With the Mariners losing yesterday (another one-run game…sigh), they are now 3-7 in the 10 games since the All-Star Break, and they’ve lost 5 of the last 6 games. In other words, it’s bleak times for the M’s right now. However, Seattle fans should not be depressed! Football season right around the corner, and in the meantime there is another successful team in Seattle to cheer for: Seattle Sounders FC. Since they joined MLS in 2009, the Sounders have attracted quite a following, yet remain below the Mariners in the hierarchy of Seattle sports. Whether you like soccer or not, I strongly encourage you to follow the Sounders over the next couple of months.
Here are my top five reasons why:
Best team in the MLS. The Sounders sport a record of 12-4-2 for a total of 38 points. That’s good enough for the top spot in the Western Conference (6 points better than Real Salt Lake) and a tie with Sporting Kansas City’s 38 points in the race for the Supporter’s Shield (Seattle has played 3 less matches than SKC).
Highest scoring team in the league. For those of you who like watching goals, the Sounders are the right team to watch when it comes to the MLS. Without a doubt, this squad plays a very entertaining brand of futbol. With a relentless, attacking style of play, Seattle likes pushing the ball forward and getting it on the feet of the two people below in dangerous spots.
Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins. They are arguably the best forward combination in the MLS. Dempsey has been Dempsey. After struggling to find the back of the net last season in his first two months with the club, he leads the team with 9 goals this season, and he’s done so in only 10 matches. He also has 3 assists to add to his stat sheet. Meanwhile, Oba has worked his way into the MVP discussion. His 8 goals are second on the team and his 6 assists are tied for the team lead with Gonzalo Pineda. When these guys are on the field together they are almost impossible to stop.
Seattle is fully healthy and at full strength. After having its depth tested in May and June by injuries and players away on international duty, the Sounders are finally getting healthy. Dempsey and DeAndre Yedlin were representing the U.S. in Brazil, while many key players like Brad Evans, Djimi Traore, and Leo Gonzalez have been sidelined by the injury-bug. Even Oba has struggled with a hamstring injury for the past few weeks. While the group performed admirably with thin depth, getting healthy is just what the Sounders need right now – mainly because of the reason below.
8 matches in just over a month. Following a two-week break from MLS play, Sounders FC have a busy month ahead of them. It starts tonight in a nationally-televised match (ESPN2) at home against L.A. Galaxy. Seattle has won it’s last 6 MLS-matches at CenturyLink. 5 of the next 8 games are at home, and it is important that the team takes advantage of their recent brilliant home-field play. This next month is a crucial one for Sounders FC on their quest for their first MLS Cup.
You may not be a huge soccer fan, but neither was I just a few years ago. It was exactly this time of the year that I first started watching the Sounders play – mainly because I wanted to cheer a team on before football season started, and the Mariners were struggling. With the M’s playing depressing baseball the last two weeks, why not follow a team having a great season? Hop aboard the Sounder Train, it’s a one-way ticket towards success.