Know Your Foe: Seattle Sounders
Many consider the Seattle Sounders the model club since joining Major League Soccer in 2009. But their history begins long before then...
The original Seattle Sounders were a franchise that competed in the now disbanded North American Soccer League (NASL) from 1974 to 1983. Seattle had been considered to be one of Major League Soccer's original teams but ended up not being awarded a franchise.
On their third attempt, Seattle were finally awarded an MLS franchise and chose to continue to carry the name Sounders. Their inaugural season was a resounding success on and off the pitch.
They averaged 30,943 fans per match through the season, made playoffs, and won the U.S Open Cup in their first year. The following season they went on make playoffs and win U.S. Open Cup again.
Making playoffs and winning U.S. Open Cups would be a trend for the Sounders the following years. They would go on to win the U.S. Open Cup for the third straight year in 2011 and would win their last one in 2014, totaling four.
They would make playoffs every year but winning the MLS Cup would continue to evade them. That is until 2016 where after qualifying for playoffs every year since their inaugural season they would win their first MLS Cup against Toronto FC in penalties.
They would make the next three out of four MLS Cup finals, losing twice but winning their second MLS Cup in 2019. Making playoffs every single year they've been in MLS and making the MLS Cup final four out of the past six years is a testament to the winning culture the Seattle Sounders have built.
2016 MLS Cup
The Sounders continue to set the bar for MLS clubs. They became the first MLS team to win the CONCACAF Champions League, beating Pumas UNAM 5 - 2 on aggregate.
However, becoming the historic winners of CCL was at the cost of their regular season. Balancing both competitions proved to be too much as the Sounders currently sit 12th in the Western Conference.
With that said, now that the Sounders no longer have to balance two competitions, they can fully focus on their regular season. They've lost their previous two matches but don't let that fool you, because the Sounders still have one of the most talented squads in MLS.
Despite their position in the West, the Sounders will be one of Charlotte FC's biggest tests yet.
Nicolás Lodeiro: Since arriving in 2016, Seattle has won two MLS Cups and appeared in two other MLS Cup finals. The Uruguayan attacking midfielder's impact at the club can't be overstated. He's an industrious but creative player who has scored 35 goals and assisted 62 in his 136 games played for the Club.
Stefan Frei: The Sounder's goalkeeper will go down as a club legend having been in Seattle since 2014. He's consistently been one of the best keepers in MLS and has yet to slow down.
Raúl Ruidíaz: The prolific Peruvian striker has also been key in Seattle's success since his arrival in 2018. He's has scored 52 goals and assisted 10 in 85 matches for the club, and apart from scoring goals is a complete forward in every sense. He possesses an incredible work ethic, abiity to link up play, makes runs in behind, and serves as Seattle's focal point up top.
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