Huge congratulations are due to Sounders FC and the team’s remarkable fans, who cheered them to victory in Sunday’s 3-1 MLS Cup victory.
Outstanding late goals, after a fluke first score off the leg of a Toronto defender, affirmed that the Sounders truly deserved their second MLS Cup in four years.
The game also was a victory for the people of Seattle and Washington state, who funded a terrific stadium for soccer. Sunday’s record-setting attendance at CenturyLink Field and a top-quality game experience should help Seattle in its bid to host multiple games in the 2026 World Cup.
Seattle last year was named a finalist among 23 cities seeking to hold games in the World Cup jointly hosted by the United States, Canada and Mexico. International soccer governing body FIFA could provide more details soon, but a final decision may not be made for another year or two.
“I don’t know what more our city can do, what more our team can do — this is the mecca of soccer in America,” said Fred Mendoza, chair of the Washington State Public Stadium Authority and a longtime advocate for the stadium’s ability to host first-tier soccer events.
Seattle’s bid also is helped by its proximity to Canada, making it accessible to fans from the Vancouver, B.C., market. Being in the same time zone as Los Angeles — a likely host of major games — also improves odds of hosting later round games, said Mayor Jenny Durkan, who is working hard to lure World Cup games.
Meanwhile Seattle can bask in the joyful green glow of a Sounders dynasty. A second MLS Cup frosts the cake for a team that’s made the postseason every year since it joined the MLS in 2009, won four U.S. Open Cups and sets league attendance records.
This underlines a tremendous era for professional sports in Seattle, with every team but two having won a national championship. The Storm won its third title last year, and the Seahawks remain contenders. NHL Hockey is coming soon, and we perennially hold out hope for the Mariners and Reign FC, as well as the Sonics’ return.
For now, it’s time to celebrate being the nation’s top soccer city.