Could be that I'm viewing things a little too much through the lens of somebody who paid way too much attention to the whole Beckham/Galaxy fiasco of the past two years.
But is anybody else getting a feeling that MLS (perhaps in conjunction with Sounders FC ownership) is trying to set the team up to be a glamour club? Kind of like the LA Galaxy was supposed to be? The team who will show the league at its best and (if all goes well) glitz up its somewhat-tarnished image a little bit?
I've got no real facts to back me up, but I'm seeing some of the same things I saw with LA:
1) The opening match on ESPN2. At home.
2) A lot of nationally-televised games. Also at home. (All four of our ESPN and ESPN2 games are at home.)
3) Rumors of high-profile exhibition games against powerful teams. From GoSounders.com:
Let’s put one and one [and one together]. There are rumors that…
-- Seattle will play Chelsea in July this summer
-- FC Barcelona will play Chelsea in Seattle this summer
-- Sounders FC and Barça will play in Seattle this summer
Chelsea and Barcelona? Yikes.
Anybody else remembering Beckham's debut in the "World Series of Football"? No?
(Yeah, I'm trying to forget it too.)
4. Oh, and let's not forget that we have our very own European underwear model. (Sorry about the photo. I held out as long as I could. Plus I made it topical. And only above the belt.)
(Writing like a grownup is harder than I thought.)
What do you think? On the one hand, as a fan, I'm pretty of excited to be a part of this. On the other? Wow. This is an expansion team. Our first year. Aside from three USL Sounders, the guys haven't even played any real games together yet. (And of those three, Eylander won't even be on the field.)
And we're talking about Chelsea and Barcelona in five months?
On the plus side, I've been very impressed with the methodical way Sigi & Co. are going about picking the team, and I trust Seattle's management and ownership to do the right thing a whole lot more than I ever trusted the Galaxy and AEG. I can't see the Sounders folks engaging in panic trades to build a team around Ljungberg, or forcing Freddie to play before he's fit again for publicity and money reasons.
But still... An expansion team.
No pressure, guys. (Please, MLS, don't set up yet another one of my beloved teams to fail.)