Walt Daggatt, founder of original Seattle Sounders, died Sunday at the age of 91 at his home in Rancho Mirage, Calif.
Daggatt was managing general partner of the ownership group that formed the Sounders and brought pro soccer to Seattle in 1974.
The late Lamar Hunt, owner of the North American Soccer League's Dallas Tornado and NFL's Kansas City Chiefs, met Daggatt and convinced him to launch a soccer team in Seattle, which didn't have a football or baseball team at the time. Daggatt had been inquiring about getting an NFL team for Seattle. The Seahawks joined the NFL in 1976.
The NASL's Sounders were an immediate success in the North American Soccer League in 1974, selling out tiny Memorial Stadium and later drawing big crowds at the Kingdome when it opened in 1976.
Daggatt's ownership group sold the Sounders in 1979 and they folded after the 1983 season.
The Sounders were re-born in 1994 as a team in the American Professional Soccer League. Following the 2008 season, they left the USL First Division, and a new ownership group launched MLS's Seattle Sounders FC.
Last year, Daggatt attended ceremonies honoring former Sounders for their contributions.