Seattle Sounders Matchday! Today in front of a vocal minority, the Sounders take on the Columbus Crew. These two teams have an odd relationship, what with the Sigi poaching and Brad Evans’s and Chad Marshall’s respective histories with each club. But lately the Crew supporters, or rather a very vocal minority, have taken this to just silly levels.
Crew supporters claim to hate Seattle, even inventing a hashtag, #hateweek. If that seems like much ado about a once-yearly-match-between-teams-from-different-regions-let-alone-conferences, they took it further by making a t-shirt. Jeez guys. There really must not be enough to do in Ohio. Sigi said as much citing the reason the Sounders didn’t stay east between road games:
Sigi Schmid on why the Sounders didn’t stay East: “We didn’t think the guys wanted to spend a week (in Columbus) – no offense to the city”
— Matt Pentz (@mattpentz) May 6, 2015
The Crew’s refrain is tired: Seattle’s massive (seewhatididthere?) support is merely comprised of no-nothing, carbon-copy fans, whereas the Crew’s is authentic, man. I’ll concede that there are more casual fans in Seattle. It is understandable to have more casual fans when the club averages 45,000 people a game. The Crew? They’ve averaged around 15,000 for the last couple years. So yeah, you’ve got your niche diehards. Good for you. The other 30,000 people who don’t show up to MAPFRE (I try to avoid the corporate stadium sponsors on my blog, but what the hell is a MAPFRE?) Stadium are too busy enjoying Ohio’s “real” sports: football, baseball, hunting, fishing, shopping, eating.
But even the diehards die pretty easy. Last season the Crew had their first home playoff game since 2010 and all those hard-nosed, gritty, real Crew fans mostly stayed home. Attendance was listed officially at 9,040, but I watched that game. I saw a lot of empty seats.
It is one thing to manufacture excitement, it is another to be hypocrite. You just look silly criticizing our support, in any way shape or form, when your “city” clearly doesn’t support your club.
Bold Prediction: Despite all I just said about the supporters, I actually love watching the Crew play. Higuain is a magician, Tchani and Trapp are really maturing and Kamara brings a finisher’s edge to an already beautiful possession-based attack.
The Crew nipped us in Sodo last year keeping the “road team usually wins” run going in this series. I am not sure if that streak holds. Portland was a gritty game and Vancouver is on the horizon, and, as the middle game in a three-week road trip, the Sounders could be ready for a let-down. I’d love a draw, but I don’t see these clubs staying patient. This game is going to be wide open. The Crew win 3-2 and give their bored little supporters something to hold onto throughout their boring humid summer.