We start by putting our Bud Light Spotlight on what some are calling the biggest game in the history of the Sounders FC.
It’s this Wednesday night at CenturyLink Field, and not enough sports fans know about it.
Let’s put it in layman’s terms: The Sounders are just three rounds away from winning the CONCACAF Champions League. Win the Champions League, and they’d be one of only seven teams from around the world to qualify for the FIFA Club World Cup. Previous winners of the club world cup include FC Barcelona, AC Milan and Manchester United.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but unfortunately many run-of-the-mill sports fans in our area think of Manchester United and the Sounders, and remember the 7-0 embarrassment that was competitive until the second half, when Seattle regrettably emptied its bench. Most fans simply remember the shameful final score.
It’s a key reason why the Champions League quarterfinals, starting Wednesday night, against Santos Laguna of Mexico, is so important. Each step closer to the World Cup is one step closer to quashing the perception that the Sounders can’t one day compete with the absolute best clubs in the world.
Laugh if you will, but in just over three short years, the Sounders have quickly assembled an impressive group that continually gets better. Every move General Manager Adrian Hanauer makes shows that this franchise means business. And while there have been disappointments – most notably in the MLS playoffs and exhibition matches against the world’s best – the club’s successes in the US Open Cup indicate a trend in the right direction.
Take a look at the Sounders acquisitions over the past couple years and you see that it’s no joke. The end game is clear. Within a decade, the Sounders could be a legitimate contender on the world’s stage.
Given the importance of Wednesday night’s game, it’s disappointing that a crowd of just about 20,000 fans is expected. A ton of excellent tickets are still available
Blame it on the fact that the MLS season hasn’t yet started, or blame it on the lack of understanding American sports fans have regarding the CONCACAF Champions League. Many still don’t understand aggregate scoring – that if the Sounders win on Wednesday, they won’t advance to the next stage unless the aggregate score is in their favor after their second game against Santos in Mexico on March 14th.
But we’re slowly getting there. And the best thing that Seattle sports fans can do is show up to CenturyLink field on Wednesday night to support the team.
No American team has won the CONCACAF Champions League in the last 12 years. The Sounders have a shot. And we should all be there to witness history, should it happen.