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VIEW FROM THE ENEMY: Seattle Sounders Fan

Ahead of our game today, Dave Clark from Sounder At Heart has shared his thoughts on Seattle Sounders’ chances, their best players and the history of the club.

Scott the Red: Are you excited about the game?

Dave Clark: I’m actually not excited about the game. Friendlies are nice exhibitions and do a decent job of growing the potential fan base here, but I’m a fan of winning trophies (Seattle has two in the last two years) and would rather the organization concentrate on competitive matches while reaching out to people who will actually support a team to which they have local ties rather than one across the pond that happens to be much better, but of little significance locally.

STR: Who do you think is United’s best player?

DC: I don’t follow the Premier League closely, but I’m probably most impressed with Berbatov. It may be that I watched him win the Carling Cup with a Spurs fan and so I’ve paid a slight bit more attention to him. Park has a certain appeal as well, because he’s one of those men who plays a vital role that doesn’t seem to get the respect that he deserves.

STR: Tell us some background about your club.

DC: While the Seattle Sounders have only been in Major League Soccer for 2.5 years, there is a soccer tradition involving that name that goes back to 1974. Due to the franchise system of sports in America continuity within leagues is a bit lacking but at this level the team has won the US Open Cup (similar to the FA Cup) two straight years and is in its 5th straight appearance in the semi-finals of the same tournament. In the first season of MLS the Sounders fell one goal against either the Crew or DC United short of winning the Supporters Shield (best regular season), but the Playoffs and resulting MLS Cup have been a bit of a bother. This season the team sits in 2nd by total points in the league, is in the semi-finals for the Open Cup and will be in the Preliminary Round for the CONCACAF Champions League. The team has been good, if not great on the field. Off-field though it has been the biggest success in American soccer history outside of the New York Cosmos of the NASL. They are now averaging over 36,000 a match with strong TV ratings and sponsorship by XBox on the kits. Over Seattle’s history from the North American Soccer League to MLS they have 10 major trophies to their name.

The stadium here holds 67,000 or so people and was designed for both types of football played in the United States. It has the necessary width and length to host World Cup events and the tiniest of crowns for a true play of the ball. While it doesn’t have grass on a permanent basis it will for this game. Both the Seattle Seahawks and Sounders would love to have grass permanently but the shared nature of the pitch makes that ideal a bit difficult during the fall rainy season.

STR: Which of your players should we look out for?

DC: The players that deserve the most attention here are Osvaldo Alonso and Freddy Montero. While everyone who follows United knows about Kasey Keller, Alonso and Montero are the linchpins to success right now. Alonso plays as a defensive midfielder who is an extraordinary ball winner, decent passer and capable of a long range shot reaching net on occasion. Last off-season here he trained with Everton for a bit. Montero is a false nine who with strong technical skills, great ability to shoot in traffic and an ability to score on set-pieces from as far away as 40 yards. He’s more of a La Liga style forward than Premier League, and will likely leave for a better league someday.

STR: What are your predictions for the game?

DC: Unless United doesn’t try at all Seattle will get crushed. At best an MLS side is probably about the same quality as a mid-table Championship team and at worst a top table League Two team. But the results don’t matter, this is really an attempt to make Seattle a bit of money and expose people on both sides of the Atlantic to a new team, or two. This is soccer evangelism, and in the end a good thing. The result that matters will be finances down the road, not the scoreboard now.

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Follow Dave Clark on Twitter for updates before, during and after the game




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220 Comments

  1. Mickjk says:

    Just had a read. What a crock of shit. No team can be relegated because it would be a breach of contract on the franchise owner. What is the point in American footy? You’re doing it wrong Dave the Seattle fan.

  2. CedarsDevil says:

    A question was asked earlier about American sports, well the only one I can remotely associate myself with would be basketball. Not that I like the game by any means just that its the number one sport in what is tiny excuse of a country that I call home. In fact we are ranked 24th in the world and have qualified for the last 3 world cups, a tournament that hosts only 16 teams….. Not bad, but I still do not give a fuck about the game!

  3. John says:

    All you people attempting to insult Dave are way off base and are jumping to conclusions.

    Of course this game is interesting, but it is nowhere near as important as the trophy games being played. This is the middle of the regular season for the Sounders. It is a friendly that ultimately means little.

  4. John says:

    Basically, all you ManU fans are calling us “Yankee twats” because you expect to see us grovel and kiss the ground in front of the “great ManU.”

    Sorry, but as you’ll see from the crowd tonight, we’re not going to do that.

  5. theonlydel-malaysia says:

    m.u 7-0 ss ….great game play….great score…rooney hatrick…owen opener….diuop n obertan score….what a great game…..well done….

  6. Phil Jones' Locker says:

    What a nobjocky this chap is

  7. WHAT ??? says:

    Smartalex – no worries mate, and your right, he is being Sarky, I just understand where he’s coming from. He’d rather see his Club promoting themselves locally so they can fill their stadium every game. 30k supporters a week average ain’t bad for a 60k odd capacity ground. Its his sovereign right not to give much of a fuck about United :lol: Looks like an important player for them came off injured as well, which makes the point, plus getting spanked 7-0 in the middle of a Cup run can’t be good for morale, even for happy go lucky Yanks!

  8. WFW!!!? says:

    John:

    The crowd and general demeanor of Sounders fans was down right disgusting and a mar to the great game we all love. After being physically assaulted, we (myself and teenage brother) had to leave the game at half time b/c of the threat of the crowd in the Sounders supporters section. Trying to prove that they would not grovel and kiss the ground United walk on, the abuse only got worse as the Rooney et al piled on the goals. After leaving the grounds (we voiced our experience to the proper authorities) we encountered two other sets of fans who needed security to protect them from the Scouse of the MLS.

    Despite all of that, the many Mancunians I shared pints and songs with were brilliant. We out sang every pub we crawled into. Glory, Glory….

  9. GodalmingRed says:

    As someone who is a UK- based United diehard but has also lived in the US for many years at one point, and travels there five times a year on business, some of the comments on this thread really sadden me. Er…that’s all. Except that American football is a fine sport with a huge history and much subtlety, whatever some Brits may think. (And the Steelers are gods, natch). Let’s enjoy the fact that 67,000 people enjoyed a fun match, hope that the Sounders bounce back, and for us United fans, use this as more positive evidence of an exciting season ahead. Too difficult? Not really.

  10. John says:

    WFW, I’m sorry that occurred to you.

    Claiming, however, that you limited experience is representative of all Sounders fans is rather disingenuous.

    Also, your post doesn’t add up. You state that you left the game at half time, but then mention “it only got worse as the goals were piled on.” Those are mutually exclusive statements.

    Admittedly, I have little respect for American ManU fans. They’re the equivalent of bandwagon Yankee/RedSox fans in baseball. Picking the largest behemoth to root for is rather sad.

  11. NobbysTeeth says:

    Mind of no mind.Correction your a fucking stupid pedantic yank twat.Pissed the silly little sounders!

  12. whatever says:

    @WFW… yeah, if you sit in the Supporters End section of the stadium, you are going to probably catch some crap from the drunk kids. Why don’t you try reading your managers quotes after the match where he praises the idea that about 20k ManU fans can sit all over the stadium in the middle of 40K Seatttle fans without much issue.

    And by the way, this game was pretty stupid on many levels. Rooney probably wipes his ass with the amount of money our reserve back line makes in a year. The guys in the second half probably average $36 to $50k per year. Rooney probably made that in a day or two. Right now we can not be helped by the fact that our league has a salary cap that does not allow us to buy good players. Aside from that, our first team did a pretty damn good job in the first half. Then the kids came on and got schooled.

  13. AgentJ says:

    WFW, you should know better than to go to the supporters section in the other club’s colors. That treatment would be similar in pretty much any stadium you were to go to. There are 65,000 other places to watch the game from in that stadium, and you chose the single one that would cause the most issues? I’d wager to bet you’ve never been to a pro soccer match in your life. Certainly not in the EPL or anywhere else in Europe. I don’t even buy your story; as has already been pointed out, leaving at halftime and having the abuse get worse as the goals piled up are mutually exclusive statements.

  14. Mind of no mind says:

    NobbysTeeth – I love the irony of how you call me stupid when you’re still too stupid to know the difference between “your” and “you’re”.

  15. SeattleFan says:

    Dave Clarke is an idiot. I hope United supporters don’t think his views are in line with the majority of Sounders’ fans. I am a Sounders fan because I live in Seattle and they are my home team, but I follow United even more closely than the Sounders because they were the first team I ever saw play on TV and they caused me to fall in love with the game. This was years before the Sounders came into existence in their current form.
    I, and most Sounders fans who actually play and understand the game (which, unfortunately, does not include our biggest “supporters group”), were very excited to see United come to Seattle. It is always a pleasure to see the game played the right way; something we just don’t get with the Sounders and the MLS. American football just doesn’t have the talent. Our best athletes play a different version of football, or they play basketball. Maybe one day the LeBron James’s of the US will decide to play real football and we will start to make progress. Until that happens, we will always be a second tier football nation.
    But I hope United supports know that the true football fans in Seattle loved having the experience of having United in town, regardless of what the moron Dave Clarke says.

  16. seakingdriver says:

    I was at the game last night with 67,000+ of my closest friends and neighbors and thoroughly enjoyed it for many reasons:

    1. Seeing the skill of the MU squad was a thing of beauty to watch.
    2. Seeing my Sounders make a respectable showing during the first half against such talent — down 1-0 at the half — was a pleasant surprise.
    3. Having Sounders fans and MU supporters intermingled throughout the stadium with no fighting, etc. was gratifying. I hadn’t even thought about this point until Sir Alex commented specifically during a post-game show about this situation and wished aloud that such was (still) the case during EPL and other games on that side of the pond.
    4. 67,000 fans at a US soccer event (40,000+ of us rooting of course for the Sounders) who cheered and sang the whole time was phenomenal beyond words for me personally. As a boy, I attended many games in San Diego for the two NASL franchises there. As the numbers at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Diego_Sockers_(NASL)#Outdoor show, attendance was pathetic in view of what the game has become here in Seattle (we average 36,000+ per home game). What the numbers don’t show is that we had nothing in the way of cheering, singing (non-existent actually), or level of fan support that is the norm during Sounders games.

    On a somewhat-related point, in an earlier comment the fact was noted that some decades ago one would never observe a pick-up game happening at a local park or open lot in the States. I’ll attest to the fact that in my Seattle neighborhood and many like it around the area and indeed in many parts of Washington State, pick-up games are regular occurrences.

    MLS is by no means the EPL or anywhere close at the moment. Compared to the state of the sport in the US during the 70s and 80s, it is on its way there at some point if the popularity of soccer continues as it has become in this city and in other places where MLS (or even lower-level USL and PDL) franchises exist.

  17. John says:

    Seattlefan.

    It’s a friendly. The only reason you care is that you jumped on the ManU bandwagon years ago. Most Sounders fans aren’t ManU fans. We actually care about our team does in trophy games, and couldn’t give two shits about ManU. Subbing in our scrubs during half time proved that management had the same opinion.

    Good day.

  18. SeattleFan says:

    John.

    You jumping on the fact that I like Man U is to be expected. But I appreciated the Barcelona and Chelsea games as well, and I hate those two clubs. I am a fan of the sport and I enjoy watching a team that plays it well. I know it’s a friendly. But I also know that it really does not hurt the Sounders’ chances of winning any trophies. In fact, I would bet it seemed like an easy day for the starters; being that they only played 45 minutes. They have just as much of a chance of getting hurt in training as they do in playing 45 minutes of a friendly. If you think this friendly is going to hurt their chances of winning the Open Cup, then you don’t think to highly of their chances in the first place.

    Good day to you as well.

  19. Mind of no mind says:

    SeattleFan – The fact that this game doesn’t hurt our chances is only because we got lucky. Philly rescheduled their game against us that was supposed to be played today (7/23), because it interfered with their friendly against Real Madrid. So yes, there is not really any reason to be bitter about this specific game, but it still sucks to true Sounder supporters that the MLS gives priority to friendlies over league matches, as demonstrated in both Philadelphia and Vancouver this season, when those teams moved around dates to accommodate friendlies over league matches.

  20. AgentJ says:

    You two seem to have missed that Brad Evans was in fact injured during the game. We don’t know how long he is out, but he tends to lose several games for such things.

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