an architect and urban designer in Seattle that hopes to spice up Occidental Park come June. Already the home of the March to the Match for each Sounders FC home match, Bain hopes to make it also a home base for soccer fans during the World Cup, capped with a giant projector screen in Nord Alley, just south of Occidental Park.
"Seattle definitely needs a place to watch and celebrate the World Cup, including Sounders fans and people from the nations in the cup. Occidental Park seemed like the right place for a soccer party, because the Sounders have already started the tradition of gathering for soccer there," she said. "Nord Alley is a perfect place, as a darker "outdoor room", to show the matches."
Her idea was originally showcased by Seattle Times columnist Jerry Large last month.
"In order to make this work, we have drawn plans for a retractable screen in the alley for review by the Pioneer Square Historic Board. We are working on permits for alley closures and food vending from City of Seattle," Bain said. "The biggest hurdle we face is access to a powerful projector for the month, and we are working with several vendors on a projector that is strong enough to show in the daytime because of the time change from South Africa."
The World Cup begins June 11 with Mexico facing host South Africa and runs through the championship final July 11 in Johannesburg.
We will have more info on where to watch the matches around Seattle as the games near.
The Columbus Crew are one of the original Major League Soccer clubs that have been in the league since its inaugural year in 1996. They play their home games at 20,455-seat Crew Stadium. Winners of the 2008 MLS Cup, the Crew also won the Supporters’ Shield in 2004, 2008 and 2009 as well as the US Open Cup in 2002. They have several connections to the Sounders FC, beginning with head coach Sigi Schmid, who manned the helm at Columbus from 2006-2008, winning the Supporters’ Shield and MLS Cup for the Crew before signing with Seattle before their inaugural season in 2009. Assistant coach Ezra Hendrickson, along with forward Pat Noonan and midfielder Brad Evans also played on the championship team in 2008.
Coach: Robert Warzycha took over coaching duties in Columbus after Schmid left for Seattle and kept the train rolling. In his first full season as coach, he led the Crew to a league-best 13-7-10 record. He also went 7-6-3 with the Crew in 2005 when he was named interim coach while the team looked to replace Greg Andrulis. In his playing days, Warzycha played for teams in Poland and Hungary, as well as with Everton in the English Premier League, before coming to MLS in 1996. He scored 19 goals in 160 games over seven seasons before retiring in 2002.
Who to watch: The Crew are led by Argentinian superstar Guillermo Barros Schelotto. He has three goals and one assist this season and 27 goals and 34 assists in his 76 games with the Crew. The 36-year-old became legendary playing for La Plata and Boca Juniors in his native Argentina before coming to MLS in 2007. Midfielder Robbie Rogers and forward Steven Lenhart also play prominent roles in the Columbus attack. Defensively, they are led by Frankie Hejduk, who has 85 caps for the US National Team.
Records: Columbus is 2-0-1 on the season while the Sounders FC are 2-2-2 to start the 2010 season. In 2009, the Sounders went 1-0-1 against the Crew last season drawing 1-1 at Qwest Field and ending the Crew’s 22-game home unbeaten streak with a 1-0 win in Columbus.