Most MLS teams struggle to draw good crowds for their midweek matches, particularly those shown on national television, but not so Seattle.
For a Thursday night visit of the New York Red Bulls (10 p.m. ET, ESPN2), the Sounders will open up the upper deck at CenturyLink (formerly Qwest) Field for the first time, and thus should break the franchise attendance record set earlier this year for the first MLS visit of Northwest rival Portland (36,593).
"The cool part about it is our fans are coming to watch the Sounders, they're not coming to watch Thierry Henry," goalkeeper Kasey Keller said of the Red Bulls attacker, who is suspended for the game. "That's an added bonus if he's playing, but it's not going to make a difference. More importantly, our fans want to leave the game knowing we got three points."
Says general manager Adrian Hanauer of a crowd projected to be between 45,000 and 50,000, "Hopefully both teams play some good soccer and we send 10-15,000 newly exposed fans home with a win."