This is the third part of a series in which we introduce Orlando City fans to the teams our Lions will be facing in 2015 when the team starts play in Major League Soccer. Today we take a look at the Seattle Sounders.
What are the three most important things Orlando City fans need to know about the Seattle Sounders?
1. Enormous crowds. Seattle will set the MLS record for attendance in a season for the sixth straight year.
2. Open Cup success. Sounders FC won their fourth Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup this year. It was their seventh time in the last eight seasons in the semifinals or better.
3. Regular season points. While MLS trophies haven’t been won, the club is second only to the LA Galaxy in points earned from 2009 to the present.
What nicknames, chants and slang are unique to the Sounders, and can you please explain them if they aren’t readily apparent to the outsider?
DC: Nicknames: Hydra (for the offense), Honey Badger (Osvaldo Alonso).
Chants: Boom-Boom-Clap at entry to the field, Perry Como’s “Seattle” and Woodie Guthrie’s “Roll On, Columbia”
Slang: We have our own section dedicated to Sounder at Heart slang.
What are the can’t-miss things to do when Orlando City fans visit a Sounders game?
DC: It would be hard for visiting fans to appreciate the March to the Match because it is for the home team, but it’s worth seeing. Most of the match day bars aren’t visiting fan friendly either. Your best bet for a somewhat friendly visit would be Fado with Gorilla FC (the second largest supporters group here) or you can hang out on the day before/after with other fans and see stuff like Temple Billiards and Fuel.
If you have one free day, fit as much of this in as you can. It gets you the stuff that your friends back home expect you to do, plus some quirky things—Space Needle, Pike Place Market, Fremont Troll, the Gum Wall. If you have another day, choose one based—a walk-on ride on the ferry to a place like Bainbridge Island, or a trip to Snoqualimie Falls, with lunch at a rural diner in Fall City or Duvall.
Who are the key players on the Sounders we should know about?
DC: Seattle Sounders FC has several MLS All Stars. Clint Dempsey and DeAndre Yedlin went to the World Cup. The 2010 World Cup had Obafemi Martins and backup keeper Marcus Hahnemann. Brad Evans helped the U.S. qualify for Brazil. Osvaldo Alonso, Chad Marshall and Marco Pappa are all great MLS players. With a team that could win the Supporters’ Shield the club is a bit stacked.
Which Seattle players might get exposed in the upcoming MLS Expansion Draft?
DC: Two of the following four are likely to be available. Midfielders Michael Azira and Andy Rose are both good passers. Azira wins balls on the ground and Rose dominates the air. Both can work centrally or wide. Azira can play right back, while Rose can fit as a center back in an emergency situation. Veteran forwards Kenny Cooper and Chad Barrett both contribute this year mainly off the bench and sometimes as right mids. Barrett is all about direct play, rushing on goal. Cooper has soft feet and looks like he should be a target forward. If you get him, hope your coach doesn’t make that mistake.
Big thanks to Dave for his insight into the Seattle Sounders, and we look forward to seeing our purple-clad Lions square off with his boys in green.
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