How did you feel viewing last nights match between Panama and USA at CenturyLink Field? Could you fully enjoy the match without cringing a bit while hearing Seattle's crowd?
The crowd was laughing, chanting, barking, etc. They were very much into the game, as they should be. While I believe they are just a bunch of Portland-imitators, they surely have the eye-candy in their NFL (60+ thousand capacity) stadium to catch anyones attention. So much so that some are trying to claim it as USA's "Azteca". Seattle beat us in hosting a USMNT match, which unfairly prints Seattle, in people's mind, as the best and most passionate soccer market in the nation.
Or is it really unfair to say Seattle is the best place to host a match for the USMNT? They have the stadium and crowd to back it up. Is that not what this country has been aiming for all this time? In the state Oregon, we may know them as imitators but they are very nicely broadcasted as the largest and most passionate fan base in the States. We can sellout 20,000 seats every game but as long as our rivals up the good ol' I-5 have the luxury in using an NFL stadium, we will always be overshadowed by them. If they somehow manage to replace their turf with grass then there would be no real incentive for the USMNT in ever coming down to Jeld-Wen Field.
Some of you may say to yourself, "who cares? I don't care what they do, I am only focused on us." Okay. I feel you brother. We can only do what we will and control what we can. I'm that type of person myself. But in the spirit of being rivals, no matter how cool we may be about the elephant in the room, we may have to address the issue someday. Hopefully by then we are not too late because we must remember that we are a small market after all. So we must take advantage of the soccer leading position we are currently in before the rest of the nation starts catching up to us and even surpassing us with their new/large/shinny stadiums and someday, large crowds.