Sounders Visit Whets Appetite For Atmosphere In MLS

Vancouver fans got a taste of things to come yesterday, when the Seattle Sounders paid a visit to Swangard for a pre-season friendly in front of a crowd of 3,895.

I’m not a huge fan of friendlies, I’ll be honest. Never have been. Whether it be pre-season or a big glamour match, they mostly tend to leave me a little flat. Pre-season tours and even the odd away game friendly are more fun. Had a blast at many of those following East Fife over the years. Still meaningless, but at least more enjoyable.

The healthy turnout from Seattle that made the cross border journey north on Saturday will attest to that. The ECS and others provided a noisy travelling army a couple of hundred strong and it was hard not to stand there and think how good the atmosphere at the Caps games against the Sounders and Portland Timbers will be come MLS time next year.

It was great to have an atmosphere at the game from both sets of fans. There was a lot of banter heading from our way to theirs and probably from them to us. I’m not sure it was fully picked up on due to the fact that we have no shed to help our sound funnel out and the Sounders fans were far away in Section F. It would have been a lot more fun to have them in either section A or some bleachers to the east. Verbal jousting is what the game needs here.

What might not be something to look forward to next season is the actual football on the pitch! I haven’t particularly enjoyed watching MLS games up to this point. That might be because I have no real interest in who is playing and couldn’t care less who wins (although anyone beating Toronto FC is always a little fun to watch – minus the truly awful CBC commentators of course) or it might just be the fact that I’ve spent my entire football watching life up until now watch football outside the top tier and I’ve developed a “small” league fan mentality. Who can say?!

Hopefully yesterday’s game wasn’t that useful an insight into what we might see from next season as the action was dull and at times non existant.

We can’t really have expected too much more. The season build up is still going for both sides and when a game has as many substitutions going on as we had yesterday, then it’s hard for any flow to pick up in the game and it’s more really a case of the fans being able to give the new guys the once over, which it did.

My initial thoughts from the game is that we seem to have a stronger defence this season and one with more depth. I liked Greg Janicki. I feel than having him and Wesley Charles at the back will see us taking no prisoners. Hopefully without losing any players in the process! Both seem rocks and the type of tough tackling, no nonsense guys that I personally love to have in my team’s backline.

I have early concerns as to where the goals are going to come from this season. Naturally our strikers are not going to be fully sharp yet, but that killer instinct was clearly lacking yesterday, as were the decisive balls through to them.

We also seemed slower than Seattle or perhaps it’s just that the pace is the MLS is faster than USL/NASL, so it’s a learning curve for our guys.

Still, a 0-0 scoreline is respectable. We seldom seemed troubled and we seldom troubled them. Standard pre-season fare, but at least it gave us some live football to watch again.

There’ll be a few more friendlies to come, so let’s get out there and get our vocal chords full warmed up for the season opener in five weeks.

Mon the Caps.

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