Rafael Suanes-US PRESSWIRE
It has been close to a decade since the U.S. Men's National Team played a match in Seattle, and the Sounders owners might be trying to recruit the USMNT for some FIFA World Cup qualifying matches in Washington.
As one of the best markets for enthusiastic soccer supporters in the nation, the one thing Seattle hasn't seen much of is any U.S. Men's National Team love.
The Seattle Sounders FC front office appears to be actively trying to change that, Joshua Mayers with the Seattle Times reported on Monday.
It has been close to a decade since the USMNT last played a game in Seattle. Since then, the Sounders have been shattering MLS attendance records and trying to prove that the area is ripe for supporting World Cup qualifying matches.
One reason often cited for the absence of the USMNT in Seattle is that the Sounders play on artificial turf in CenturyLink Field, something general manager Adrian Hanauer has noted. He isn't as concerned with why a game hasn't happened, just how to make it happen in the future.
"We don't just want to bring any old game here. If we bring a game, we want it to have some meaning and be a game that our fans are really going to enjoy, and not just be a money grab for U.S. Soccer. That is something that we're working on, and with a little bit of luck and some hard work, we might have something that we can hopefully hang out hats on in the near future here."
The home sites for qualifying matches probably won't be revealed until 2013, but judging by comments from the Sounders' front office, Seattle will be right there in the conversation. Majority owner Joe Roth told Mayers:
"If the U.S. men's national team wants to come here with the first team and play a World Cup qualifier against a great team, we'll be right there."
U.S. Soccer wants to play their matches where they would have solid home support, and tend to favor natural grass as the playing surface — something CenturyLink field doesn't have. But the stadium can easily pack close to 67,000 rabid fans inside, and might be just enough to bring FIFA World Cup qualifying match to Seattle.