A Team of Our Own

1974 – Around the World and Close to Home

Named as a co-conspirator in the Watergate investigation and about to become impeached, Richard Nixon becomes the first U.S. president to resign. Long lines and high prices at the gas pumps are results of the energy crisis caused by the OPEC oil embargo. Meanwhile, there is greatness in sporting life, with Hank Aaron surpassing Babe Ruth in career home runs and Muhammad Ali reclaiming the heavyweight crown with an upset of undefeated George Foreman. Before resigning, Nixon addresses a crowd of 85,000 in Spokane for the opening of Expo ’74. Seattle celebrates its first Gay Pride Week and by year’s end an NFL expansion franchise is granted to Seattle.

A Team of Our Own

The value of first impressions cannot be overstated. That first look, that first sighting, that first visceral emotion can extend far into the future, sometimes for a lifetime. Washington’s first encounter with a professional soccer club all its own has been compared to a fairytale, full of such romance, optimism and magic. It is called, by some, Camelot, a reference to the legends of King Arthur, which launched a movie and major musical, and the early days of John F. Kennedy’s presidency. For that summer, everything about the newly-formed Seattle Sounders and their fast-won fans seems to align perfectly.

It all begins less than six months before the first kick, when the North American Soccer League awards an expansion franchise. The ownership group is a Who’s Who of local businessmen whose names, such as Nordstrom, Sarkowsky, Skinner, Bean and Wright, lend instant credibility, far beyond what other NASL teams could comprehend. Their choice for the face of the franchise also proves providential. Head coach John Best is an accomplished player with movie-star looks, charm and eloquent British speaking.

Beyond media appearances, Best recruits a mixture of young and veteran players, all committed to playing for one another and growing the game. Twelve are British, with four Americans, including two locals, Ballan Campeau and Roger Goldingay. The foreigners are largely acquired on loan and arrive just a few days prior to the opening match, at Los Angeles. If Best is the visionary for what the Sounders can become, his lieutenant proves to be the galvanizing force on the field. Jimmy Gabriel, a legend at Everton for much of his career, is the most accomplished player. He is both assistant coach and captain, starting in central defense.

With the only other major sports – Seattle Sonics and Washington Huskies football – in the offseason, the Sounders’ promotional efforts are unfettered, and business partnerships blossom. As the season approaches there is a growing buzz, although much of it is curiosity driven. Youth soccer has been growing throughout the city and suburbs yet there is no expectation that crowds will number more than 6-7,000 or approximately the gate for past international exhibitions. Still, that would be above the overall NASL average of 5,800 in 1973.

To almost everyone’s surprise, over 12,000 (just a few hundred shy of capacity) descend upon Memorial Stadium for the inaugural home game versus Denver. Some were adults, many ethnic, who played or watched any high-level game in these parts. Many were families of young players. Broadcaster Bob Robertson has barely set the scene when he barks his first goal call as Willie Penman scores in the second minute, then John Rowlands doubles it in the 13th. In between the goals in a 4-0 win, there was a genuine appreciation for the skill, endurance and physicality.

“When they started moving the ball around and passing the ball, I sensed there was a kind of hush that fell over the crowd,” noted Robertson, who had played himself as a boy. “It was sort of like, ‘What’s this?’”

While the victory was emphatic and the goals aplenty, it was what happened moments after the final whistle which seemed to make the most lasting impression. Said Robertson: “I’m not sure whether somebody suggested it or whether they just did it, but they went to the center circle and turned and faced out in a big circle and waved to the crowd. As I saw it at that time, that’s where the love affair was born. That’s where they became the lads. They were Seattle’s team at that point.”

There will be tragedy, the loss of ever-popular Pepe Fernandez to a broken leg. There will be ultimate disappointment, the elimination from playoff contention in the final week. But there is no shortage of heroics from the likes of John Rowlands, Gabriel, Hank Liotart, Davey Butler and Barry Watling. By the fifth home date, there is no more space for fans, even though management keeps adding temporary seats.

Fernandez, who would be greeted with long-lasting ovations when he returned, on crutches, remembers it as something very special. “There was a connection with the team and the fans. We would spend time with the kids, we would take pictures and sign autographs with the kids,” he said. “It was a beautiful connection, a beautiful time.”

Year in Review
Season Record
13-7, 3rd West
John Best (1st year)
Best XI
Barry Watling, John Rowlands
Top Scorer
David Butler, John Rowlands (10 goals)
U.S. Open Cup
Seattle Heidelberg, West semifinals
Men's Collegiate Postseason
Seattle Pacific D2 Runner-up
NCSC Men's Champion
Seattle Pacific
NWAC Men's Champion
Green River
WIAA Boys Champion
Largest Attendance
14,876, Sounders (4 times)
Largest Amateur Attendance
2,500, St. Louis v San Jose State

1974: A Team of Our Own

It's virtually love at first sight for Seattle and its first professional team, the Sounders.

Boys Soccer Becomes WIAA Sport
March 28, 1974

The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) adds boys' soccer as a championship sport, beginning in spring of 1975. Only 35 high schools in the Seattle-Tacoma area have soccer programs at the time, however the announcement is the impetus for other schools in thriving junior soccer areas to begin varsity play.

Falcons Nearly Pull Off Comeback
November 30, 1974

After yielding three Adelphi goals in the first 24 minutes, Seattle Pacific pulls two goals back through Kit Zell but cannot equalize in the NCAA championship game, falling, 3-2, in snow and sub-freezing temperatures in St. Louis. Zell finishes with 16 goals for the season, including five in four postseason games.

Rochester Protest Prompts Replay
August 9, 1974

A commissioner-ordered replay results in an added bonus point for Seattle as it squashes Rochester, 3-0. The Lancers lodged a protest after Seattle, as usual, watered the artificial surface before kickoff of a 2-0 win on Aug. 3. On Aug. 7, NASL commissioner Phil Woosnam ordered a hasty replay. Despite the quick turnaround, traveling back from St. Louis and dry turf, the Sounders jump on top with John Rowlands heading in Hank Liotart’s cross at 29’. They score four minutes apart late in the second half, first Dave Gillett following a corner then Roy Sinclair finishing a combination from Otey Cannon.

D'Errico Called into National Team
September 4, 1974

Sounders rookie defender Dave D'Errico becomes the first club's first player called into international duty. D'Errico is named by Dettmar Cramer to the U.S. National Team facing Mexico in a pair of friendlies. He starts both games, a 3-1 loss at Monterrey and a 1-0 loss in Dallas.

State Women's Association Forms
February 13, 1974

Mike Ryan organizes a meeting at Seattle's Sherwood Inn for those women interested in forming a league. Over the next month, the Washington State Women's Soccer Association is formed, and Ryan, the Washington Huskies head coach, is elected the first president. The 10-team league features players ranging from teens to over 40, with clubs named Capitol Hill Streakers, University District Geoducks and West Seattle Ladybugs.

Green River Grabs First CC Title
December 6, 1974

Thanks to a Joe Scorda goal, Green River takes the inaugural Puget Sound Regional Community College championship, 1-0, over Bellevue at Lower Woodland Park. Scorda scores midway through the first half as the Gators prevail. Eight teams compete for the title.

UW Budget Cuts Affect Soccer
October 16, 1974

Crisis budget cuts cover a wide swath of the University of Washington's athletic programs, everything from football to cheer staff. Travel is particularly impacted. Soccer drops out of the Pac-8 tournament in San Francisco, a reduction in the recruiting budget from $1700 to $500, and the team banquet is eliminated.

Sounders Sign Former League MVP
April 11, 1974

Pepe Fernandez, a former NASL Most Valuable Player, is the first major signing for the Sounders. Fernandez, 30, comes on loan from Haarlem in The Netherlands. He played in Los Angeles, San Diego and Kansas City from 1967-69 and is the league’s No. 7 career scorer with 40 goals and 14 assists. Born in Uruguay, he played in Ecuador before arriving in America and has since played in Holland.

Sounders Hold Local Tryouts
March 2, 1974

Sixty trialists attend the Sounders' first tryout at Bellevue Community College. Of those, Roger Goldingay, Ballan Campeau and Dave Landry eventually make the team.

Shamrocks Win State's First Women's Championship
June 15, 1974

Lake Washington Shamrocks complete an undefeated campaign by winning the Washington State Women's Soccer Association championship, 3-1 over Lake City Geoducks at Sixty Acres Park in Redmond. The Shamrocks (8-0-1) had won the Saturday division while Lake City (8-2-1) took the Wednesday division.

Sounders Publish Magazine
October 1, 1974

The Seattle Sounders begin publishing a monthly tabloid entitled Soccer Washington. At least 10,000 copies will be printed of each issue through the offseason, covering both the Sounders and amateurs and youth.

Sounders Play Inaugural Match
May 5, 1974

The Sounders make their official debut, facing another NASL expansion team, the Los Angeles Aztecs, at East L.A. College as the surrounding Latin community celebrates Cinco de Mayo. Only 4,107 are in attendance. L.A.'s largely Mexican and South American squad has been together since mid-March, playing several Mexican clubs in preparation. their Latin style is a contrast to Seattle's direct approach, finding the target man, John Rowlands, and then bringing support from midfield in a 4-3-3 alignment. Rowlands scores the historic first goal at 40', briefly tying it at 1-1. Doug McMillan scores his second goal just before halftime, and the Aztecs prevail, 2-1.

Memorial Gets A Second Carpet
September 20, 1974

After seven years and some 1,500 events, a new Seattle Memorial Stadium artificial playing surface is installed. The second-generation Astroturf is now 64 yards wide (from 62) and features and a more advanced, 5/8-inch pad underneath. Metro League athletic director Frank Inslee also had seat backs installed before the first Sounders season. The refurbishments cost $290,000 and were paid for by rental and parking concessions from the past seven years, according to Metro League athletic director Frank Inslee.

Seattle Pacific Reaches NCAA Final
November 28, 1974

A rebound conversion by Jose Reyes in the 144th minute lifts Seattle Pacific over Eastern Illinois, 3-2, in a four-overtime NCAA Division II semifinal thriller in St. Louis. The Falcons are now unbeaten in 11 games (8-0-3). Had the game been tied after the fourth overtime, the tiebreaker of most corner kicks would apply. Eastern held a 4-1 advantage.

The Butler Did It: Player of the Month
July 3, 1974

Newly-acquired David Butler becomes the first Sounder named NASL Player of the Month. Butler scored seven goals in his final six June matches, including braces against Baltimore and Philadelphia. He was signed from England's Shrewsbury Town May 29 to replace the injured Pepe Fernandez.

First Division Veteran Gabriel Coming to Seattle
July 16, 1974

Jimmy Gabriel becomes the second major signing by Seattle's NASL expansion club. Gabriel, 33, is a defender who will also serve as John Best’s assistant coach. A former Scottish international, Gabriel has over 500 appearances in the English First Division, with Everton and Southampton. He won an English championship in 1963 and an FA Cup in 1966, both with Everton. Gabriel spent the past two seasons at Bournemouth.

Kovats Paces Fox to Second Half Title
March 24, 1974

Two goals from Al Kovats help Fox Restaurant get a 3-3 tie with Tacoma Heidelberg in Steilacoom, clinching the state league second-half title for the Foxes (7-1-1). Bob Hopper has a brace for Heidelberg. Fox will face Olympia Olys for the championship Mar. 31.

10-Man Sounders End Skid
June 5, 1974

David Butler's goal in the final four minutes lifts 10-man Seattle over Toronto, 2-1, to snap a three-game losing streak and hand the Metros their first defeat. After trailing a half, the Sounders' Tjeert Van't Land ends a 326-minute scoring drought in the 54th minute to pull even. They play the final 17 minutes shorthanded following Dave D'Errico's expulsion. Butler’s winner, his first goal since joining the team earlier in the week, comes after Van’t Land’s cross to John Rowlands is flicked on to his path.

Seattle Scores First NASL Sellout
June 22, 1974

Memorial Stadium is packed with 13,876 fans, making Seattle the first club in NASL history to achieve a complete sellout. The Sounders, on a sweltering early summer evening, win their fourth straight match, 2-0, over the defending champion Philadelphia behind a David Butler brace.

Sounders Add to Memorial Capacity
July 6, 1974

Following their first sellout, the Seattle Sounders increase Memorial Stadium's capacity by 1,500 prior to playing St. Louis. When that sells out, another 525 seats are added for the next home game, boosting capacity to 14,86 for the final four home matches.

Black Diamond Icon Weston Passes
March 21, 1974

Albert Victor "Vic" Weston, one of the state's top players during the early 20th Century, passes at age 76. Weston was a Black Diamond native, miner and later served as mayor, from 1969-74. He starred for Black Diamond, Carbonado, West Seattle and Renton clubs. He served as WSSFA secretary from 1944-56 and was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 1956.

Seattle Opens Arms, Hearts to Sounders
May 12, 1974

It's a storybook start to professional soccer in Seattle. A near-capacity crowd of 12,132 comes to their feet less than two minutes after kickoff as Willie Penman scores the opener vs. Denver. John Rowlands adds two more goals before intermission. After the final whistle of the 4-0 victory, Sounders players gather in the circle to applaud and wave to the fans who, in turn, roar their approval once again.

Sounders Blanked Despite Watling's 16 Saves
May 25, 1974

For the first time in their brief existence the Seattle Sounders are held scoreless in a 1-0 loss at Denver. Barry Watling is credited with 16 saves on 23 Dynamo shots. Ian Robins nets the sole goal 39 seconds into the game at Mile High Stadium.

NFL Awards Franchise to Sounders Owners
June 4, 1974

Seattle is awarded an NFL expansion franchise, with the league's 28th team to begin play in 1976. Six months later, on Dec. 5, the league owners vote to accept an ownership group led by Lloyd Nordstrom. Joining Nordstrom are Herman Sarkowsky, David E. (Ned) Skinner, M. Lamont Bean, Howard S. Wright and Lynn P. Himmelman – six of the eight Sounders owners. The price of the franchise is $16 million.

Playoff Hopes Fading for Seattle
July 21, 1974

Seattle’s playoff hopes fade as it loses its third straight game and second in three days, 2-1 at New York. Jimmy Gabriel gives the Sounders a short-lived lead, but Mark Liveric eventually gets the Cosmos' second-half winner on the worn and bumpy ground at Downing Stadium. Seattle will need to win at least three of the final four matches to overtake San Jose for the division’s final playoff slot.

Cintrex Surface Introduced
November 1, 1974

Seattle Parks Department installs a cinder surface made from crushed brick at Lower Woodland Park. Cintrex alleviates problems with puddling and mud but proves abrasive on legs and arms. Meanwhile, a new close-fibered grass surface with improved drainage is laid at West Seattle Stadium.

Falcons Win NCAA Opener
November 16, 1974

Kit Zell’s overtime goal gives the Seattle Pacific its first on-field postseason victory, 3-2, in a first round NCAA game at muddy Cal State Hayward. The Falcons were 1-3-0 over the past three postseasons, with their sole victory a forfeit. Daudi Abe finds Jose Reyes for the game’s opening goal. The Pioneers grab the lead early in the second period before Zell begins his third multi-goal game of the year with an equalizer at 70'. His winner comes 12 minutes into extra time when he knocks in the rebound of his own header. Abe and Gordy Isaac score as SPC takes its first regional title at Cal State Fullerton, 2-1, on Nov. 18.

Rowlands, Watling Make Best XI
August 13, 1974

Seattle's John Rowlands and Barry Watling are each named to the NASL first team all-stars. Rowlands, the sturdy center forward, scored 10 goals and added eight assists to finish fourth in total points. Watling led all goalkeepers with a 0.80 goals-against average. Both are imports playing on loan from English clubs.

Metro League Moves to Spring
March 24, 1974

After four seasons of winter scheduling, during which Memorial Stadium was affected by cold, rain and occasional snow, Seattle's Metro League switches to a spring schedule. It also conforms to WIAA championship schedule, set for 1975.

Closed Circuit World Cup Viewing
July 7, 1974

Sounders players Pepe Fernandez, Hank Liotart and Tjeert Van’t Land are among those intently watching the FIFA World Cup final being beamed via satellite from Munich to the Seattle Center Arena. It’s the fourth weekly, live closed-circuit viewing, which began June 15 with a double-header. Admission to the final is priced at $10. West Germany prevails over Liotart and Van’t Land’s Netherlands, 2-1.

Three Youth Teams Go To Europe
June 25, 1974

Three-time state cup champion Lake City Hawks are among three Washington boys' teams leaving for summer tours of Europe. U11 Lake City recycled bottles and washed cars to raise funds for the 25-day visit to West Germany, which coincides with the FIFA World Cup. Also in Deutschland are the Hillwood Hawks and the Carlsen-Winquist Arco Oilers of West Seattle. Meanwhile, 80 youth from Eintracht SC are visiting the Puget Sound area.

Sounders Win Out, Miss Playoffs
August 11, 1974

Seattle goes undefeated in its final four games and earns the sixth-highest point total yet misses the NASL playoffs. The Sounders (13-7), after a victory over Vancouver, 2-1, in the finale, finish two points behind San Jose for the Western Division's second slot. Division winner Los Angeles, which Seattle beat by a 5-1 score, goes on to take the championship. Prior to playing the Whitecaps, players go into the Memorial Stadium stands to distribute 1,000 roses. Following the game, they join fans in singing "Auld Lang Syne."

Hawks Prove Best in West
May 26, 1974

Seattle's Lake City Hawks run roughshod at the Pacific Coast International tournament in Vancouver. After routing Oregon's Rockwood Pioneers, 13-0, in the semifinals, the state U11 champions drub Dunbar, 5-2, for the title.

They Shall Be Called Sounders
January 22, 1974

Seattle's new NASL club will be known as the Sounders. That name received 32 percent of the mail-in votes, with five other finalists – Cascades, Evergreens, Mariners, Schooners and Sockeyes - finishing well behind. Initially, more than 300 nicknames were submitted.

Sounders Tap D'Errico in NASL Draft
January 23, 1974

All-America defender and Senior Bowl MVP David D'Errico is chosen by the Seattle Sounders with the third overall pick in the NASL draft. D'Errico starred for New York's Hartwick College and signed earlier with the ASL New Jersey Brewers, but Sounders offer a better contract and make him their first official signing on Mar. 20.

Seattle Claims Second Road Win in 24 Hours
June 30, 1974

The surging Sounders win their sixth in a row and for the second time in 24 hours on the road. Seattle blows a 2-nil lead in the final six minutes but recovers to prevail, 2-2 (9-8) in a penalty kick shootout. John Rowlands and David Butler puts the visitors in front. Neither team misses on the first eight rounds, but after Roy Sinclair converts, the 10-man Earthquakes' keeper, Mike Ivanow, clangs his try off the crossbar. Seattle had also won via a shootout in Dallas the previous night, 0-0 (4-1). The six-point victory elevates the Sounders to the second-highest total in the NASL, behind Los Angeles.

Busy Best Returns from Europe
April 20, 1974

Sounders coach John Best returns to Seattle from a 12-day trip to Europe during which he signed 10 players ahead of the May 5 NASL opener at Los Angeles. Among those signed, most on loan terms, are Jimmy Gabriel, David Gillett, Willie Penman, John Rowlands, Alan Stephens, Tjeert Van't Land, Barry Watling. Stockport County later refuses to loan Ian Lawther and Harry Kirk.

Blanchet Takes 'State'
May 25, 1974

Rallying from two goals down, Blanchet High School defeats Shorecrest, 3-2, for the unofficial state championship at Memorial Stadium. George Brown gets the winner with 8 minutes left for the Braves, who had also beaten the Scots in a preseason tournament. Kelly Gordon and Pat Bates had brought Blanchet level after John Anderson and Russ Eaden put Shorecrest in front.

Falcons, Freshman Stun Huskies
September 28, 1974

Freshman Jose Reyes scorers a pair of goals to separate Seattle Pacific from Washington, 3-1, in the NCSC opener at Queen Anne Bowl. It's the first time that the Falcons have won consecutive meetings in the series., and it comes a week after SPC gave up nine goals in Far West Classic losses to Chico State and Biola.

Allen Scores Four at Western
November 16, 1974

Tim Allen proves an unruly guest, smashing a record four goals past Western Washington in Seattle University’s 6-3 win at Bellingham. It is Allen’s fourth multi-goal game and gives him 13 for the season. Steve Van Gaver nets his eighth. Dave Hansen scores twice for the Vikings.

Heidelberg Huskies Romp
April 27, 1974

Ward Forrest's hat trick provides more than enough firepower for the Heidelberg Huskies to dispatch San Jose Portuguese, 4-0, in a West Region semifinal for the National Amateur Cup. Tage Christiansen, like Forrest, a UW varsity player, adds the other goal at Interbay.

Sounders: All Together Now
May 2, 1974

Three days before their inaugural match, the Seattle Sounders finally train with each of their newly-signed players. Pepe Fernandez and Tjeert Van't Land arrived May 1 from The Netherlands. Seven players based in Great Britain and Ireland landed at SeaTac Airport on April 29 and first trained at Memorial Stadium the following morning. Says coach John Best: "Most of the players coming from Britain have similar styles. It’s just a matter of putting it together."

Fox Takes State League Championship
March 31, 1974

Goals from Kit Zell and Bob Goff give Fox Restaurant the state league crown, 2-1 over the Olympia Olys at Memorial Stadium. Fox, featuring Seattle Pacific College coaches Cliff McCrath and Jack Pascoe, won the second half title. Les Mueller scores for the first-half winner Olys.

Seattle Pacific Upsets No. 5 USF
October 10, 1974

Seattle Pacific throws the Husky Classic bracket into chaos by holding San Francisco, the No .5 team in Division I, to a 3-3 draw and then advancing to the semifinals on penalty kicks (5-4). The Dons had been heavily favored to meet defending NCAA champion and 2nd-ranked St. Louis in the tournament final. Kit Zell’s second goal, at 70’, forces overtime. The Falcons hit all five of their shootout attempts and, following a USF miss, Daudi Abe drills the decisive fifth. Due UW football practice running long, the game’s first half is played on a grass football practice field, the second half on the Husky Stadium turf. Washington also upsets USF, 3-2, the following day. St. Louis proceeds to win the tournament, defeating San Jose State, 1-0, in the final.

Eddie Craggs Passes
June 16, 1974

Just five weeks after being greeted by cheerful applause at the Sounders' inaugural home match, Edmund G. "Eddie" Craggs dies of cancer at age 77. Born in England, Craggs brought his family to Seattle in 1947. The Gaffer soon after began coaching at St. Anne's Parish and founded the Fremont Boys Club. The latter grew into the Buchan Bakers, a a six-time state first division champion. A National Soccer Hall of Fame inductee, he coordinated weekly state league doubleheaders at Lower Woodland and was a longtime secretary to the WSSFA.

Value Metals Add Trophy
April 28, 1974

Steve Furjesi scores as Value Metals of Seattle claims the Five-a-Side championship. Value Metals prevails, 1-0, over the Vancouver Spartans Bs at Memorial Stadium.

Newport, NorTac, Lake City Dominate State Cupss
March 17, 1974

Dominance by the Newport Huskies, NorTac Quicksteps and Lake City Hawks highlight the Washington State Junior Soccer Association state cup finals at Memorial Stadium. Behind tournament MVP Steve Moore, Newport wins its fifth title in a row, 4-0 over Mountlake Terrace in the U15 boys' final. NorTac gets braces from Brad Swain and John Bartich in a 7-1 U13 win over the Mountlake Terrace Roadrunners. Lee Eckmann has two goals and an assist, and Jess Gobel also nets twice in the Hawks' 5-1 victory over the U11 Pan Am Eagles. Over 5,000 attend the two days of finals.

Falcons End Huskies' Dominance
November 6, 1974

Kit Zell nets the opening blow as Seattle Pacific all but clinches its first Northwest Collegiate Soccer Conference championship with a 1-1 tie at Washington. Danny Vaughn equalizes for the Huskies with 5 minutes to go. The Falcons snap a 7-game UW win streak and back-to-back conference crowns.

Inaugural Women's Season Starts
April 13, 1974

Play in the newly-minted Washington State Women's Soccer Association gets underway with teams featuring names like Renton Mudders, Overlake Godmothers and West Seattle Lady Bugs.

Huskies Win League's First Half
December 15, 1974

Husky SC takes possession of the George Washington Trophy after finishing atop the state league's first half. The Huskies beat the BMC Jaguars, 2-1, at West Seattle Stadium.

The spectators, instead of dashing for the exits at the game’s end, stood and applauded the Sounders for several minutes.
Vince O'Keefe, Seattle Times reporter, on first Sounders home game atmosphere
We turned Seattle on to soccer. It became the ‘in’ thing to do, tickets became hard to acquire, a prestige item.
Walt Daggatt, Sounders managing general partner
Even the most ardent well-wishers of the sport projected an opening crowd of 6,000. And (GM Jack) Daley, though he hoped for more, admitted that the projected figure might be unrealistic...Unexpectedly, 12,132 fans crowded in Memorial Stadium to watch their new soccer representatives maul Denver. There were new heroes in town...Hitherto an ethnic sport, soccer now belonged to all.
Seattle Times columnist Hy Zimmerman on the surprising attendance for the Sounders' inaugural home game
Our town, you might say, is hungry. And when the Sounders burst onto the pitch, the fans reacted like starvelings at the sight of food. The ovation was an explosion of welcome. An inventory of that crowd would have itemized hardcore ethnics, kids and parents from the sprouting junior program and some of the merely curious.
Hy Zimmerman, Seattle Times columnist, describing Sounders inaugural home match
We look forward to the years ahead. I think soccer is the wave of the future. Our game plan is for crowds of 40,000 within five years.
Sounders general manager Jack Daley
It’s something like the fine cinder surface of a running track. It gave us a little trouble at first but constant rolling has improved it. There’s no mud, no puddles.
Seattle Parks supervisor Arnie Aizstrauts on the first installations of Cintrex on local playfields
This the best goddamned soccer town in the world. These fans of ours are just magnificent. They’re not just a bunch of animals. Women, kids, babes in arms, families. The team couldn’t be more impressed.
Sounders GM Jack Daley after more than 400 fans greet the victorious Sounders at SeaTac Airport following two road wins in two days
Collegiate Men's Records
Central Washington (club) n/a
Gonzaga (club) n/a
Pacific Lutheran 7-6-2
Puget Sound 0-9-0
Seattle University 6-6-1
Seattle Pacific 11-4-5
Washington 15-3-3
Washington State (club) n/a
Western Washington (club) 1-5-4
Whitman n/a
Professional All-League
Player (Pos) Team (Lg-Tm)
Barry Watling (G) Sounders (NASL-1st)
John Rowlands (F) Sounders (NASL-1st)
Jimmy Gabriel (D) Sounders (NASL-2nd)
Hank Liotart (M) Sounders (NASL-2nd)
Washington State Youth Cup Winners
Age BoysGirls
U9 West Seattle Lions Club Cubs (SYSA)Skyway Reds (GRJSA)
U10 Lakewood Kiwanis Lancers (TPCJSA)Highline Good Guys (HAS)
U11 Totem Tornado (FWSA)Fircrest Sweetfoots (TPCJSA)
U12 Lake City Hawks (SYSA)Totem Royal Blues (FWSA)
U13 CWA Oilers (SYSA)Shoreline Roadrunners (SYSA)
U14 Nortac Quicksteps (TPCJSA)Lake City Liberators (SYSA)
U15 Lake Washington Royals (LWSA)Midway Dirty Dozen (HAS)
U16 Newport Huskies (EYSA)Ed-Lyn Hyseter (SSCJSA)
U17 Sunset Huskies (EYSA)
U19 Newport Hills Bombers (EYSA)
On this Day in History
August 15, 1993
Liga Mexicana de Futbol's championship game between Seattle's Jalisco and El Compadre of Tacoma draws more than 1,000 spectators to a festive Fort Dent Park in Tukwila. There are many families making up a significant portion of the crowd, which is entertained by mariachi groups during halftime. Jalisco, behind 20-year-old star Jesus Llamas, wins, 1-0. The 18-team league includes teams from Snohomish, King and Pierce counties, 15 of them sponsored by restaurants.
More from 1993 ›
July 24, 1999
Four new grass fields at Plantes Ferry Soccer Complex are opened for the Spokane Cup men's tournament. The tournament, which has been ongoing for 31 years, has typically been held at Franklin or Underhill parks. Half of the 12-team field hails from greater Spokane. The Plantes Ferry fields were seeded in 1998 and unused until now. Eight more fields and three softball fields are scheduled to be built in the future.
More from 1999 ›
July 9, 1988
In the first Sounders reunion game since 1982, the Seattle alums beat their Timbers counterparts, 1-0, behind Roger Davies goal. The game is held prior to the Seattle-Portland Western Soccer Alliance fixture. Among former NASL players returning are Davies, Tommy Hutchison, Jimmy Gabriel, Frank Barton, Steve Buttle, Tony Chursky, Ray Evans, Pepe Fernandez, Dave Gillett, Tommy Jenkins, Jimmy McAlister, Neil Megson, Tommy Ord, Mark Peterson, Roy Sinclair, Mike Ivanow, Adrian Webster, Jack Brand and Peter Ward.
More from 1988 ›
December 3, 1989
Kenmore's Paul Holocher assists on Santa Clara's lone goal, and several other Washington players factor in the Broncos' 1-1 overtime draw with Virginia in the NCAA championship game at Piscataway, N.J. Holocher finds Jeff Baicher in the 84th minute to force extra time. After 150 minutes of regulation and overtime in frigid cold, officials it a draw, creating co-champions for only the third time in tournament history. In all, seven players from Washington are on Santa Clara (20-0-3) roster.
More from 1989 ›