Crazed Soccer Fans Marching Through Smoke-Filled Streets — In America!

Seattle, specifically. Seattle be crazy.

Special thanks to photographer Mike Russell and John Godfrey of the excellent American Soccer Now site for letting us use this picture.

Via: Mike Russell /

Since Saturday, over 90,000 people have watched soccer at CenturyLink Field in Seattle. First there was the Cascadia Cup between the Seattle Sounders and the Vancouver Whitecaps. Tuesday night was a World Cup qualifier between the U.S. and Panama. Wrote Sports Illustrated soccer reporter Grant Wahl: "I have never seen a qualifying crowd so forceful and vocal in its support of the American players. It was impossible not to get chills during some of the second-half chants and when the American Outlaws unveiled a giant U.S. Soccer 100th Anniversary tifo before the game. There's a reason U.S. Soccer chose to stage this game here." Seattle soccer fans bring that faux-dangerous, sing-songy energy to a stadium that's typical of European matches but seemed elusive for American cities. A chorus of soccer observers believe Seattle — and the Pacific Northwest in general — is the new epicenter of American soccer. How, exactly, did Seattle become such a welcoming environment for the sport?

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Via: Aaron Gordon

Seattle has always supported their soccer more than the norm, dating back to the NASL Sounders days, when attendance at matches roughly doubled the league average. Youth participation in the area is strong, but youth participation is strong across the country. Lots of immigrants have historically played soccer here, but lots of immigrants play soccer everywhere.

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