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Know Your History: The 40 Years of Sounders Edition

The history of soccer in the Pacific Northwest is long and storied. The Seattle Sounders FC that play at CenturyLink Field today are part of a larger heritage that began 40 years ago at Memorial Stadium and the Kingdome. This 2014 season we will celebrate and pass along the Sounders tradition that was born in '74. We hope that this infographic will assist and challenge you to "Know Your History" -- all 40 years of it.


(click image to view full resolution)

(pdf version)

UPDATE 02/08/14: I made some adjustments and fixes to both the PNG image and the PDF file in order to make it a bit easier to read without having to zoom in.

Born in 1974. To be completely technical, the NASL awarded franchises simultaneously to Seattle, San Jose and Vancouver on 12/11/73. After a public fan vote, the team name of "Seattle Sounders" was adopted on January 22, 1974. The inaugural game of the inaugural season kicked off May 5, 1974 and the rest is -- as they say -- history.

With this infographic we are recognizing the history, heritage, and tradition of professional-level soccer that spans over the past 40 years. Not only was it important to recognize the NASL, USL/A-League, and MLS versions of the Sounders, it was fitting to pay tribute to the equally important years of FC Seattle/Seattle Storm teams -- teams that played a very large role in keeping the tradition of soccer alive and well in the Pacific Northwest.

Some highlights:

- 21 total trophies; From NASL Pacific Conference Champions in the NASL, to League Champions in the USL/A-League, to back-to-back-to-back US Open Cup Championships.

- League award winners; Famous names such as Roger Davies, Peter Hattrup, Mark Peterson, Fredy Montero, Marcus Hahnemann, Jim McAllister, Kasey Keller, Chance Fry, Alan Hinton, and Brian Schmetzer.

- Breaking attendance barriers; our MLS attendance is well known, but way back in the NASL days, the Sounders averaged 18,293 over 9 years (1974-1983) while the league average was 12,620 in the same time frame.

Special thanks goes out to Frank MacDonald (@frankmsounders) and Molly Wagner (@crazycalico). Molly helped me with a lot of the early number leg work and fact-checking with her book collection. Frank is a walking fountain of Sounders knowledge from the past and present. Without Frank's help, a lot of these numbers and dates would be the not-so-accurate versions found on Wikipedia.

Note for attendance numbers: All numbers shown are SEASON averages, not single game highs or lows. For single game attendance records:

NASL Sounders: league 49,606 all comps 56,256 friendly 58,125
FC Seattle: league 8,199 all comps 8,199 friendly 5,300
Sounders : league 25,515 all comps 25,515 friendly 10,002
Sounders FC: league 67,385 all comps 67,385 friendly 67,052

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