No longer designated player-less on Seattle

28 10 2008

Well if you haven’t already heard, Freddie Ljungberg has signed for Seattle. I like this acquisition for a number of reasons. First, Freddie can still play. He showed that at the Euro this summer, as he was voted MVP for team Sweden. He’s only 31 so should have a few more productive seasons in him. He’s a great character which is always important when starting a new franchise. And unlike Beckham, who excels more from dead ball and crossing situations, Ljungberg is a far more potent scorer. As an attacking mid, he will truly be the backbone for this squad.

Clearly, with Ljungberg and local boy Kasey Keller in the fold, Sounders FC are off to a great start. But they are also doing well off the field. Season ticket sales are strong, currently over 17,000. I especially like their interective ticketing webpage. In addition to the usual features such as highlightable seating map and views from each section, you can also hover over each section and see what percentage of current ticket holders like to sing/chant and stand. That can be helpful for a young guy like me, an older fan or a dad looking to buy tickets for his whole family. It also tells you who the favoured European club is in each section and any local soccer clubs your fellow sectionmates play in. You can even answer these questions yourself and the site will show you which sections are most suitable for you.

Overall you have to come away impressed with the Sounders kick off to their MLS life. Creativity will always score high in my books, but more than that, every move seems to be calculated toward creating a rabid and loyal fanbase first. For soccer to grow on this continent, that’s precisely the approach that’s needed.

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