Sounders FC vs LA Galaxy
October 27, 2013, 6 pm PT; CenturyLink Field
TV/Radio: ESPN; 97.3 FM; La Gran D 99.3 FM (Spanish)
It is no secret that Seattle’s level of play takes a dramatic turn in the positive direction when CenturyLink Field is opened up to the masses.
That bodes well for the team as over 64,000 are expected to be in attendance on Sunday for the regular season finale against the LA Galaxy in a nationally televised match on ESPN.
“I think historically, we’ve always had a good performance in the last game of the year. It’s something that we can feed off of,” midfielder Brad Evans said. “When you think about crowds over 60,000, we’ve gone on a good run of form, so those are all things that we can put in our pocket that can give us confidence going into Sunday.”
In the club’s history, Sounders FC has dominated when crowds exceed 40,000, going 8-0-2 with a plus-16 goal differential. As the size of the crowd increases, so does Seattle’s dominance. In the six matches Seattle has played in front of crowds over 55,000, it has posted six victories and outscored the opposition 14-1.
That record includes two wins this season over playoff-bound teams – a 1-0 win over the Portland Timbers in front of a club-record crowd of 67,385 on August 25 and a thorough 2-0 win over Real Salt Lake in front of 55,107 on September 13. Additionally, 60,908 saw the Sounders pummel the LA Galaxy, 4-0, on August 5, 2012.
Sounders FC is always bolstered by a hearty crowd at its back, but Evans admits that there is always something extra in the tank for those matches that have expanded capacity.
“I think it gives you a boost. Those are always emotional games – ones that you always remember,” Evans said. “You play 34 games in a season and six or seven stick out when you think four or five years back. These are those games that you remember. It’s the stadiums that are sold out and big games like this.”
The crowd on Sunday will also help Sounders FC go in the MLS record books for a fifth consecutive year, besting the league attendance record of 43,144 set last season by Seattle.
Sunday’s match will mark the fourth time this season that the club has opened the whole seating capacity at CenturyLink Field, with each match drawing over 53,000 fans for an average of 60,484.