EDITOR'S NOTE: It's a slow week and this seems not to be getting the attention it deserves. Discuss. - Jeremiah
I had my first experience in supporting the Sounders away from home on May 28th, 2011 in
Salt Lake City Sandy, UT. My experiences as an away supporter are best summed up with my tweets from the trip:
Arrived in SLC yesterday. Visiting w/ fam today. Bringing 22 people to see @SoundersFC beat up on @RealSaltLake tonight. #awaysupport
Tweet 2 (this was actually retweeted by @SounderAtHeart, what an honor):
Eating at Crown Burger and then walking to Rio Tinto to see @SoundersFC end @RealSaltLake home unbeaten streak. #awaysupport
@SoundersFC stuns @RealSaltLake and I was there to see it. Epic. #awaysupport
Obviously I was being a little more than hopeful with my second tweet. There's no way I could have known that on that rain drenched evening at Rio Tinto, the Sounders would play spoilers to what still stands as the longest home winning streak in league history.
The Sounders have a great team this season and as a fan I couldn't be happier. After Saturday's loss, we're sitting at 7-2-1. Break that down into home and away records, and we're 5-2-0 at home and 2-0-1 on the road. Points have been earned in every road game. So far this season, we've been better on the road than at home. This is not an anomaly for Seattle either. Last season our record was 18-7-9, but again our road record was better than our home record with 31 points (9-4-4) being earned at home and 32 points (9-3-5) on the road. The Sounders had the best road record in the league last season with SS winning LA in a distant second at 7-5-5.
One conclusion that can be made from this is that statistically over the last 1.5 seasons, Seattle is more likely to reward traveling fans with point(s) earning performances than they are home fans. One reason this may be true is that Seattle seems to do better against teams that attack rather than teams that bunker (case in point last night against RSL). There are lots of ways to break down why this is, but that's not what this post is about.
Read (and share) more about #awaysupport...
With this post I want to invite S@H readers to share their #awaysupport stories from previous seasons, and their plans for upcoming away games. I know that the ECS is great about arranging tickets, travel, and accommodations for their members traveling to away matches, but I'm not an ECS member and since I bring small kids to the games, I don't sit among them even at away matches. This is not a knock against the ECS. I love what they do and what they bring to both our home and away matches. They're just not for me in my current family situation. Given that, I have to "go it alone" with travel, tickets, etc. I'm sure this is true of many S@H readers (though I know the two groups aren't mutually exclusive).
This year I'm planning 2 away trips and the first is next weekend at Vancouver. With a friend of mine, I had shared a hope of going to a Vancouver away match at some point. When the 2012 schedule was first announced, we quickly scanned for the Vancouver game, spotted the one on the 19th and started our travel research. Within 24 hours we had purchased train tickets and made hotel reservations. Over the next few months I got passports for my kids and (im)patiently waited for the Whitecaps to put tickets on sale. Via a minor miracle, I managed to buy front row seats to the game. With front row seats at a Cascadia Cup match, you have to do a banner, and we've been working on one. So on certain corner kicks, you may see a banner on the railing that looks something like this with a family of Sounders fans and friends behind it.
My second away trip will be back to
Salt Lake City Sandy, UT. I have family in Utah, and with that game falling on the 4th of July, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to make the trek again. I'm suspicious that RSL will actually try to play against us in their house, so we should do better than last night.
I'm curious what other trips S@H readers have made. Good trips. Bad trips. Impressive venues. Not-so-impressive venues. From my limited experiences and observations from television broadcasts, no team in the league travels better than Seattle does, and we're more likely to be rewarded for our efforts than the fans of any other team. If you haven't yet, make plans for #awaysupport.