Good morning. A couple of early items before heading out to Sounders practice:
Sounders tops in merchandise sales: Sounders gear is reported to be the most popular in the MLS this season, followed in order the Los Angeles Galaxy, Toronto F.C. , D.C. United, Chicago Fire , NY Red Bulls, and Houston Dynamo.
That according to this post from the New York Times soccer blog.
So, a question: Why? New team? Large fan base? Cool logo? Rave green? It's probably a combination of factors, but what's the top reason?
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I asked Gary Wright, Sounders vice president of business:
"TThe newness of the team, certainly," he said. "The size of the crowds at the games. The fact that people like to belong, they like to be part of it, especially in this sport. And it all adds up into a great thing: the scarves, the tradition of the game, some people wearing jerseys. The support in the community is sensational, so I would expect we would be No. 1 in sales."
And how about that rave green?
"There are a lot of factors, and the color is certainly one of them," Wright said. "It's different, it's unique, no one else has it. I think the logo is sharp and crisp. I don't think you can put your finger on just one thing, but if you did I think it would be the support of the community."
Fire becomes Husky: OK, it's not as cool as "Forrest becomes Timber," but it's the focus of my story in today's paper: Chicago Fire defender Brandon Prideaux, who will become a UW assistant soccer coach at the end of this MLS season.
Should have some more notes in the early afternoon, after the Sounders conclude their final practice before the Fire's visit at noon Saturday. Be back then.