One of the American professional soccer clubs competing to win Major League Soccer trophy is Seattle Sounders FC. The club established on November 13, 2007, is based in Seattle, Washington. Sounders compete as a member of the Western Conference of MLS.
Sounders started playing in 2009 as an MLS expansion team. The club has been using the same name as the original franchise that competed in the North American Soccer League from 1974 to 1983. Sounders are managed by former USL Sounders coach and assistant coach Brian Schmetzer, who took over as head coach in July 2016 after the departure of Sigi Schmid.
The club’s majority owner is Adrian Hanauer, and its minority owners are the estate of Paul Allen, Drew Carey, and 11 families from the Seattle area. Sounders is one of the most successful clubs in American soccer.
The Sounders play their home league matches at CenturyLink Field, with a reduced capacity of 37,722 seats for most matches. 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 their inaugural match on March 19, 2009, winning 3–0 over the New York Red Bulls. Seattle has been among the league’s most successful teams, winning the U.S. Open Cup four times, the Supporters’ Shield in 2014, and the MLS Cup in 2016 and 2019.
The team has qualified for the MLS Cup Playoffs in each of its eleven seasons, making the final three times, and competed in the CONCACAF Champions League five times, advancing to the semifinal round once. The team set a new MLS record for average attendance in each of its first five seasons. The Sounders are ranked as one of the most valuable franchises in North America.
The team’s players have included joint-top goalscorers Clint Dempsey and Fredy Montero, as well as long-time captain Osvaldo Alonso, and current captain Nicolás Lodeiro. The Sounders also operate a players’ academy and lower division teams that have produced homegrown players, including Jordan Morris and current Newcastle United F.C. defender DeAndre Yedlin.
In a press conference on November 13, 2007, it was announced that Seattle had been awarded an expansion team. The announcement marked the return of top-level soccer to Seattle for the first time since the dissolution of its North American Soccer League (NASL) team in 1983. The announcement also meant that the Seattle Sounders of the USL First Division would play its final season the year before the new MLS franchise was formed.
“Seattle Sounders FC” was announced as the team name on April 7, 2008, along with the team logo, colors and badge design, in a presentation held at the Space Needle. Sigi Schmid was introduced as the club’s first head coach on December 16, 2008, after leaving the Columbus Crew following their MLS Cup victory.
Nicolas Lodeiro is the highest-paid player at Seattle Sounders FC. The Uruguayan attacking midfielder earns $2,000,000 as a basic salary.
Seattle Sounders FC player salaries for 2019, as released by the MLS Players Union