When you think about Sounders FC, a few things come to mind: Rave Green, backflips, and all things big.
Big stadium, big crowds, big moments. The club has a penchant for taking things to the next level as it relates to scale, and that’ll be no different this season. With four open stadium matches on the cards for the rest of the season, things at CenturyLink Field are sure to get a little rowdy.
And what’s more, Sigi Schmid’s charges have a fantastic record playing in front of big crowds. When the attendance figure passes 45,000 or more, the club holds a record of 13-1-2. That’s pretty solid right there.
With the Vancouver match on August 1 the next fixture with the entire building open, let us recount some of the best moments at our beloved stadium when there was even more supporters in the stands than normal.
[EDITOR’S NOTE: These are in no particular order because they are all so amazing that you can’t rank them fairly.]
8/5/12 - Win, 4-0 vs. LA Galaxy, attendance: 60,908
There is no love lost between Sounders FC and the LA Galaxy. Nope, nope, nope. On this day, in front of over 60k, LA’s superstars David Beckham and Robbie Keane returned to the lineup for the visitors in a 4-0 thrashing at the hands of your Sounders. Even Alex Caskey got a goal, one that came in very Beckham-esque fashion as he chipped the keeper from distance to send the Sounders on their way against their fierce rivals from the south.
6/23/11 - Win, 4-2 vs. New York Red Bulls, attendance: 46,065
If there is one thing Sounders fans love more than most things, it’s Roger Levesque. The guy has reached saintly status with the avid soccer fans in the area. This match against the RBNY was one of his most entertaining moments with the club. Knocking in a brace against the Red Bulls, Levesque forever cemented himself in Sounders lore with his celebration on the last goal of the evening - a terrific snorkel dive off the ad boards. Oh, Roger.
8/25/13 - Win, 1-0 vs Portland Timbers, attendance: 67,385
The biggest crowd in Sounders FC history and the second-most for a standalone match in Major League Soccer history. That’s an impressive sentence right there. What made it even better was that the Sounders were hosting arch-rival Portland Timbers in a hotly-contested match that featured the home debut of one Clinton Drew Dempsey, the club’s marquee signing. In the end, Eddie Johnson got the winner in the 60th minute and the dominance in big matches continued.
10/15/11 - Win, 2-1 vs San Jose Earthquakes, attendance: 64,140
Kasey Keller is another name that will always be connected to the Sounders. The hometown hero came back to the States to play for the Sounders to close out his long and accomplished career. Despite over 15 years in Europe, Keller was instrumental in the Rave Green’s early success in both MLS and the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. His last match came in front of a then record 64,140 supporters and what a performance he put on. With the club down 1-0 for the majority of the match, Keller made a string of miraculous saves to keep his team in the match. The Sounders would get late goals from Sammy Ochoa and Fredy Montero to win it in Keller's final home regular season appearance for Seattle.
10/25/14 - Win, 2-0 vs Los Angeles Galaxy, attendance: 57,673
One of the best Sounders matches ever to be in attendance for, the ‘Supporters’ Shield Match’ was the final fixture of the 2014 season. Pitted against those pesky lads from Los Angeles, Seattle knew a win or a draw would be enough to give the club it’s first Supporters’ Shield victory in club history.
Tied for most of the match, it took a moment of brilliance from Obafemi Martins and Marco Pappa to open the scoring in the 85th minute, a moment that will forever be remembered by Sounders fans as THE moment. It was the moment that would win the Supporters’ Shield. You remember where you were when it happened and the celebration from Pappa like it was yesterday.
CenturyLink Field was built for big moments and there will be many more to come in the 2015 season.