Seattle Sounders FC is an American professional soccer club based in Seattle, Washington. The Sounders compete as a member of the Western Conference of Major League Soccer (MLS) and are the league's current defending champions, having won the 2016 MLS Cup. The club was established on November 13, 2007, and began play in 2009 as an MLS expansion team. The Sounders are the third Seattle soccer club to share the Sounders name being part of a legacy which traces back to the original team of the NASL in 1974.
The club's majority owner is Adrian Hanauer, and its minority owners are Joe Roth, Paul Allen and Drew Carey. Former USL Sounders coach and assistant coach Brian Schmetzer took over as interim head coach in July 2016 after the departure of Sigi Schmid; Schmetzer was made permanent head coach in November. The Sounders play their home matches at CenturyLink Field. Along with several organized groups, a 53-member marching band called 'Sound Wave' supports the club at each home match. Seattle competes with rival MLS clubs Portland and Vancouver for the Cascadia Cup.
The Sounders played its inaugural match on March 19, 2009, winning 3–0 over the New York Red Bulls. Seattle has set MLS records for average attendance, led the league in season ticket sales, qualified for the MLS Cup Playoffs in each of its first eight seasons, and played for the MLS Cup for the first time following the 2016 season. The Sounders have led MLS attendance since their inaugural season, consistently drawing an average of 50–65% more than the next highest-drawing team in the league, LA Galaxy. The club's announced attendance average was 43,144 in 2012. The team's players have included U.S. men's national soccer team captain Clint Dempsey, Shanghai Greenland Shenhua F.C. forward Obafemi Martins, U-23 product and current Newcastle United F.C. player DeAndre Yedlin, striker Fredy Montero, and Osvaldo Alonso.
The Sounders won the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup three times in a row (2009-2011) and reached a fourth consecutive Open Cup final appearance in 2012. In 2014, Seattle won their fourth U.S. Open Cup title. The Sounders won the Supporters' Shield 2014, also completing their double. In 2016, Seattle won their first MLS Cup. The Sounders have competed in the CONCACAF Champions League four times (with a fifth appearance due in 2017), but have not advanced further than the semifinal round.Close