Before we get to the game, let’s say this: Seattle fans are the best fans in Major League Soccer.
There are plenty of other excellent fan bases out there—the ones in Chicago, Toronto, and DC come to mind—but Seattle has the best, and really, it’s not even close.
Sounders fans pack Qwest Field for each and every game, 36,000 strong, and they maintain a steady thrumming atmosphere of singing, chanting (Left side of the stadium: “See-aaatttle!” Right side: “Soouuuunnderrrs!”), bleacher-bouncing, and cheering.
It’s absolutely first-rate, and any non-fan who flipped by the game on TV would definitely pause for a second to take stock of it.
That’s why last night’s match—the second consecutive scoreless draw in an MLS game with playoff implications—was even more disappointing than a scoreless draw usually is. The Seattle fans created a Cup-final-type atmosphere, and they deserved better.
The home fans did get the silver lining of a penalty save from veteran keeper Kasey Keller, who stopped the expert marksman World Cup-confident speedy Robbie Findley from the spot:
Despite the World Cup experience now under his belt, Findley is third on RSL’s depth chart at striker, behind Costa Rican Alvaro Saborio and Argentine Fabian Espindola, the latter of whom who was out injured last night.
RSL was missing two other starters in goalkeeper Nick Rimando and centerback Jamison Olave. Rookie Chris Schuler (out of Creighton) filled in capably for Olave. Seattle was missing right back James Riley and striker Blaise Nkufo.
Beyond Findley’s poorly taken PK, there were not many other solid scoring opportunities.
Seattle now has just one loss in its past nine matches, while RSL has just one defeat in its last 19. Both of these teams are going to the playoffs, count on it, and, despite last night’s goal-free display, both will be tough to beat.