Why The Seattle Sounders Could Complete In French Football #789

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Seattle is one of America’s biggest Sports cities. It may not be as big and populated as Texas or California and may not have the sporting success as Boston and New York but collectively as a sport City it is one of the best we have in America. Seattle Washington may not sound like a place or a city that has the capabilities of becoming a sports town but that’s exactly what it is. Being a sports Town doesn’t necessarily mean they have to have success but it certainly helps the situation. The fans of this city have shown every ounce in all sorts of sporting events. While having the success justifies their place among one of the Elite Sports cities. What I’m about to break down and make an argument for is going to sound strange and even though this could never happen the agriculture of the city the fans and supporters will justify my claim. Before I get there I think it’s important we highlight how important Sports has been to Seattle. The Seattle Seahawks are the heartbeat of the City it may not always have been that way but it certainly is that way now. For one particular reason Russell Wilson. The Seahawks quarterback is one of the best players in professional football he is a future hall-of-famer and has lead an embarrassing organization to a Super bowl and gave him them relevance. The third round pick out of Wisconsin lead them at to the pinnacle of American football. The Seattle Seahawks have been to two Super Bowls won one 3 NFC Championship Games and have won the division 7 times since being included in the NFC West. Including 18 playoff appearances. The CenturyLink is one of the loudest most energetic places in the NFL. In the WNBA they have the Seattle Storm they have developed Sue bird into one of the greatest NBA players of all time on top of that have won 3 championships in 20 years of existence. Even though they are not one of the most popular things in the city they have the Seattle Mariners in baseball they are a laughing stock of the MLB but have produced Ken Griffey jr who is now in the Baseball Hall of Fame. They have never won a title or even gotten close and the fan support there isn’t the greatest the other team certainly make up for it. The NBA had the Seattle Supersonics which was one of the most energetic crowds in basketball. The Supersonics won an NBA championship and went to a finals against Michael Jordan unfortunately fell short. None the less they have been important to the league and is a team that the NBA would like to bring back at some stage. They drafted players such as Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook both players have won the MVP even though the team move to Oklahoma City they were drafted by the sonics and played in those colors. This has been a sports town for a long time maybe not in terms of success but in terms involvement in the city these fans love their teams. there’s one team that I have not yet mentioned that is the Seattle Sounders. That is the team I’d like to discuss. They have had success in their own right with two MLS titles and a total of 7 trophies. It is not just the success of the club it is what their capabilities could be. They have done this the right way they for built this up and their identity is completely different than the rest of the League. This team is run in a very European style and has that type of atmosphere. I believe the Seattle Sounders could compete in French football. This isn’t in any way a shot at the criticism of the league at the top PSG it’s just on another level than everybody else but if you tell me could Seattle  could compete and survive in front football. This could never happen because the Seattle Sounders are an American team and being a part of the French league you would have to be located in France but just for the sake of argument let’s suppose it was possible I’m going to break down of why the Seattle Sounders have everything in place to compete at the top of French football.

Club Success

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The Seattle Sounders are one of the MLS is most successful teams and have done this in a relatively small sample size. The team became part of existence 11 years ago in 2009. They managed to get success pretty much from their very start of their existence. There’s just something different about this football club it has progressed faster than most. There are other teams who have done the same and have followed the similar structure to building a giant. Atlanta United won the MLS Cup in their second year of existence. But this is a very uncommon presdent in Major League Soccer. Most expansion teams it takes a little while for them to find much success in the leading trying to get used to everything. It’s hard to compete against teams that have been together for several years. This is something that most teams deal with however Seattle was just a different animal when it came to building the Giant. They are not the most historical team that is the LA Galaxy  The Seattle Sounders are still one of the most popular teams in the MLS and have become some of the most successful in a very short amount of time. To compete in French football or to make that argument success is required in the recipe. The Seattle Sounders didn’t even have to wait an entire season to put something in their trophy cabinet. In their first year of existence they beat DC United in the US Open Cup final. The very next season they went and did it again and then again the year after beating the Columbus Crew and Chicago Fire. The team had just been in existence for a very small amount of time they had already won their domestic up three times. That’s how you could tell that this team was just a little bit different than everyone else they went in a different direction about building this team in Seattle to the best in the MLS. In their first three seasons they fell at the conference semi-finals as they were able to feel that disappointment. Most notably falling short in 2011 which was their second highest point total in club history earning 63 points from 34 games. Even though during that season they qualified for concacaf champions league as they made the quarter-finals. The year after they would make the semi-finals of the same competition that is when the run at the US Open cup would end as they were runners-up to Sporting Kansas City. They were progressing a lot faster an anyone really expected. In their first four seasons they made the playoffs every year collected three trophies and went to 4 finals they continuously got better. 47 points then 48 points than 63 points then 56 points. Club earned 52 points the next year as they fell at the conference semifinals once again. The next year the Seattle Sounders we’re able to put their fourth US Open cup in the trophy cabinet beating the Philadelphia Union in extra time to secure another title. It was their best statistical season ever with 64 points they got to the Conference Finals falling short. They were picking up trophies but not the ones They were hoping to accumulate. They had still made the playoffs in every single season. Another disappointment in the conference semi-final the next season. In 2016 after struggling significantly throughout the campaign they made a coaching change something that they would benefit from. No one expected them to accomplish what they ended up doing. They knocked out Sporting Kansas City in the knockout rounds. Dealt with FC Dallas beating them 4-2 over the two legs. Beat the Colorado Rapids 3-1 over two legs in the Conference Finals. Against the odds they made the MLS Cup final. They face against a team they became familiar with Toronto FC after a goalless draw through 120 Minutes the game was defined and ended on a penalty shootout Román Torres tucking his penalty in the back of the net to give Seattle its first MLS Cup in championship in club history. In 2017 Toronto FC got revenge beating Seattle as they got to another final. A first round exit in 2018 an then last season they captured their second MLS Cup beating once again Toronto this time a little bit more handedly in a 3-1 victory as the Seattle Sounders looking like an MLS Dynasty. The team has only been in existence since 2009 since then they have seven trophies even though they’ve only won the MLS Cup twice they have constantly put things in the trophy cabinet. In 11 season out 1098 points possible Seattle has picked up 551 points and 11 seasons. Truly remarkable! The team has earned over 50 points in nine of their seasons. How would that tradition translate to French football is unclear but from the success standpoint they have everything covered 7 trophies in 11 seasons and been into 3 MLS Cup finals in four years winning two of them the success portion is covered.

Coaching Staff

 

 

If the Seattle Sounders hypothetically could realistically compete in French football the coaching staff is actually the most important. Games are defined by coaches and even though they’ll never get the opportunity to see if this was possible it would come down to coaching. They have a great coaching staff with so much experience in American soccer and in European football. That precedent is really important they must know how to handle certain situations and given what they have to their disposal I don’t think they would have any problem with that. Their manager is Brian Schmetzer he took over the team in 2016 Midway through the season as he led them to their first title. He’s taken them to three finals since 2016 and have won two of them including a US Open cup. From accomplishments standpoint he has the resume required and has picked up the trophies to justify himself as one of the MLS best coaches. He even played for the Sounders from 1980 to 1983 the only made 38 appearances scoring one goal but still has that impact with the fans. He is from Seattle he is a local hero given what he has brought to the club. He was an assistant from 2009 to 2016 with the Sounders he was given the head coach job on temporary basis after they fired their manager he took them to the MLS Cup and won the title as he was given the job on permanent basis following the season. As great as he has been with Seattle if they were able to play in the French League they probably would have to look for a different option. It’s not that he hasn’t done a great job but in French football there would be a little bit more require from a manager’s perspective if they were going to be able to handle the type of competition required. Their assistant coach is Djimi Traore he has experience in European football he made 255 appearances in Europe as a player most notably 141 for Liverpool and 43 for Monaco. He also played for Marseille so he would know something about French football. He won the FA Cup charity Shield League Cup and the almighty Champions League with Liverpool he may not have been the vocal point of the trophies that he won but he was on the team and picked up the medals. He also want a French cup with Marseille he has been an assistant since 2016. He would be someone really important given his knowledge of European football in the French League being from Mali he also speaks French and would be a great asset to the team. Preki is another assistant coach he played until he was 42 years old is a two-time MLS MVP winning the MLS Cup with Kansas City. He is the League’s all-time leading leader in points scored 270 points on 79 goals and 112 assist plus another 25 points on 10 goals and five assists in the playoffs. He has some experience in management as well with Chivas USA Toronto, Sacramento Republic, and St Louis football club. He has 227 games as manager under his belt with a winning percentage of 42.9. Their final assistant coach is Gonzalo Pineda he made 289 appearances in South American football and has 44 caps with Mexico that included participating in the 2007 Copa America. Every coach that they have on this staff has some experience at a high level of football whether it’s in Europe or South America. things like this would be really important if this team was able to compete in the French league. The manager would probably need to be changed but outside of that they have a great staff that would help the team tremendously.

 

European Like Style and Attraction to Europe

 

The Seattle Sounders have built this team the right way they have a European tradition and ideology something that is very unique in regards the Seattle Sounders there are other teams that at certain points have displayed the similar principles that the Seattle Sounders have used since their involvement with MLS soccer. They were times in which New York Red Bulls and Atlanta United have displayed that type of football but it has been almost uniquely attached to the Seattle Sounders. Not only have they had success in their club history but they play in a very European style. Johan Cruyff had principles of total Football something that Barcelona adopted after he coach there he is the biggest influence in the history of football. His involvement in the game itself has created some of the best managers of all time. Diego Simeone Jurgen klopp Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho have all in some way molded and impacted by the Dutch genius. Even the Seattle Sounders at times have adopted the Cruyffian principles. It would be nearly impossible to recreate the magic from the tactical point of view that Johan Cruyff globalized in European football. However that is why the outside world has a little bit more respect for the Seattle Sounders than the rest of the teams in the league. There are more successful teams in the MLS but none that adopt the philosophy that he enlisted. Pep Guardiola is the one manager who has gotten the closest to recreate his philosophy of modern football. Even with that being said Seattle play in a very European style and even has attracted European players. The MLS is more about building young talent and sending them away then obtaining European Stars but there’s a reason some of the bigger stars in the MLS have come to Seattle. The style of football but they have played over this time. Makes it so efficient in the way things are done stars want to come here because of the way the game is played. In the short-term memory they have been incredibly successful this team has never missed the playoffs and I’m not sure they ever will under this philosophy. The European style and the way they play has made the Seattle Sounders the most entertaining football club in America. It is beautiful football from its very core. The MLS isn’t at the level and there needs to be changes within the system the point being they are just cut from a different cloth than the rest of the MLS. European-style in terms of tactics and preparation and everything has made them a little bit different than everyone else. They’re not the most successful but still are on on slightly higher level and are peaking constantly largely attributed to the way they have played. There is European routes inside the club. Oba Martins ended up becoming one of the highest goal scorers in club history. His roots and experience have been all over European football. He played in Serie A, Premier League, Russia,La Liga and the Bundesliga. He scored a 49 goals for Inter Milan one of the biggest clubs in the world who at the time were just a monster. He was a level below The Standard & Inter Milan but still ended up winning the 2005-2006 Serie A title 2 Coppa Italia trophies and a super cup. He scored 37 goals in England with Newcastle and Birmingham city Winning the league cup with a Midlands Club. Then in Russia winning the Super cup in 2012. As a member of the Seattle Sounders he won the open cup And the MLS supporters Shield. In addition to him the most famous player to come to the Seattle Sounders is Clint Dempsey. the greatest American player of all time. He played 275 games in Europe with Fulham and Spurs. 72 goals in a European Club career 7 goals in the Europa League. With Fulham his 60 goals is the most in club history and was named player the season twice scoring 23 goals in a season in 2011. His time and Fulham had a big comeback against Juventus on his way to Europa League final even though they came up short. He has 57 goals for the national team which is tied for the most ever with Landon Donovan but the difference is Clint Dempsey played 16 less games and still had the same amount of goals. The Seattle Sounders also produce a young Talent by the name of the Deandre Yedlin he now plays in the Premier League with Newcastle United. Even if you look at their current Squad they have European & South American Roots within that. Nicolás Lodeiro played in South America, Jordan Morris had a chance to play in Germany with a Werner Bremen and Raúl Ruidíaz the leading scorer in the last two seasons and has played in South America. This is a European-style team from back to front and through their history this is what makes them such an enticing product and why they might be able to thrive in France’s top-flight.

 

Branding and Ownership 

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The majority owner is Adrian Hanauer he is a German American he has several different companies that are located in Seattle and is a great businessman that has proven to be really valuable to the Seattle Sounder franchise. In the lower league in American soccer Seattle was a dynasty they just were on a different level than everyone else. He took them to the championship game 3 times winning twice before Th Sounds became apart of the MLS. He knows how to invest his money and has a run this club to perfection. He is also in talks and trying to bring Seattle into the NHL. He has done so well for this franchise and continues to be the voice of the team. He doesn’t have to say much but he knows how to spend his money appropriately and has led this to this team becoming a dynasty in Major League Soccer. He is also a Seattle-based owner who went to the University of Washington he loves the sport of football and wants to continue to see it grow proof of this is when he took a stake in Cambridge United a team in England. He is the majority owner and has the most power out of anybody was in the club. However if you’re going to compete in European football you need branding. Seattle Sounders do not have the Bayern Munich Real Madrid Barcelona or Manchester United type of brand a lot of that would have to do with their ownership group and what they’re able to do. While this entire idea is impossible it might work if it was because of two names that are attached to the ownership group. Russell Wilson and Cira they are a power couple in Seattle. Russell Wilson is one of the best players in the NFL he might not be all that well known overseas but Cira his wife is a singer and is an incredibly High selling artist that would induce a great level of branding to the team. Branding is obviously very important but the stadium and facilities are equally as vital if they were to compete in European  football. CenturyLink Field has a capacity of a little over 37,000 which would be the seventh highest capacity in the French top division. They would have the facilities the fan support and a stadium that has proven to welcome many European teams during summer preseason tournaments. They have all the materials they need For this to work. As I mentioned it is impossible for this to actually happen because they cannot compete in the French league if they live in Seattle. But I think I made a quite a lot of points here why they would be a success. The biggest question is how would they fare in French football. Let’s be honest with ourselves they are not going to compete against PSG Monaco Marseille Saint Etienne or Olympique Lyon. There are also other teams just below them that would finish above Seattle. year-in and year-out I believe the Seattle Sounders if they were put in the French league would finish between 12th and 14th and on a regular basis would earn between 37 and 42 points. there would be years where the top half of the table win struggle and the Seattle Sounders could fight for a European position but I do not foresee that happening very consistently however they could win a Cup if they could get hot at the right time and beat one of these teams I could see Seattle getting a result against Lyon or Marseille once in awhile they would never be PSG but there’s no question in my mind that they would be able to compete in European football if they were put in the French league but only the French league they would be relegated in Spain,Italy,Germany & England. This isn’t any disrespect to French football and what it has provided and that’s a large reason why I think Seattle would struggle for the top of the table or even the middle of the table. How on Earth would they deal with Killian Mbappe, Neymar, Mauro Icardi, Memphis Depay or Kasper Dolberg and others they would have big issues dealing with players like that. However the question isn’t whether or not Seattle could win the league in France because clearly they wouldn’t be able to do that the question is could they compete year in and year out in French football they certainly would they wouldn’t get relegated they wouldn’t compete for championships but could they compete absolutely.

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