Leading up to the birthday of Sounder at Heart Dave (Founder and Managing Editor), Jeremiah (Managing Editor) and Susie (Deputy Editor SaH, Editor-in-Chief Ride of the Valkyries) reached out to players, coaches, owners, fellow media and fans asking them about what Sounder at Heart’s community means to them.
These are their words.
Bev Yanez (Seattle Reign FC forward/midfielder)
[The] Sounder at Heart community is run by amazing people covering the women’s and men’s game. We are so thankful for the coverage and attention they have brought to our club. To have a community like this here in our hometown is incredible.
Cristian Roldan (Sounders midfielder)
I think it helps create a great culture with the connection between the fans, the players and the organization itself. People are able to voice their feelings, express their opinions and players can read those. I think that’s the beauty of Sounder at Heart, people have a platform to do as they please and players get to see that connection. It’s been running a long time for good reason.
Even before I joined the Sounders, I would especially read the player ratings as a way of familiarizing myself with the team. The writers are so knowledgeable about what’s going with the team and it helps create a buzz. As fans, that’s all you want. You follow that page and you will know everything you could want to know.
It’s great to read those comments, see how people felt I played. No other team really quite has that on this scale. Credit to everyone who’s a part of that.
Lauren Barnes (Seattle Reign FC defender, NWSL Defender of the Year)
It is amazing to have a community like Sounder At Heart who are so passionate about the sports in Seattle. Especially for the women’s game — providing such great coverage provides exposure to our world and is so vital to the spread and growth of women’s sport. Thank you for all you do and happy 10-year anniversary!
Adrian Hanauer (Owner Seattle Sounders 2002-present)
Starting with Davie Falk and SounderCentral, the Sounders online community has been a dynamic and growing part of the evolution of soccer in our region. With SounderatHeart, Jeremiah Oshan and Dave Clark have taken the profile of our sport to the next level. Their commitment to intelligent, thoughtful and balanced journalism has made the site the central repository for great Sounders content.
And the message boards have fostered a healthy and lively community of soccer fans, all with diverse and valuable input into the soul of our sport and specifically our Club. I am a massive fan of SounderatHeart and believe that it has been a helpful in making the Seattle Sounders a better organization and in making our soccer community larger and more vibrant.
Bill Predmore (Owner Seattle Reign FC, 2013-present)
Our city is lucky to have the team at Sounder at Heart digging up stories, sharing their perspective and elevating the debate and discussion about soccer and Seattle. We have always appreciated the coverage, comments, and critique from Sounder at Heart – they were among the first to cover our club and remain the best at keeping our fans inspired and informed.
Jason Churchill (Founder Inside the Park and Prospect Insider, first server host of SaH)
I remember when the subject was first broached and before the first suggestive sentence was complete I was saying “you should do this.”
I tend to believe people’s passions should be experienced by as many others as possible and when someone’s passion is so great, as Dave’s was for soccer, the Sounders and the city of Seattle, it would have been a shame for Mr. Clark to not share this passion with the planet.
Having done something similar — starting a blog, per se — I knew I could offer basic assistance to help Dave get off the ground. Then he’d fly on his own -- and we all see the result every day.
I’m not even a soccer fan, but I still check sounderatheart.com a few times per month just to see it breathe.
What Dave and company have built and sustained at Sounder at Heart for 10 years now is quite amazing, and while all I did was serve as the initial kick in the pants, I couldn’t be happier I did that. Not for soccer. Not even for Seattle. But for Dave.
And I think the most amazing thing about Sounder at Heart today is I can see Dave all over every word and every pixel, whether or not he wrote the word, snapped the photo or designed the graphic.
Dave might (or might not) tell you he bleeds Rave Green and breathes Sounder Blue, but I think the real truth is Dave Clark bleeds soccer and breathes community.
Congrats on 10 years!
Joshua Mayers (Sounders FC beat writer for the Seattle Times, 2010-2014)
I both loved and hated Sounder at Heart when I was covering the team.
Loved it for a lot of reasons: great people, great coverage, and the engagement on that site helped validate me having the job that I did. My dream job. A full-time professional soccer writer. I grew very close with those guys, closer than I was with my own colleagues.
So why the hate? Well, Dave and Jeremiah are damn good writers and reporters. They were worthy competitors as it came to breaking news, analysis and storytelling—and obviously my content got nowhere near their engagement. In that way, I hope the “hate” comes across as intended, a sincere compliment.
Happy 10 years!
Matt Gaschk (former Seattle P-I, former Sportsradio KJR-AM producer, former SoundersFC.com writer, current RSL.com content producer)
Back in 2007 when Major League Soccer announced that Seattle would be the home for the latest addition to the league in 2009, I was covering the team for the Seattle P-I and Sports Radio 950 KJR. In those USL days, fans had many outlets to get their Sounders news – whether it be from me, Matt Massey with the Seattle Times, Dave Falk with GoalSeattle.com, Steve Clare at the newly-minted Prost Amerika or the long-running Seattle Pitch website run by Ron Stickney. As a media core, we offered the variety of hard news and features on the newspaper side, an outlet to reach new fans on the radio side, historical and current news with the work of Falk and Stickney and the uniquely European-style of Clare.
With the new age of soccer in Seattle came a growing need for coverage with a deep connection to the fans and supporters throughout the Puget Sound. Whether they be soccer enthusiasts that pined for the big-league atmosphere of MLS, fans who watched matches from the Kingdome to the Tacoma Dome to Memorial Stadium and every stop in between, hardcore supporters that chanted and sang the Sounders to USL titles in 2005 and 2007 or any other in the vast array of fans that would pack CenturyLink Field nearly 18 months later in the inaugural MLS match against the Red Bulls. They all wanted more information, more reasons to follow, more reasons to be passionate.
And a platform for that passion.
That’s where Dave Clark and Sounder At Heart came in.
From Day One, Sounder At Heart was drawing from the pulse of the club. Every rumor as the team was taking shape through 2008. Every piece of news that came through the organization, no matter how menial it may seem to the casual onlooker. Every milestone hit along the way.
They were all covered with a fan’s voice, but with the journalistic integrity of a trained professional. Some stories took advantage of the nearly untethered access offered by the club as the fanbase was building. Others built on the emotional connection that fans of all ages were building with the newly founded club. Before a ball had been kicked, they were moving into the consciousness of the fans that have gone to make Seattle Sounders FC one of the greatest sports success stories.
Now with the help of a hard-working staff that has grown immensely since those early days, Sounder At Heart continues to be the voice of fans of all ages and genders. And as media has evolved over the years, it has become more and more vital to fans throughout the region – or across the country – who seek out a connection to the club they keep so dear.
Congratulations to Dave and every contributor who has helped make Sounder At Heart what it is today. You are all important to the continued growth of the club and the league as a whole.
Mike Gastineau (Host Sportsradio KJR-AM Seattle, author Authentic Masterpiece)
Sounder at Heart has become THE go-to place for Sounders fans to stay informed. SAH does a great job of providing coverage with a critical eye while also keeping in mind the passion and love Seattle fans have for their club. That’s not easy to do and it’s something big that separates Sounder at Heart from many similar sites across America.
Tyler Blez (Founder Athletics Nation, SB Nation)
I am really honored to say something about Sounder at Heart for it’s 10-year birthday. Sounder at Heart is a perfect example of what has always made the SB Nation team brands special. It was the best place for Sounders fans to gather for intelligent, forward-thinking commentary presented in a professional manner but unabashedly fan-first thinking. There was no question that Dave and Jeremiah were wearing their Sounder hearts on their sleeves and every time they critiqued the team it was from a perspective of wanting it to be the best it could. They defined quality and passion in the MLS blogosphere and were basically a perfect match for what we were trying to do in the soccer world. Congratulations on 10 years of being THE prototype of what a great MLS blog should be!! We have MOST definitely heard you!
Martin Buckley (Alliance Council Vice-President 2017, President 2018)
Sounder at Heart is the modern day manifestation of the supporter fanzine. Local, opinionated, connected, insightful. Sounder at Heart is our friend with the inside story, whispered news and sometimes a stop the presses scoop. Our Sounders world is infinitly richer with its presence.
Stephanie Steiner (Alliance Council President 2015-17, Vice-President 2018)
One of the most beautiful and dynamic aspects of Seattle Sounders FC is our fan community. Sounder at Heart is a spectacular collection of knowledge, passion, predictions, and sometimes commiserating. Sounder at Heart keeps us connected.