In case you've been living under a rock this week, you know that the US national team finally made its long awaited World Cup qualifying return to Seattle on Tuesday night at CenturyLink Field. The US won 2-0, which of course is fantastic news for the Americans' chances of qualifying for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. After five games, the US sit atop the CONCACAF Hexagonal group with 10 points.
Outside the thoroughly impressive performance from the players on the field, perhaps the biggest talking point among soccer fans in the States has been the performance by the supporters in Seattle and all of the American Outlaws in the stands who flocked to the Emerald City for the game.
I was lucky enough to be in the stands at CenturyLink, in the American Outlaws section, on Tuesday night and I will tell you this with absolute certainty: the US national team has never had home-field support like that before. Ever.
So much is made of Seattle Sounders fans — many of which were the same people supporting the US on Tuesday — caring only for their club team and not their national team, that they wouldn't bring the same kind of passion and intensity for the Yanks. There is no doubt the Emerald City Supporters have an amazing thing going for themselves with a whole host of original chants and songs and near perfect, synchronized organization when it comes to supporting their Sounders.
Before Tuesday night, I feared a segregation of "Sounders things" and "national team things," as far as the supporters section was concerned; that pockets of ECS wouldn't want to share the same songs and chants that have garnered them so many accolades since joining Major League Soccer in 2009. And understandably so, why would they simply give away the things that have made them special and unique?
That was naive on my part, because that was 100 percent not the case on Tuesday night. For that night, Seattle was the United States.
"Seaaattllle Sooouuunderrrs" call and response — repurposed as "Uniiiteeed Staaates" — and "Boom, Boom, Clap," two staples of Sounders' support over the years, were performed as US chants for the first time. "We Are Going to Brazil" audibly made the television broadcast on ESPN, prompting play by play commentator Ian Darke to acknowledge the song and consequently toss the microphone aside for 25 seconds to allow the Outlaws to perform.
Seattle, you did your thing.
"100 Years of History; Our Time Starts Now" tifo from American Outlaws - Seattle Chapter following the national anthem [YouTube user seawrx]
"Boom, Boom, Clap" synchronized display from American Outlaws section [YouTube user AOSeattle McCooey]
American Outlaws' "Pogo" synchronized display [YouTube user AOSeattle McCooey]
"We are going to Brazil" chant from American Outlaws [YouTube Hal Nunn]