Although the rumors have have been swirling around for a few days, today Seattle Sounders officially announced that the opponent for the team’s third friendly, included as part of the season ticket package, will be Chivas de Guadalajara (not to be confused with MLS side Chivas USA). The match will take place October 12.
Many season ticket holders (including myself) have felt let down by the friendlies offered in this year’s package—particularly since part of the reason the cost increased was to account for having three (good) friendlies. Instead, this year we had Boca Juniors, Celtic, and Chivas.
It’s hard to beat the friendly opponents in Seattle’s premier MLS season. Chelsea and Barca were spectacular to watch, and they packed out the stadium. While I appreciate trying to find varied clubs and styles to invite—I thought Boca was a great choice in this regard—I find deciding to play three friendlies, of questionable quality, in the middle of the season, absolutely absurd.
No other league does this. Leagues that are considered to be at the top of the world do not take a time out—or even worse, play a game in the middle of the week—during the season. And Sounders fans are figuring out why. With a packed out schedule in which the club has to work around MLS matches, Open Cup games, and CONCACAF Champions League matches, there is really no room for a friendly.
In this case, the friendly will be played just three days before a league match with Chivas USA, and one week before a group stage match against Samprissa.
It’s time to knock this off, Seattle. Sounders supporters want trophies, not friendlies. We want to see Qwest packed out, cheering on our boys when it actually means something. Give supporters the option to buy cup or CCL tickets in the package. Stop giving us tickets that are meaningless, that show us nothing beyond what we’ve already seen from visiting teams, that distract the Sounders from what we want—shiny, shiny silverware.