Seattle Sounders As Cultural Phenomenon (and a few digs at Portland)

The Seattle Sounders as cultural phenomenon is a meme taking flight in anticipation of the World Cup. Most Americans are remembering that soccer is a thing, and it happens, and the Stars and States will be representing this summer in Brazil. Fittingly, as American turns her attention to soccer, she also turns her attention to Seattle.

The national media is putting the spotlight on the Emerald City. Kick TV continues its Group of Death series with a USMNT World Cup primer video hosted by Jimmy Conrad and set in Seattle. The video is great for the fair-weather USMNT fan, but even better is the all Seattle perspective. The video is shot in Seattle, Conrad interviews Sounders and Sounders fans, and thus reinforces the (true!) narrative that Seattle IS American soccer.

Seattle is again demanding the attention of the Atlantic Northeast. The venerable Gray Lady, the New York Times, recently published a travel article about the Cascadia Cup Rivalry. Seattle is mentioned, but not too glowingly. The article is a little too pro-Portland for this writer. For example:

They were hard-core soccer fans from Portland, the Timbers Army, devoted followers of the Portland Timbers of Major League Soccer, jammed into the Railway Club, elbow to bent elbow, the night before the Timbers would play the Vancouver Whitecaps. Five hundred of them had made the 300-mile trip, with several hundred more to come. Most of them had arrived together, on buses stocked with kegs of Oregon craft beer, politely stowed for border crossings. Some had driven up on their own. And late in the evening pretty much all of them, holding their Timbers scarves high above their heads, began to sing along with a Portland punk cover band called Green Flag doing their altered-lyric version of the Sex Pistols’ “Anarchy in the U.K.” In your head, try to imagine this in a Johnny Rotten voice.

Of course, New York continues its sordid ogling of Portland. As much as I am rankled by the idea of a Least Coast City being our national agenda setter, New York City really can tell the nation what to talk about. Bushwick hipsters are to blame for Portland’s recent 15 minute of fames as New Yorkers are, for some god-knows-why reason, enamored of that little gutter punk retirement community south of the border.

Lastly, US Soccer has released officially unofficially US Open Cup dates. The Sounders look to play either LA Galaxy II or PSA Elite sometime in June. Like I said, officially unofficial. LA2 play in the third tier of the of the USL, and PSA Elite, an amateur team, play in the same division as those lovable rascals Cal FC. It would be a major upset if PSA Elite managed to beat LA2, but we know, don’t we Timber Joey, that those amateurs are quite capable of the upset.

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