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Fans’ presence will be felt in Sounders’ return to CenturyLink Field

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Chants will be piped into the stadium, ECS fills Brougham End with banners.

Max Aquino / Sounder at Heart

Although fans weren’t able to return to CenturyLink Field along with the Seattle Sounders, their presence will still be felt during Sunday’s game against Los Angeles FC.

In addition to having crowd noise piped into the stadium, the Emerald City Supporters — as well as Gorilla FC and North End Supporters — filled most of the Brougham End with various banners. ECS had more than 40 different banners.

Many of the signs represented the various subgroups like Altis Legion (Olympia), Barra Fuerza Verde (Latino), Emerald City Sirens (womxn and gender nonconforming), Heartland Horde (Midwest supporters), Tropic Sound (Gulf Coast), and West Sound Armada (Olympic Peninsula).

More prominently, though, were large social justice signs. In addition to a large “Black Lives Matter” there was also three signs spelling out “Anti-Racist, Anti-Fascist, Always Seattle,” and the Iron Front Flag.

As for the crowd noise, the Sounders will have the ability to control things like cheers and which songs will be sung by the virtual fans, giving it a dynamic feel. Both players and coaches apparently requested the crowd noise.

“The Sounders crowd and home-field advantage is something we all appreciate and has been a source of pride for our club for many years,” head coach Brian Schmetzer said in a team release. “Although I fully understand there is no substitute for real fans in the building, I prefer some background cheering and reminders of our crowd, as it may help our players in an already challenging time. I hope that some familiar banners and flags, combined with the right amount of background atmosphere, will help the players feel at home.”