Tickets sales for Seattle's match Saturday against San Jose have topped 62,000.
Few soccer stadiums in the world will hold a bigger crowd this weekend than CenturyLink Field.
Tickets sales for Sounders FC’s regular-season home finale Saturday against San Jose have topped 62,000. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m.
“I think it’s a great reflection of our fans understanding what’s happening and what’s going on,” said coach Sigi Schmid of what will be one the largest crowds in MLS history. “If you don’t have a ticket yet, you need to get one, because it’s going to be a special event.”
Much of the day’s focus will center on Kasey Keller, the veteran goalkeeper who is retiring after the season.
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Before kickoff, 40,000 captain’s armbands will be handed out to fans, and after the game there will be an on-field tribute to the team captain. Governor Chris Gregoire and Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn have already proclaimed Saturday as “Kasey Keller Day.”
Keller has tried to deflect credit for what will be a club-record crowd for an MLS game.
“There are a lot more reasons why people are coming to this game than just because it’s my last (regular-season) home game,” he said. “It’s an appreciation of the (U.S.) Open Cup run, it’s the continued success of the club, and it just so happens to be my last league game at home.”
Fan turnout this season has continued to be just as impressive as the Sounders. Saturday’s crowd could rival that at Husky Stadium for Washington’s Pac-12 college football game against Colorado, but it’s hardly a one-week anomaly.
For the third season in a row, Seattle will establish a new MLS record for average attendance. This year’s mark will exceed 38,300, which is greater than the average for all but five Major League Baseball teams this year.
Worldwide, the Sounders’ attendance would rank seventh in the English Premier League, and sixth in Spain’s La Liga and Italy’s Serie A.
When taking into consideration a U.S. Open Cup run, a summer friendly against Manchester United and the CONCACAF Champions League, Sounders FC home matches will have drawn more than 800,000 fans.
That remarkable support continues Saturday.
“You’ll want to be there,” said Schmid. “You’ll want to be part of the event.”
• By virtue of Real Salt Lake’s 0-0 tie with Colorado on Friday, Sounders FC clinches the second-best record in MLS and the Western Conference’s No. 2 seed in the playorfs.
• Midfielder Mauro Rosales (knee) will suit up Saturday, according to Schmid. Rosales has missed the last three games after suffering a small tear to his right medial collateral ligament on Sept. 17 against D.C. United.
• Defender Jeff Parke has been ruled out with a concussion.
• Before Saturday, The largest crowd for a league game in Seattle came Aug. 25, 1977, when 56,256 watched the Sounders of the North American Soccer League host the Los Angeles Aztecs in the playoffs. Including friendlies, the highest-attended soccer game here came July 20, when 67,052 were at CenturyLink for Sounders FC’s exhibition against Manchester United.
Joshua Mayers: 206-464-3184 or firstname.lastname@example.org
|With more than 62,000 tickets sold for Saturday’s game, the attendance will rank among the top five for single MLS games:|
|69,255||L.A. Galaxy v NY-NJ MetroStars||April 13, 1996|
|66,237||New York Red Bulls v L.A. Galaxy||Aug. 18, 2007|
|62,703||L.A. Galaxy v New England Revolution||July 4, 1996|
|62,000*||Sounders FC vs. San Jose Earthquakes||Oct. 15, 2011|
|61,202||Colorado Rapids v Chicago Fire||July 4, 2002|
|* As of Friday evening|