A near-capacity crowd was expected to fill Seattle’s CenturyLink Field and enjoy the sights and sounds of American soccer.
Players and coaches on both sides were fired up before the game, as were most of the 66,452 fans in attendance. But one group of Sounders fans had something special prepared to mark the event.
The Emerald City Supporters (ECS), a group of devoted Sounders fans, unveiled a giant tifo display shortly before kickoff. The massive piece of choreographed fan art started with two banners in the lower reaches of the stadium that said, “Tonight” on one side and “We go” on the other. A third with the phrase, “All in,” completed the statement.
Fans then hoisted a giant picture of Sounders head coach Sigi Schmidt holding up some playing cards. Another banner, displaying a poker table, was pulled below, as fans on the outskirts of the section created a motion effect by waving glossy flags in the air.
The tifo covered two of the stadium’s three tiers, creating a fitting tribute to the popular club on a day that marked the second-largest crowd for a stand-alone game in the history of Major League Soccer. Most of the crowd — there was a 1,500-strong contingent of Timbers fans in attendance — greeted the Sounders tifo with thunderous applause.
Sounders players held up their end of the bargain. Seattle beat Portland 3-0 with goals from Freddy Montero (two) and Eddie Johnson.
See the Sounders tifo display in the video belwo.