Sounders!

ssfclogoIn 1974, the San Jose Earthquakes began playing at Spartan Stadium. A family friend worked for the club, and got us tickets whenever we wanted. It was a small field, but a fantastic atmosphere. It was San Jose’s first professional franchise outside of minor league baseball. There was a buzz all over the South peninsula. The crowds were rowdy and passionate. This was soccer at it’s highest level in the U. S., and the fans were an example to the league of how to support their club.  The place held 18,000, and it was rare to find an empty seat. I was hooked, and looked forward to the games.

Years later (80-83), I was the head athletic trainer for the San Diego Sockers. Some of my favorite trips were to Seattle to play the Sounders. I loved the facilities at the Kingdome. The crowds were great. Even though the cavernous state of the place prohibited the intimate feel that Spartan Stadium had, The passion of the fans was palpable.

It was a grand disapointment when the Sounders folded amidst a crumbling league. For the rest of the decade, the american brand of professional soccer was mostly played in sports arenas with Astroturf  laid down over hockey ice.

After we moved to The Puget Sound Area, We were happy when the Sounders were resurrected in the 90’s. When the MLS announced the new frnchise in Seattle, we decided to spring for season tickets. We’re counting down til Thursday’s kickoff. I’m flashing back to the summer of 74 when I saw my first professional soccer game. With the lower bowl mostly filled with season ticket members I’m anticipating the type of atmosphere we had in San Jose. There is a buzz around the area. The crowd will be rowdy and passionate. This is the game at it’s highest level in the U. S. Let’s show the rest of the league how to support it’s club.

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