In some experts' eyes, the heartbeat of Major League Soccer isn't in DC, New York or even Los Angeles, but in the Pacific Northwest. Sounders supporters have a consistent post-season record to back their claim. Their talismanic players - none greater than striker Clint Dempsey - can match LA Galaxy for star quality. And the franchise is one of the most financially successful in MLS history. But the truth is... it's about the fans. Book your seat and find out why with Seattle Sounders Tickets on StubHub.
Seattle Sounders - a soccer team for a soccer city
Although the Sounders joined the MLS as an expansion team in 2009, the team's identity dates back to the NASL team formed in the 1970s - its name chosen by a fan vote and revived by popular demand. Those roots explain the depth of rivalries with Portland Timbers and Vancouver Whitecaps FC, now reunited by MLS as the best of sporting enemies.
The club's close links to the Seattle Seahawks, and playing at the Seahawks' CenturyLink Field, give the team a business base and a permanent home that are the envy of other franchises. But this alone can't explain its thriving identity as a club. Having originally closed parts of the stadium to create a better atmosphere, the Sounders have repeatedly had to raise their ground capacity to accommodate the biggest crowds in the MLS.
The Sounders have a unique relationship with their fan base. The Sounders FC Alliance includes all season ticket holders and gives fans the right to vote on key team decisions. Fan groups like the Emerald City Supporters have endorsed the 'March to the Match' down Occidental Avenue, while the presentation of the "Golden Scarf" to honour a member of the local community has become a club tradition.
Making memories with the Seattle Sounders
The team had rewarded their fans with playoff places for eight straight seasons before finally clinching the 2016 MLS Cup, but they already had four Lamar Hunt US Open Cups to their name, as well as a Supporters Shield. Prolific strikers like Fredy Montero, the agile and pacey Obafemi Martins, and US captain Clint Dempsey - a tough competitor and inspiring leader - have produced many moments of genius.
However, it's typical that one of the Sounders' stand-out moments is a goal against Portland in 2009. With less than a minute on the clock, Sanna Nyassi produced a sublime one-two on the turn, then a breath-taking, volleyed, outside-of-the-boot cross that Roger Levesque met with a diving header. The goal celebration - Nate Jacqua 'felling' Levesque like a tree - made Levesque a cult hero, enraged the Timbers, and stoked soccer's great Northwest rivalry.