Sounders Insider

MLS president excited about Seattle's entry

I had a little email interview today with MLS president Mark Abbott for a story I'm doing to kick off game week in our Sunday paper.

Here's a part where he talks about the coming season, with Sounders FC joining the league.

"We're excited about the upcoming season with the addition of Seattle to the league and many exciting players," Abbott said. "Like Toronto and other new MLS markets such as Houston and Salt Lake, we see a loyal following developing in Seattle. Each of these passionate new markets individually raises the collective energy level of our national fan base.

"While we have many talented new international players coming into MLS in 2009 such as (Seattle's) Freddie Ljungberg and Fredy Montero, MLS remains a league built on American players," he continued. "I grew up watching the Minnesota Kicks in the NASL and my heroes were international stars such as Ace Ntsoelengoe and Alan Merrick. Now, many of the best players in MLS - - top scorers like Landon Donovan and Taylor Twellman - - are American. We've also seen many significant U.S. national team players return to MLS in the last year after playing in Europe, including 2006 World Cup team members Brian McBride, Josh Wolff, Eddie Lewis, Kasey Keller and Bobby Convey."