Seattle Sounders (1994–2008)
The Seattle Sounders were an American professional soccer team founded in 1994 as a member of the American Professional Soccer League. In 1997, the team became a member of the USL First Division, the second tier of the United States soccer pyramid, until 2008, after which the majority of the team's staff and resources were directed to the new Major League Soccer franchise, Seattle Sounders FC.
|Full name||Seattle Sounders|
|Dissolved||2008 (MLS 2009)|
|Ground||Starfire Sports Complex|
|League||USL First Division|
They played their last season at the Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila, Washington, having previously played for many years at Qwest Field (now CenturyLink Field). The team was last coached by Brian Schmetzer. The team's colors were blue and white. The team had a sister organization, the Seattle Sounders Women, who played in the women's USL W-League.
The A-League/USL-1 Sounders have four championships to their credit, winning the league cup in 1995, 1996, 2005, and 2007. Seattle finished with the best regular season record in the league in 1994, 2002, and 2007. The Sounders have numerous division titles and advanced to the league finals in both 2004 and 2005. In 2004 the Sounders lost the championship 2–0 at Montreal. In 2005 Seattle drew the Richmond Kickers 1–1 at Qwest Field before claiming the championship 4–3 in penalty kicks. In 2007, the Sounders defeated the Atlanta Silverbacks 4–0 to claim their fourth championship title.
The Sounders formed a partnership with the German side Werder Bremen in 1998 due to Sounders USL-PDL player Andrew Dallman's involvement with the German side via US indoor soccer legends Fernando Clavijo, Raffaele Ruotolo, and Jean Willrich.
The Sounders formed a partnership with English side Cambridge United in 2006 due to Adrian Hanauer's involvement with both clubs.
In 2006, the Sounders considered a move to the Kitsap County Faigrounds in Bremerton, one of Seattle's western suburbs in Kitsap County, at a new soccer-specific stadium that would be smaller than Qwest Field. A 6,500-seat stadium was proposed again in 2007 as the home of a possible Major League Soccer franchise.
On November 13, 2007, Major League Soccer (MLS) announced that it had selected Seattle as the recipient of an expansion team that would begin play at Qwest Field in 2009. USL Sounders owner Adrian Hanauer would become one of the team's owners, along with Drew Carey, Paul Allen and majority owner Joe Roth.
The team's name, Seattle Sounders FC, was unveiled on April 7, 2008, continuing the Sounders name into MLS. The USL team would play their last season in 2008.
|Year||League||Reg. Season||Playoffs||US Open Cup||Avg. Attendance|
|1994||APSL||1st||Semifinals||Did not enter||6,347|
|1997||USISL A-League||2nd, Pacific||Division Finals||Did not qualify||2,873|
|1998||USISL A-League||2nd, Pacific||Conference Semifinals||Did not qualify||2,902|
|1999||USL A-League||3rd, Pacific||Conference Semifinals||3rd Round||2,243|
|2000||USL A-League||1st, Pacific||Conference Semifinals||2nd Round||2,143|
|2001||USL A-League||5th, Western||Did not qualify||2nd Round||1,885|
|2002||USL A-League||1st, Pacific||Conference Semifinals||3rd Round||4,087|
|2003||USL A-League||1st, Pacific||Conference Finals||Quarterfinals||3,357|
|2004||USL A-League||4th, Western||Final||Did not qualify||2,874|
|2005||USL First Division||4th||Champion||3rd Round||2,885|
|2006||USL First Division||7th||Did not qualify||3rd Round||3,693|
|2007||USL First Division||1st||Champion||Semifinals||3,396|
|2008||USL First Division||5th||Quarterfinals||Semifinals||3,386|
- Winner (4): 1995, 1996, 2005, 2007
- Runner-up (1): 2004
Commissioner's Cup (Top of the Regular Season Table)
- Winner (3): 1994, 2002, 2007
Pacific Division Champion
- Winner (3): 2000, 2002, 2003
- Runner-up (2): 1997, 1998
Western Conference Champion
- Winner (1): 2004
- Winner (2): 2006, 2007
Individual player honors
Goalkeeper of the Year
Defender of the Year
- 2005 – Taylor Graham
Coach of the Year
Rookie of the Year
First team All Star
- 1994 – Marcus Hahnemann, Neil Megson, Shawn Medved, Chance Fry
- 1995 – Marcus Hahnemann, Peter Hattrup
- 1996 – Wade Webber
- 1997 – Dusty Hudock, Mark Watson
- 1998 – Mark Baena
- 1999 – Mark Baena
- 2000 – Darren Sawatzky
- 2001 – Leighton O'Brien
- 2002 – Andrew Gregor, Leighton O'Brien, Brian Ching
- 2003 – Danny Jackson, Andrew Gregor
- 2005 – Taylor Graham
- 2008 – Taylor Graham
- Memorial Stadium, Seattle, Washington (1994–1998)
- Renton Memorial Stadium, Renton, Washington (1998–2000) (due to construction at Seattle Center)
- Memorial Stadium, Seattle, Washington (2000–2003)
- Qwest Field (formerly Seahawks Stadium and now CenturyLink Field), Seattle, Washington (2003–2007)
- Starfire Sports Complex, Tukwila, Washington (2005–2006 occasional games, 2008)
The Sounders had played at Qwest Field full-time since 2003. The Sounders played the first-ever sporting event at the stadium on July 28, 2002 before 25,515 fans. Before this facility was built, the team played at Memorial Stadium. When the second generation Sounders first formed in 1994, they also played a few home matches at the Tacoma Dome. After opening the 2008 season May 10 at Qwest Field, the Sounders played their remaining 14 league home contests at Starfire Sports Complex.
The Seattle Sounders had two bitter rivals – the Portland Timbers to the south and the Vancouver Whitecaps to the north. These three teams competed in the yearly Cascadia Cup, which is now contested by the teams' MLS successors. The Sounders won the trophy in 2006 and 2007.
The original Seattle Sounders were supported by the Seattle Sounders Booster Club in the 1970s and early 1980s. When the second club was formed in 1994, another supporters group started called "The Pod", honoring the club's Orca whale mascot. In 2005, after the earlier group went moribund, the Emerald City Supporters were born. They drafted the motto No Equal that same season as the club won the USL-1 title. In 2007, a social group called the Sounders Legion was started.
- Massey, Matt (March 24, 2006). "Sounders consider move to Kitsap Co". The Seattle Times. p. C7.
- Stark, Chuck (October 24, 2007). "The Kitsap Sounders?". Kitsap Sun. Retrieved September 3, 2016.
- Drosendahl, Glenn (February 20, 2015). "Seattle gets Major League Soccer franchise on November 13, 2007". HistoryLink. Retrieved September 3, 2016.
- Massey, Matt (April 18, 2008). "Sounders open 2008 USL season, eye MLS in 2009". The Seattle Times. p. C3. Retrieved September 3, 2016.