TUKWILA, Wash. – If the Seattle Sounders are to win a record fourth-straight US Open Cup, they’ll need to do it on the road for the first time since their inaugural win in 2009. That doesn’t mean they’ll potentially have to celebrate alone, though.
The main Sounders supporters group, Emerald City Supporters, has already sold more than 150 tickets as of Friday morning and Sporting Kansas City officials have said they are trying to make as many tickets available for away fans as there is demand. An ECS official estimated about 350 fans would make the trip, while overall ticket sales reached the 10,000 mark Friday morning.
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“It’s phenomenal,” Sounders midfielder Brad Evans said about his team’s away support. “You kind of expect it at this point, it’s no surprise to us. [Wednesday] night, I read on Twitter that they were trying to get 1,000 tickets. I figured they’d go for 2,000 or something like that. It’s going to be a great atmosphere.”
While those numbers appear to be mostly Internet hearsay, it does speak to the level of interest the Sounders are anticipating from their fans.
“Bar none, we have the best fans in the league,” Sounders defender Zach Scott said. “Anybody else is delusional thinking their fans are as good as ECS. It’s ridiculous to me for other teams to say their fans are as good as ours.
“We bring traveling support wherever we go. It should feel like a home crowd for us as well because they are so loud and passionate.”
That kind of support seems to have contributed to the Sounders’ impressive road record during their three-plus seasons in MLS. Seattle is 22-16-18 all-time away from the friendly confines of CenturyLink Field.
“We definitely take pride in it and definitely take a responsibility in it,” Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid said. “I think it makes us want to achieve better on the road than maybe some other teams do when they go on the road. When you see so many fans that are spending money to follow you and be there, you really want to reward them for the trip and send them home happy is an important thing for us.
“We’re really proud of the fact that we have a group that wants to travel and a lot of fans that want to go for what could be a very momentous occasion for us. I think it’s great. Hopefully they’ll make enough noise to cancel out the Kansas City people.”
Jeremiah Oshan covers the Seattle Sounders for MLSsoccer.com and SB Nation.