April 10, 2012

Sounders women draw big

Mix the Sounders brand, most of the US Nationals Women's team and the Pacific Northwest's rapid soccer fan base and you'll get 4,000 people to show up. In yet another example of why Seattle is a soccer mecca, the Sounders Women team got a big crowd in their first EXHIBITION of the season.

Energized fans on this invitingly warm night had to squeeze into whatever space they could find to watch Seattle's USWNT stars — goalkeeper Hope Solo, forwards Alex Morgan and Sydney Leroux, and defender Stephanie Cox — whether it was along a crowded fence or on a grassy hill beside the packed bleachers.

Coach Michelle French called the atmosphere "absolutely incredible."

"I had heard how many people were going to come, but it's like one of those things where you invite people to a party — you never who's going to actually show up," French said. "I think every seat was filled. It exceeded my expectations. The chanting, the way they created an environment just like the men's game was awesome."

The attendance wasn't announced, but was estimated at about 4,000. To put that in perspective, the top-tier Women's Professional Soccer league averaged about 3,500 last season — and this was an exhibition.

Watch out Mariners, your season average attendance might get beaten by the Sounders Women.

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