The rivalry in Saturday night’s second match of the MLS preseason doubleheader was just as passionate in the stands as it was on the field at Kino Sports Complex North Stadium.
The supporters for Seattle Sounders FC and the Portland Timbers showed up in midseason form. Both teams had large contingents that made their way down from the Northwest.
“Around noon, I saw a post on Facebook from a person who was on the tarmac at the airport in Seattle saying that the entire plane was filled with Seattle Sounders fans and was due to arrive just in time for tonight’s game,” said Greg Foster, one of the managing parters of FC Tucson that organizes the MLS preseason.
“The turnout has been terrific. I’m most excited about the fact that we’re starting to get the word outside of the Tucson area. You could see tonight the really large number of fans from Portland and Seattle.”
Double the fun
The Southeast corner of the facility has a new resident — a bright red double-decker bus with U.S., Arizona and soccer ball flags attached to the upper level.
“The group that owns the bus contacted us and asked us whether we could find a spot for it and whether it would enhance the atmosphere,” Foster said.
“As we were thinking about how we would build out the VIP section we thought that a double-decker bus that has bar stools where you can sit on the top floor and you could watch the game from there would be a unique twist. So we decided to give it a try.”
The grandstand and its surroundings were awash with jerseys of all clubs and colors.
As expected, Timbers and Sounders tops topped the table. The other two participating teams had a smattering of representatives.
But among those spotted in the crowd were shirts from England, Peru, Bayern Munich, FC Schalke, Manchester United, Chelsea, Germany and the United States.