Believe it or not, there were about 100-150 Sounders FC fans at the start of preseason training camp.
They cheered. They chanted. They waved flags.
They certainly impressed the team.
“This was a first — definitely,” said coach Sigi Schmid. “It’s one of the things we talked about to the team; we said this is what makes Seattle unique and what makes Seattle special is those people over there, those fans over there. Our connection to them and their connection to us and our accepting of each other is something that’s very special to this place.”
Be sure to check out my video of it at the bottom of this post. Here is how some players reacted:
Zach Scott: “How many teams starting training camp had a couple hundred people out there watching them and cheering them on? Not many. So we’re definitely in a unique situation and we’re very excited to be able to show some new guys the ropes around here. … You could see a bunch of wide eyes (among the new Sounders).”
Tristan Bowen: “I felt like a home game… [Ed note: He then trailed off, though he did most recently play at Chivas USA.] It felt really good. Like I said, it’s freezing — I’m an L.A. boy — I’d imagine that they’re a bit used to it, but it goes to show you how great the fans are here and that they’ll really stand behind the team through thick and thin.”
Chad Marshall: “I love the vibe of the city and obviously they care a lot about their sports teams. I’m excited to be here. … I’m not used to seeing that many fans coming out the first day. I flew in Friday and got to see all the 12s around the city. It’s pretty impressive.”
Obafemi Martins: “Same old, you know? … (laughs) They’re the best fans ever, so I’m enjoying it.”