MLS Evening Ticker: Sounders-Timbers match sold out; Rapids sign Uruguayan forward Sanchez; and more

CenturyLinkField (Getty)

By JUSTIN FERGUSON

How could the upcoming Seattle Sounders-Portland Timbers match, Clint Dempsey’s home debut, get any crazier?

Just add 66,800 fans.

On Tuesday, the Emerald City Supporters revealed on their Twitter account that the nationally televised Aug. 25 showdown between the two bitter Cascadia Cup rivals at CenturyLink Field is sold out.

“Sounders vs. Portland on August 25th is sold out,” @WeAreECS tweeted. “Scattered singles only available. 66,800 sold. Warned you yesterday, didn’t we?”

A crowd of 66,800 would be the second-largest standalone crowd in Major League Soccer history, behind the 69,255 mark set at the Los Angeles Galaxy-NY/NJ MetroStars match in April 1996. The crowd for the upcoming match would beat the attendance for last October’s Sounders-Timbers clash.

Here are some more MLS stories to wrap up your Tuesday:

RAPIDS SIGN URUGUAYAN FORWARD SANCHEZ

As the Colorado Rapids continue their hunt for potential designated player Gabriel Torres, the club sealed a veteran international forward with experience in Liga MX and the Bundesliga.

The Rapids officially confirmed the signing of 33-year-old Uruguayan forward Vicente Sanchez, pending the receipt of his P-1 work visa and International Transfer Certificate.

“Vicente is an experienced, professional player who can help this team both on the field and in the locker room,” Rapids head coach Oscar Pareja told the team website. “He has performed at a high level in some of the top leagues in the world, even at his most recent club in Uruguay. We’re happy to welcome him into the group.”

After a lengthy stay with Mexico’s Toluca, Sanchez spent time at Schalke 04 before returning to Liga MX with Club America. The forward was most recently at Nacional in his home country, where he played both in central forward and winger positions.

REVOLUTION RELEASE CISSE, ISSUE STATEMENT ON AGUDELO

With just a couple of days left before the MLS transfer window slams shut, the New England Revolution are freeing up some space on their roster for possible moves.

The Revolution announced the release of midfielder Kalifa Cisse, who signed with the club last November. The club terminated the contract after reaching a mutual agreement with the 29-year-old Frenchman.

Cisse made six appearances, all starts, at the beginning of the Revolution’s 2013 season. The former Mali international last appeared for New England in a 1-1 draw with the New York Red Bulls on May 11.

In other transfer news, the Revolution released a statement on Juan Agudelo, saying “cannot address anything publicly unless an official announcement has been made.” SBI reported Tuesday morning that the American forward has signed a pre-contract with English Premier League side Stoke City.

D.C. UNITED-GALAXY MATCH MOVED TO SEPTEMBER 14

The league announced on Tuesday that the match between D.C. United and Los Angeles Galaxy scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 15 has been moved back to the previous day.

The match, scheduled for 4 p.m. ET at RFK Stadium, will feature the induction of Jaime Moreno into the D.C. United Hall of Tradition at halftime.

——

What do you think of this news? Excited for the now sold-out Sounders-Timbers match? Think Sanchez can make an impact for the Rapids? See any potential moves coming for the Revolution?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in Major League Soccer, MLS- Colorado Rapids, MLS- D.C. United, MLS- LA Galaxy, MLS- New England Revolution, MLS- Portland Timbers, MLS- Seattle Sounders. Bookmark the permalink.

136 Responses to MLS Evening Ticker: Sounders-Timbers match sold out; Rapids sign Uruguayan forward Sanchez; and more

  1. Travis says:

    If the Sounders had more room think they could break the record for this particular game. I am excited about the number of people, hope the general atmosphere matches it.

    • Steevens says:

      They do have more room. CenturyLink Field has a capacity of 72,000

      • Travis says:

        Is that the capacity for Football or Soccer? They have different capacities I believe.

        • Steevens says:

          That is the capacity of the stadium. My point was that if they can get approval to open the whole place they do have more room.

          • btoom says:

            The stadium is completely open. For 72,000 they have to install 5,000 more seats not going to happen when Seahawks are beginning play.

      • Hopper says:

        Negative. The capacity is 67,000. Look it up.

        • Steevens says:

          I appreciate your attempt to correct my Hopper, but I did look it up.

          I repeat that 72,000 is the max STADIUM capacity. Had you bothered to look it up yourself you would have found that it can be expanded to the absolute max of 72,000. See the official site of the STADIUM:

          link to centurylinkfield.com

          • Steevens says:

            I am aware that MLS capacity is considered to be expandable to 67,000 for special events. But I reiterate my point is that 67,000 is not the max capacity of the stadium 72,000 is.

          • Travis says:

            You dont know what special events means though, that very well may be concerts where they are able to house part of the crowd on the field which they do each summer. I think if they could get to 72,000 for this game they would, they could sell it I think.

        • sammysounder says:

          Seating, yeah.. They’re debating opening standing room only tickets

      • Jason Mitchell says:

        Capacity is 67,000 and change. 72,000 is only for concerts, with fans on the pitch. Don’t think the Timbers would appreciate playing 11 v. 5011. If the stadium could hold 72k the Seahawks would do it every game.

        • Soundersfan84 says:

          72k is not only for concerts. Its 72k max in case we host the superbowl.

        • Steevens says:

          Not sure why everyone is so excited to correct me when I’m not wrong. As J.A.B. comments below capacity for the Portland match HAS BEEN EXPANDED TO 72,000

          link to soundersfc.com

          • Steevens says:

            Sounders official announcement does not reference 72K, so it may be expanded above 67K but less than 72K.

            We shall see.

            • Jason Mitchell says:

              The Sounders have announced they’re expanding capacity by 400 for the match, not 5,000. As I said, sporting event capacity is 67K and change.

            • John says:

              The soccer field is 15 yards wider then and NFL field. That’s the only reason I could see for not expanding it further. Also who cares it’s going to be a lot of people haha.

          • Travis says:

            If they could do 72k for sporting events wouldnt they do that for every seahawks game then? It would surely sell out…

            • Steevens says:

              Please direct questions about capacity limitations to CenturyLink Field, the Seattle Seahawks, the NFL, the Seattle Sounders, and MLS.

              The FACT is that the max expanded capacity is 72,000

              • Travis says:

                You seem to think the max attendance at a stadium is the same for all types of events, it is not. If centurylink could hit 72k for sports I guarantee it would be done for Seahawks games, especially against 49ers. But please continue to put your head in the sand and repeat the same things.

              • Brett says:

                I can’t tell if this is the most brilliant troll I’ve ever seen, or the most stubborn guy-who-made-a-logical-error I’ve ever encountered.

          • camjam says:

            They can expand the Link by 5,000 seats….. when a football game and concerts are played. The pitch is considerably wider, eliminating that possibility.

          • Super says:

            You can both be right, STADIUM capacity 72k including employees , contractors, media etc. 67k spectators

      • divers suck says:

        Silly me just wasted 2 minutes that I’ll never get back, reading an inane argument over the seating capacity of the CLink. Boy do I feel stupid!!

  2. Fredo says:

    LA Galaxy #1

    • wiger toods says:

      Two question:

      1) Why was that particular LA / RBNY game so large way back in ’96? (To lazy to look it up)

      2) Any else catch the Sounders president claimed in the SI article that the Sounders are in the top 25 in attendance world wide? Not sure how he comes up with that, but if true, that is truly awesome.

  3. JF says:

    might have to watch my first MLS match of the season.

    • Cairo says:

      Comments like this are exactly why MLS bent over backwards to make this happen. You’re obviously enough of a soccer fan to read SBI, but haven’t watched MLS all season–if they can get you to watch, they probably get a bunch of others. If you actually went to the game in person, you’d likely leave a fan (that’s how good the atmosphere and noise levels are for Sounders games at the CLink)

      • JF says:

        actually its the single entity nonsense that keeps me from following the league. Haven’t watched an MLS game in a couple years.

        • Yevgeniy says:

          Why do you care about the structure of the league so much? It’s live soccer in YOUR country. It’s growing, we all need to support it and stand-up to soccer-haters all together

  4. JF says:

    the Sounders draw huge crowds and they can’t pay their own transfer fee? #MLSisMickeyMouse

    • Gnarls says:

      Are you forgetting MLS is a single-entity league? MLS owns Dempsey, not Seattle.

    • QuakerOtis says:

      Eurosnobs comment on MLS when knowing nothing about it? #IRememberMyFirstMessiJerseyToo

      Oh, and #THISISN”TF*CKINGTWITTER

    • Travis says:

      Where did Seattle say they cant pay their own transfer fee? Please point me to that article, and the fact that MLS paid it isnt proof. MLS is single entity, they pay the fees. I hope they one day evolve beyond that but it is what it is for now.

      • Carl says:

        That is why the troll is not coming back. No facts just hot air.

      • NaranjaFanatic says:

        MLS doesn’t pay the fees. MLS paid this fee. I believe they paid the Beckham fee as well. Pretty much all other transfer fees are paid by the club.

        • Travis says:

          Didnt they pay Donovan as well? Or was it Nike? I know someone besides LA did or at least that is what I was told

        • FSegaud says:

          I don’t think they paid anything for Beckham…his situation was the same as Agudelo, no?

    • White Kix says:

      The sounders draw huge crowds, thus they have made a lot of money for the league and its investors/operators. I would assume that was factored into the desicion. Plus, who paid Donovan’s transfer all those years ago? I’m pretty sure it was the league (although I don’t remeber for sure). The league essentially paid for part of Beckham’s signing with the option to own a team at a reduced rate. The league pays for these types of things when it is in the best interest of the league.

      Finally, Mickey Mouse has made a ton of money while providing best in class entertainment. If MLS is able to also make money while providing best in class entertainment, I say, long live the Mickey Mouse league!

  5. Adam M. says:

    I’ll have whatever it is that they are having in Seattle. Might be the best sports story of the century so far.

    • Drewbles says:

      If your century runs August 3, 2013 – August 2, 2113, then yes, this might be the best sports story of the century.

    • Ben says:

      Other things that have happened in sports this century:

      *Red Sox win their first World Series in 75 years, after needing a miracle comeback against arch-rivals to get there.
      *Messi sets record for most goals scored in a calendar year.
      *Arsenal completes undefeated Premier League season.
      *Michael Phelps wins most medals of any athlete in Olympic history.
      *The 2001 World Series.
      *Usain Bolt–like, literally, everything about the dude.
      *Giants upset undefeated Patriots in Super Bowl.
      *Epic Nadal-Federer Wimbledon Final.
      *Donovan’s last gasp goal to beat Algeria in the World Cup.

      And that’s only 13 years worth. I’ll give you that the Dempsey signing is one of the best sports story of August, although there’s a lot of August left to go.

  6. sushant says:

    Wow, Sounders are really setting the bar for fans’ excitement and passion. Amazing that 65K+ people are going to attend a *regular* season game. Yes, it a Cascadia rivalry but if Seattle is drawing 60K+ regularly with Clint, the deal will more than pay for itself. According to Wikipedia, Seattle is averaging ~41K. If they even get 10K more with Clint, times $30 per ticket, that’s another $300K per home game. With 17 home games in a season, that’s about another $5M.

    Of course, lots of assumptions here. But, going from 40K to 50K is easier than going from 20K to 30K.

    BTW, MLS is 3rd among all professional sports when it comes to average attendance, ahead of the NHL and NBA with a better growth in attendance.

    With more teams like the Sounders, MLS could overtake MLB. Interesting reading.
    link to en.wikipedia.org

  7. Christian says:

    Seattle and Portland are the best things to happen to MLS! On a more serious note, I’m glad to hear about all of the general excitement that these two cities have generated since entering the league. Would love to see the MLS open up another DP roster spot or two in the coming year or so!

    • White Kix says:

      2 additional DP slots with maximum salaries around a million would work well. So a team could have 3 big money DP’s and then 2 more that only hit for about 200k in cap space and can be paid up to $1 mill. Those slots could be used for guys like Wondo and Gonzo. This will help keep payrolls from getting too big too fast, and prevent LA, NY, SEA from having too many extremely high salaries that could really offset the parity. But would still allow teams making money to get some competitve advatnage on the field.

      • Falsify says:

        It would also help the MLS in terms of trading players overseas for the right amount of money.

      • Frank says:

        Considering that some teams have no or just one DP, this will result in much more disparity. Sucks to be a small market team…this is why we need relegation/promotion. I’d rather see Columbus do well in a 2nd division than the crap they are offering now.

    • NaranjaFanatic says:

      I would much rather have the salary cap increased than see additional DP slots. Clubs need deeper rosters.

      • Ben says:

        This, I think 3 DP slots is fine, but the salary cap has to grow. League needs to pay guys more than a minimum of 35k.

        • John says:

          How about 3 DP spots for home grown talent. Like if your with a team for 2 or more season then you can get paid more without it using up a traditional DP spot. That way you can’t just bring 6 players but it would give MLS teams the ability to hold on to some talent.

      • Marcelo Balboa's Mustache says:

        yes. this. MLS has really developed some quality players, and has far fewer weaker links then even 5 years ago. They need to up the quality of the middle tier of players on each team.

  8. Godfrey Ingram says:

    Put some real grass in already!! Stadium and fans are legit but field turf, please…

    • NaranjaFanatic says:

      Ha! Godfrey Ingram! I love it. I got my picture with him in 1987 at the Tacoma Stars “We Didn’t Win But We’ll Have A Parade Anyway” Parade. Awesome!

  9. David M says:

    If only they had real grass in Seattle!

  10. SonicDeathMonkey says:

    Ives, any chance of re-tooling your filter to eliminate Eurosnobs on here?

  11. nic d "the tx 2 stepper" says:

    I’m excited for the Pac NW!

    I wish we had this kind of rivalry hear in TX

    This development (Seattle, Portland, Vancouver) is a truly watershed moment for Soccer in the Americas. Rivalries this intense and this well supported by all parties is a bit rare. Even in Mexico you rarely get 65K at a game. Maybe with the New Stadia and booming economy down in Brazil they will get/are getting over that number, but not often. This will probably one of the highest attended games in the world that weekend.

    Bravo Sounders/Portland and Canadiens

    • Edwin in LA says:

      I think that eventually we could see that type of crazy rivalry in Texas. It will take some time and GREAT DPs but it is possible…I hate to admit it but the league stands to gain a lot if fans of Liga Mx and El Tri were to become MLS fans to where they were attending games the way they do for friendlies here in the states…and if they keep watching on TV the revenue will more than be there…. San Antonio already has a great new Soccer-specific stadium and crowds that are slowly growing past 10k Dallas could easily be seeing out their stadium but they’re still working on it

  12. Ivan says:

    Seattle Sounders need to put some real grass on that stadium…does Dempsey know that he has to play on plastic? I have played on turf, many many times. It is AWFUL!!! Ball bounces funny, people get knee and ankle injuries easily…unless you are playing at the North Pole, you must NOT play the beautiful game on artificial turf. You can call eurosnob all you want. Seattle Sounders must get rid of the plastic turf.

    • Falsify says:

      +1 Real grass.

    • RAMONE says:

      Correction, Seahawks need to get rid of the plastic turf. It is their stadium and the Sounders are just playing in it. Maybe MLS will build the Sounders their own stadium with grass, maybe 20k capacity. Lol.

    • Edwin in LA says:

      With all due respect i doubt you’ve played on the newer surfaces which btw FIFA approves,the new stuff like “FieldTURF” is much more like real grass.The ownership of the Sounders also own the Seahawks and it would be really bad especially in the late weeks of MLS season when it rains a lot in Seattle not to mention for the playoffs it would look really bad with NFL logos and markings painted on the grass which is no where near as easy to erase

  13. Barb says:

    Not everyone that enjoys European soccer is a euro snob. I love that the MLS is doing so well. I enjoy being able to watch the Union just as much as I enjoy watching Liverpool. Are there differences? Sure, but that doesn’t mean one is better than the other. Are there a few things I would tweak? Yes. I hate the wild card slot in all sports. And I would embrace the “minor” league relationships. Encourage all the MLS sides to have farm teams like in baseball. If you are not going to do promotion/relegation why not formalize the relationship?

    • Yevgeniy says:

      No one would refer to you as a Eurosnob. Eurosnob is someone who watches and enjoys European soccer, but does not care / makes fun of our domestic league.

  14. Ross says:

    As a Rapids fan and 5 game ticket holder I say good job to Seattle. The MLS will help the clubs that help themselves. Seattle has obviously done that and it’s good for the league overall.
    The Portland, Seattle, Vancouver rivalry has become one of, if not the best in the league.

  15. Nate Dollars says:

    so, i guess the term ‘sold out’ ain’t what it used to be, but someone want to explain to me how you can possibly be sold out AND have ‘scattered singles’ available?

    • THomas says:

      I work in the sports industry, but not MLS. Usually a stadium’s capacity doesn’t include premium seats like suites or all inclusive clubs. Additionally, some stadiums/arenas have standing room only that wouldn’t be counted in official capacity. So even if there are scattered seats, it could still be over the listed capacity and ‘sold out’

      Also as a side note. Tickets are always held back for VIPs and internal demands, so even if its ‘sold out’ tickets go unused and sometimes become available for the public to buy as the event approaches. Usually it’s in minimal quantities.

  16. 20 says:

    Will this game be on national tv? It should be, in fact any Seattle game over the next few weeks would get a decent rating

    • EA says:

      This little snippet was buried ALL THE WAY DOWN in the THIRD SENTENCE of the article.

      “On Tuesday, the Emerald City Supporters revealed on their Twitter account that the nationally televised Aug. 25 showdown”

  17. Since 82 says:

    The Sounders fans will still need the Jumbotron to organize their chants. RCTID

  18. J.A.B. says:

    Emerald City Supporters and Sounders FC just announced they are opening up seating that will bring max capacity to 72,000+. They are shooting for the MLS attendance record. Glad I have season tickets!

  19. el paso tx says:

    Wtf, i was eatinh my mango spice wings with a Corona….. : ) Get sounders their own freaking sss in 5 to 6 years

  20. mb says:

    grass field must be acquired. Seahawks should find a new stadium.

  21. J.A.B. says:

    They are opening standing room only spaces as well. That place is going to be crazy!

    I saw one great tweet: “It’s time we addressed the limited capacity of NFL stadia. It’s holding back the growth of soccer in America.”

  22. Jack says:

    I am a Union fan, but this may be my own most anticipated game of the year! I can’t wait!

  23. Brian says:

    Many of those made it onto the secondary market. Stubhub went from 1k tickets available to nearly 3k available for this match. Scalpers are looking to profit off Dempsey as well.

  24. mike says:

    I live in Houston and it sucks I have to travel far to see competitive USMNTgames on a consistent basis but I’d be down if USSOCCER started scheduling more and more usmnt home games in Seattle. What a great soccer city and great place to play for our national team.

    • RB says:

      Unfortunately (as we recently saw) some players are held back from play on that kind of surface. Not good for the USMNT.

      • Matt says:

        and yet the non-contact knee injury happened on grass

      • joe says:

        Yeah, including the USMNT captain. Hi, I’m earth, have we met?!?

        Get over yourself folks, I once saw a knee blow out on grass and on a tennis court! Let’s make it all whatever the other surface is because I am lazy rumble rumble rumble.

        As a Timbers fan, sucks Dempsey didn’t go through allocation but whatever, it will make it that much sweeter when we win. RCTID.

  25. Paul S. says:

    Alright, so the lowly Rapids are trying to scrape together enough money to cover the transfer fee for Torres (from Panama) to see him come play in MLS with the club. Apparently offers to keep him in Venezuela (current club) and bring him to Mexico are keeping this deal open until the “end”. Why doesn’t MLS step up to help bring Torres into MLS for the Rapids to both secure a promising young talent and help keep parity in the league? I am probably not privy to a lot of league details, but on the surface it seems that if you don’t have XBOX or Herbalife on your jersey….the league couldn’t care less about your team.

    • WhiteHart says:

      I honestly don’t know, but if I had to guess, it’s because Dempsey is a big time American.

      He will drive ratings and sell tickets at a much higher rate than Torres (who I thought was fantastic in the Gold Cup). Sad truth, but Torres probably doesn’t draw much attention to the league outside of hardcore soccer/concacaf. Dempsey is a true marketing star, and because of his success in Europe can also bring international eyes to the league.

  26. Hush says:

    Now, if we can just get invited to Copa Libertadores…

  27. Pingunça says:

    A little more info– a load of the tickets sold in the upper deck -most of the 300 level is not open seating during most SSFC matches – were part of a 3 match pack which includes Portland 8/25 — RSL on 9/13 and L.A. on 10/27

    So.. in theory we may see two if not three Sold Out regular season capacity crowds at C link

  28. whoop-whoop says:

    Soccer and MLS are certainly imperfect with a LOT of room for improvement for the sport, but I am really beginning to feel a sense of pride in the way we are growing the sport and our league in our own way. Honestly, the last 5 years have been remarkable, I only hope it continues on the same trajectory.

    Also can’t help but want to thumb my nose at FIFA for it’s lukewarm support. I’m anxiously awaiting Sepp Blatter’s next ludicrous press release regarding how disappointed he is w/ the growth of soccer in the U.S.

    Orrr, better yet… 72,000 strong in Seattle serenading him.

    Sepp, Sepp….. no bribes… no dirty money… no corrupt fools
    Sepp, Sepp…. no welcomes… no invites… for slimy FIFA tools
    Sepp, Sepp… no credit… no thanks… just a hearty F*** Y**!!!

    Childish I know, but…. still.

  29. Brian says:

    The crowds and excitement for the Cascadia teams is just fantastic. I really wonder what would have happened if MLS would have started in ’96 with these teams. Would it have grown into what is today? Would they have faltered way back then and just been a stagnant franchise? I know this is all hypothetical, but I’m just curious.

    • Charles says:

      MLS wanted the Sounders, the Sounders (Oki) didn’t want MLS

      • RAMONE says:

        MLS had a lot of targets, Seattle (and Portland and Vancouver) among them. Whether it would have turned out to be the Sounders, Timbers and Whitecaps joining or MLS choosing to toss tradition (Vancouver was really the only team that had been operating for a while as the Whitecaps prior to MLS’s formation, Sounders 2.0 started in 1994 while the Timbers were still in mothballs after a failed resuscitation attempt in the late 80s when MLS started up).

        I’ll be honest (as a Timber fan), the tradition has a lot to do with the success of the rivalry. It was heated in the NASL and people remember that which allowed for a renewal pretty quickly when all three were finally back up and running in the lower leagues. MLS just puts it on a bigger stage.

        Given the MLS business plan in 1994, if Seattle, Vancouver and Portland had been original teams, I suspect they would have had cheesy minor league baseball like logos and been something more like the Totems, Orcas and Firs. While that might have grown into something 17 seasons on, it would not have had the same draw it does with 40-70 year olds who remember the NASL rivalries when they were kids through young adults back in the 70s.

        Ultimately, it may have been good for all three clubs to find their footing (some more than others – zing!) in the lower leagues and INSIST to MLS they be able to keep their heritage.

        My $0.02 at least.

        • Charles says:

          Agreed, as a 40-70 year old, who has been watching since the 70s
          The tradition was huge and forced on Seattle ownership at least, who didn’t want to keep the Sounder’s name when entering MLS.
          MLS would be smart to remember that as it expands and keep “cheesy” NASL names, like the Soccers, when hitting past and cirrent big markets.

    • Andy says:

      1996 would have bee a mistake in those cities. The MLS back then was a WNBA Arena League abortion with those silly names and uniforms. Kansas City Wiz. Enough said. The fans in Seattle and Portland would have thought that league was a joke.

      It took TFC to bring the league in the right place for those other cities to join and succeed.

  30. Charles says:

    Let me just up the hatred for Sounders fans.

    I think the Sounders would have sold out without Dempsey, but man that happened pretty quickly.
    I hope that the rest of the nation follows Seattle (and other fans) example….while way too many of the fans are busy crying like babies over whether soccer in America is good enough for Dempsey, Seattle ( and others ) are enjoying a great league that gets better by the minute, where the top 15 teams are seperated by 10 points, where guys in 15 cities believe their team has a chance of winning it all this year, where Dempsey, LD, OG and others play very well.

    To anyone saying “waaahhh, MLS is a joke league”…..go away as quickly as the Sounders sell out versus the Timbers after Dempsey signs and joins a great league.

    • JF says:

      most soccer fans in America do not watch MLS. Are they all “euro snobs”?

    • Brett says:

      I’m not a big MLS supporter because I have no geographical loyalty to get me into the league. The rivarlies, all this Cascadia stuff, is background noise to me. I follow the developing youth players and keep my eyes out for bits of brilliant play that are relatively uncommon.

      Club soccer for me has been relegated to nearby semi-pro teams (teams I have a better chance to play for than see on TV) and following the better American players in leagues abroad. Bringing the US captain to MLS to play for MLS’ best-supported franchise is pretty big to a neutral like myself. Thanks to the Dempsey move, I am now more likely to watch a Sounders match, not because the quality of play will be better, but because I have a reason to watch. In that respect, it’s a good move.

      The only other way to attract a fan like me is with a superior product. That is where MLS continues to be a “joke league”. They try to improve the product with name recognition and players who no longer play at a superior level. The players who accept the wage structure only do so with eyes on leaving the league as quickly as possible. We will never have a superior product until we have the breadth and quality to keep our best players and attract better ones from elsewhere. In Dempsey’s case, we did neither. We lost him in his prime, and now he’s back–not washed-up by any stretch but definitely on the downhill portion of his climb. So they’re going about that backwards, trying to improve the quality by forcibly unbalancing the wage structure.

      What I need from MLS to elevate it beyond that “joke” status is a wider league structure with promotion and relegation. Teams should be able to earn their way to the top instead of buying slots in a league that can’t support more than two dozen clubs. Having multiple divisions with unbroken geography (that means you can’t just have teams from one area playing most or all of their games in that area) the only way to support a league large enough to include cities from coast-to-coast and border-to-border. Setting it up like the NBA will never allow the league to expand into tiers and include enough teams to make it a true national sport.

  31. JF says:

    hey hey ho ho single entity has got to go

  32. BamaMan says:

    Serious question to Seattle fans, does anyone think a return to a real grass surface is a possibility? I realize that real grass was simply not workable when UW, the Seahawks, and the Sounders were sharing the field, but now that UW is back in Husky stadium, maybe they could put in real grass? I’m a football and soccer fan and I think both sports (soccer even moreso) are greatly improved by real grass.

    • james says:

      Not going to happen. Big debate came up a few years ago. Hanauer said that they’d have to shut the stadium down for a year to install the necessary below surface infrastructure and plant/grow the grass. Seahawks (and Seahawk fans for that matter) would never move to Husky Stadium for a year.

    • Ian says:

      Honestly little chance. The Seahawks organization has stated in the past that they love the CLink FieldTurf. And the NFL is God… I’d love real grass for both sports but I’d put the chance of switchihg at 5%.