TUKWILA — If you’re reading this blog, chances are you’re perfectly aware that Wednesday’s game is a “big f-cking deal.” But illustrating why that is can sometimes be a little more complicated. Seattle Sounders head coach Brian Schmetzer even joked that he thought explaining that part was “Marshawn Lynch’s job.”
Aside from showing people Lynch’s excellent promo, another way to help explain: just show them the number of national-media types who are in town.
Among the notable figures in attendance at Monday’s training session were Grant Wahl, various representatives from TUDN, and ExtraTime Radio hosts Andrew Weibe and David Gass. TUDN’s Michele Giannone managed to get both Roldan brothers for an interview segment, while ExtraTime has a blowout episode that will feature interviews with Cristian Roldan, Jordan Morris, Garth Lagerwey and Brian Schmetzer. There are more national media types expected to trickle in over the next two days.
All of that is on top of activations and appearances that are going on around town. Among the landmarks getting in on the Sounders’ spirit are the Space Needle, Pike Place Market, Starbucks, the Pacific Science Center, Fremont Troll, Washington State Ferries, T-Mobile Park, The Great Wheel, MoPOP and Columbia Tower.
If you are in or around Seattle anytime in the next few days, the Sounders’ presence will be almost inescapable ... which is exactly as it should be.
Closing in on a sellout
As of press time, there were only a few hundred tickets remaining for sale through Ticketmaster. Earlier in the day, the Sounders confirmed that there were “less than a thousand” remaining and that their expectation is that they’d sell out, likely by the end of the day.
The exact capacity is not yet known — there are a host of variables in play — but the Sounders have already moved enough tickets to set a new CCL finals record and will almost certainly break the tournament’s single-game attendance record. They won’t, however, break the Sounders’ own attendance record of 69,274 which they set in the 2019 MLS Cup.
To set that record, the Sounders needed to add about 500 temporary seats and standing-room-only spaces. They won’t have the capacity to do the same for this game. Still, the Sounders should have more than 68,000 in Lumen Field, a remarkable number by any standard.
Pumas riding some momentum
The Sounders were able to move their game that had previously been scheduled for this past weekend in order to better prepare for Wednesday. Liga MX did not do Pumas any similar favors.
Pumas made the most of it, however. They needed to beat first-place Pachuca on Sunday in order to qualify for their playoffs, and managed to do just that while also rotating out six starters. Among the players who came off the bench were Juan Ignacio Dinenno, who followed up his two-goal performance against the Sounders with another brace.
Dinenno scored a header off a set-piece almost immediately after coming on and then followed it up with another goal off a breakaway. The Argentinian now has six goals — and three braces — in his past six matches across all competitions.
For their trouble, Pumas will open the “Reclassification” portion of the playoffs against Chivas de Guadalajara on Sunday. If they win that game, they’d earn a spot in the quarterfinals.