Semis represent huge opportunity for more than Sounders
Having become the first ever MLS team to knock out a Mexican side enroute to the Semi Finals of the CONCACAF Champions league, the Sounders now stand upon the brink of even greater history. In a world where even Northern Ireland has a professional soccer league the perception of prestige is one of the most important factors in a league’s growth. Money, attendance, and tv spots go a long way but eventually you must be tested against the best and prove your worth.
Across North America and the Caribbean, Mexico has long reigned supreme. An MLS team reaching the final four marks the tremendous growth of the league. Reaching and winning the whole thing would legitimize 17 years of hard work and dreams by a nation of under recognized fans and players.
Everything the Sounders have done has been unprecedented. The first team in US history to appear in 4 consecutive US Open Cup finals and first to win 3 consecutively. Record setting attendance figures, and unparalleled success for an expansion franchise. LA may have the international stars and silverware but Seattle is clearly on a path to establishing itself as the league’s trademark franchise.
But trademark franchises win championships and championships can never be taken for granted. If the Sounders want to continue to grow as they have every year thus far, a CONCACAF title would be a major step toward attracting some of the European legends that thus far have only been wooed by New York and LA.