The season tickets for next season's Seattle Sounders Women are going on sale for the current STH's this week. Watch your email for the details. The remaining tickets will go on sale to the public on September 22nd. This brought up questions for me and my fellow fans. What of the new pro team? What if the new team somehow works a deal to become the Sounders Women pro team, while the current incarnation of the SSW become the academy type team? People just don't have the disposable income to support so many teams. I know that I for one, cannot go to both womens' team games, and the Seattle Sounders FC games.
My plan is to support the current SSW team. I will be renewing my season tickets with them. Here's my reasoning behind this: I feel that the new pro team is a Johnny-come-lately that is trying to bust in on a good thing. Last season was the first and only season that the SSW were selling out virtually every home game. Of course, the signings of the USWNT members helped fill the seats initially, but it's the quality of the team as a whole that kept the seats filled even at the end of the season.
When I traveled to the away games for the SSW, I was shocked to see such small crowds after being at all of the crazy home games at Starfire. I just don't see how a pro team is going to survive outside a certain few markets. The fans just aren't showing up and shelling out the money. I don't plan on jumping ship as a STH just because there may be a shiny new ship to look at. I am staying the course with the SSW and SSFC, and am hopeful that you will too.
I am not planning on seeing the same team, no USWNT stars here. They will undoubtedly go where the money is. That may be a foreign country, or the East coast. Perhaps Alex Morgan will stay in Seattle, along with Stephanie Cox and Hope Solo, because they call this area home. I figure that they will end up on the pro team. One could hope that they will stay with the SSW though, and grow the game from the ground up so to speak. I hope that the current coaching staff will be staying the course with the SSW as well. Michelle French made a huge difference in the level of play.
Speaking of coaching, and making a difference... I am sad to see Pia Sundhage move on from coaching the USWNT. I am sure that they are searching for a quality replacement, but it will be hard to fill those shoes. At least from the outside looking in, it appeared that she helped bring the joy back to the game for those players. She calmed the egos, and allowed it to become a beautiful game again. Her final two games are fast approaching. The USWNT are currently on a National tour that will continue on even after Pia has moved on. The next game is on September 16, 2012 against the Australian Matilda's. It will take place at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California at 12:30pm. It will be shown on NBC. Pia's final game will also be against the Matilda's. It will be at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado on September 19, 2012. Game time is 7:00pm, and it will be shown on ESPN2 and ESPN3. I am happy for Coach Pia, because she gets to fulfill her dream of coaching the Sweden National team for the money that she deserves. It's our loss.
The USWNT will face Germany on October 20, 2012 at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, IL and then again on October 23rd at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, CT with a new coach at the helm. There is a rumor that the tour will also hit Portland, OR, but that is not confirmed. If you are in the area of one of these games, go. You will not be disappointed.
If you have the money, support the SSW and purchase season tickets. They are saying that there will be more home games this season. If you are so inclined, and have the means, then support the new Pro team as well. I think that we can all agree that the women deserve a pro league here in the states that will allow them to make a living wage at their chosen profession. I think too, that we can agree that the USWNT will be helped by having a top tier league in this country to help the USWNT members stay in game shape in between exhibition and cup matches. Let's hope that the powers that be can come up with a solution that will benefit all of us (fans, players and country), and will be sustainable.