I'm taking a break from my tactics writing to address something which is also important to me. This is the desire to sell out Qwest field for a regular-season MLS match.
There are currently some 30,000 (give or take a few hundred) seats at Qwest which are covered with tarps and unavailable for purchase. Joe Roth himself said that Sounders' games are not really sell-outs.
Before I go on, I need to say that while I am an active member of ECS, I am not a voice of leadership in that organization. If you want to know what ECS thinks, there are certainly many outlets for you to come across that information. This is about what I think. and what I think is that once again, the Sounders FO/management/ownership has demonstrated their appalling tone deafness.
This is what I have to say, to Joe, to Adrian, to Drew, even to Sigi, Kasey, and the players:
TAKE OFF THE TARPS!
When Portland and Vancouver visit, take off the tarps. I want to see EVERY seat in Qwest available. I want to see 65,000+ at a regular season MLS game. I want that derby match in front of an Old Trafford or San Siro scale crowd to catch the attention of the global audience which still believes "soccer doesn't matter here."
Here's the thing. If 1,500, or 2,000... or even 5,000 Portland or Vancouver fans want to buy tickets, and we have the space available, then for &%$#'s sake bring them in. Give them their own section, staff the area with the appropriate security, and prove to everyone that this nonsense about violence is just that.
By doing this, it would have the added benefit of making it possible for YOU, the Sounders fan, to buy tickets for away matches in Vancouver and Portland, and be able to sit or stand safely with your fellow Sounders fans and enjoy the match. Of course They won't be able to allow as many of us to attend, but that's not what this is about. To me, this is about truly selling out Qwest for Cascadia derby matches, with the added benefit of pressuring Vancouver and Portland - with limited seating - to allow more of us there (this IS a rivalry, after all!).
What purpose does "limiting" the number to 500 possibly serve. I am perfectly aware that "allocation" and "limitation" are not the same thing, and I or a Portland or Vancouver supporter can buy tickets outside of the allocation. The problem is, this is exactly what we are trying to avoid, and furthermore, WOULDN'T YOU RATHER BE SURROUNDED BY FELLOW SUPPORTERS OF YOUR TEAM!
This isn't about away fans diminishing the "home field advantage." This isn't about Keller getting bags of piss thrown on him. This isn't about whinging supporters demanding they get their way. This is about taking off the tarps and filling every seat.