Seattle Sounders (1994–2008)

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For other similarly named teams, see Seattle Sounders (disambiguation).
Seattle Sounders
Full name Seattle Sounders
Nickname(s) Sounders
Founded 1994
Dissolved 2008 (MLS 2009)
Stadium Starfire Sports Complex
Ground Capacity 4,500
Chairman Adrian Hanauer
Manager Brian Schmetzer
League USL First Division
2008 5th place
lost in USL Quarterfinals

Seattle Sounders was an American professional soccer team founded in 1994 as a member of the American Professional Soccer League. In 1997, the team became a member of the USL First Division, the second tier of the United States soccer pyramid, until 2008, after which the majority of the team's staff and resources were directed to the new Major League Soccer franchise, Seattle Sounders FC.

They played their last season at the Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila, Washington, having previously played for many years at Qwest Field (now CenturyLink Field). The team was last coached by Brian Schmetzer. The team's colors were blue and white. The team had a sister organization, the Seattle Sounders Women, who play in the women's USL W-League.


Leighton O'Brien in the Seattle Sounders strip.

The club was founded in 1994 and named after the original Seattle Sounders soccer team, which played from 1974 to 1983 in the North American Soccer League.

The A-League/USL-1 Sounders have four championships to their credit, winning the league cup in 1995, 1996, 2005, and 2007. Seattle finished with the best regular season record in the league in 1994, 2002, and 2007. The Sounders have numerous division titles and advanced to the league finals in both 2004 and 2005. In 2004 the Sounders lost the championship 2–0 at Montreal. In 2005 Seattle drew the Richmond Kickers 1–1 at Qwest Field before claiming the championship 4–3 in penalty kicks. In 2007, the Sounders defeated the Atlanta Silverbacks 4–0 to claim their fourth championship title.

The Sounders formed a partnership with English side Cambridge United in 2006 due to Adrian Hanauer's involvement with both clubs.

MLS Expansion[edit]

Main article: Seattle Sounders FC

A Major League Soccer spokesman confirmed that Seattle would be the recipient of a 2009 Major League Soccer expansion team, which would be partly owned by Sounders owner Adrian Hanauer and would play its home games at Qwest Field. The name was released on April 7, 2008 as Seattle Sounders FC, continuing the Sounders name beyond the USL franchise. Hanauer confirmed in a press conference that the USL Sounders' last season in Seattle would be 2008.


Final squad[edit]

vs Montreal Impact, September 20, 2008[1] Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 United States GK Ben Dragavon
2 United States DF Noah Merl
3 United States FW Andre Schmid
4 England DF Danny Jackson
7 United States MF Leighton O'Brien
8 France FW Sébastien Le Toux
9 Jamaica FW Craig Tomlinson
10 France MF Youssouf Kanté
11 United States FW Kevin Forrest
13 United States MF John Fishbaugher
14 United States MF Jason Cascio
15 United States MF Kevin Sakuda
No. Position Player
16 United States MF Kenji Treschuk
17 United States DF Zach Scott
18 United States FW Roger Levesque
20 Costa Rica DF Michael Rodríguez
21 United States DF Adam West
22 United States GK Chris Eylander
23 The Gambia MF Sanna Nyassi
25 United States MF Nikolas Besagno
26 United States DF Taylor Graham
31 United States FW Josh Gardner
77 Mexico MF Hugo Alcaraz-Cuellar


Year League Reg. Season Playoffs US Open Cup Avg. Attendance
1994 APSL 1st Semifinals Did not enter 6,347
1995 A-League 2nd Champion Semifinals 4,571
1996 A-League 3rd Champion Quarterfinals 3,750
1997 USISL A-League 2nd, Pacific Division Finals Did not qualify 2,873
1998 USISL A-League 2nd, Pacific Conference Semifinals Did not qualify 2,902
1999 USL A-League 3rd, Pacific Conference Semifinals 3rd Round 2,243
2000 USL A-League 1st, Pacific Conference Semifinals 2nd Round 2,143
2001 USL A-League 5th, Western Did not qualify 2nd Round 1,885
2002 USL A-League 1st, Pacific Conference Semifinals 3rd Round 4,087
2003 USL A-League 1st, Pacific Conference Finals Quarterfinals 3,357
2004 USL A-League 4th, Western Final Did not qualify 2,874
2005 USL First Division 4th Champion 3rd Round 2,885
2006 USL First Division 7th Did not qualify 3rd Round 3,693
2007 USL First Division 1st Champion Semifinals 3,396
2008 USL First Division 5th Quarterfinals Semifinals 3,386


Team honors[edit]

League Championship

  • Winner (4): 1995, 1996, 2005, 2007
  • Runner-up (1): 2004

Commissioner's Cup (Top of the Regular Season Table)

  • Winner (3): 1994, 2002, 2007

Pacific Division Champion

  • Winner (3): 2000, 2002, 2003
  • Runner-up (2): 1997, 1998

Western Conference Champion

  • Winner (1): 2004

Cascadia Cup

  • Winner (2): 2006, 2007

Individual Player honors[edit]


Leading scorer

Goalkeeper of the Year

Defender of the Year

Coach of the Year

Rookie of the Year

First team All Star

Head coaches[edit]


The Sounders had played at Qwest Field full-time since 2003. The Sounders played the first-ever sporting event at the stadium on July 28, 2002 before 25,515 fans. Before this facility was built, the team played at Memorial Stadium. When the second generation Sounders first formed in 1994, they also played a few home matches at the Tacoma Dome. After opening the 2008 season May 10 at Qwest Field, the Sounders played their remaining 14 league home contests at Starfire Sports Complex.

Rival clubs[edit]

The Seattle Sounders had two bitter rivals – the Portland Timbers to the south and the Vancouver Whitecaps to the north. These three teams competed in the yearly Cascadia Cup, which is now contested by the teams' MLS successors. The Sounders won the trophy in 2006 and 2007.


Emerald City Supporters display at the 2008 home opener.

The original Seattle Sounders were supported by the Seattle Sounders Booster Club in the 1970s and early 1980s. When the second club was formed in 1994, another supporters group started called "The Pod", honoring the club's Orca whale mascot. In 2005, after the earlier group went moribund, the Emerald City Supporters were born. They drafted the motto No Equal that same season as the club won the USL-1 title. In 2007, a social group called the Sounders Legion was started.

External links[edit]