Chicago Fire has long held claim to best start by an expansion team. After the Fire's amazing start in 1998, the Fire traveled all the way to Pasadena, Calif. and took home the MLS Cup.
Is there any reason to doubt this is the fate of the Seattle Sounders? Or even to think they are more deserving? The Seattle Sounders have become a framework (along with TFC) of what an MLS expansion side should be. There is no doubt Philadelphia, Vancouver, and Portland are all taking notes from the 2009 Seattle Sounders FC.
The most season ticket sales, a Designated Player, a US legend, USL Sounders players, and young talent all are hallmarks of this team.
Seattle, now tied for first place in the West with three wins, a perfect start, looks to repeat the expansion success of the Fire. Even more surprising is the play of the Sounders defense and former US keeper Kasey Keller.
Keller is the big-name hometown player (born in Olympia) that every team looks for. He is an aging legend who has been successful throughout the world and representing the States, leading a new, youth-filled Sounders club.
And who can leave out the two-game success of Fredy Montero? In two games, he has scored three goals and provided the fans with a young, energized, highlight-making player to represent the Sounders. When he missed game three, the big-name Ljunberg stepped up early scoring in Toronto at BMO Field (one of the toughest places to play), reminding both fans and other teams that this Designated Player is here to win.
Seattle now prepares for Week Four, where they get to host the one-win Kansas City Wizards at Qwest Field. A win in Seattle for the Sounders not only solidifies them as the best expansion start of all time, but could place them in a group of elite teams who have opened the season with such dominance, reminiscent of the Crew last year (who did lose early on, but started 6-1-1).
Regardless of this week's outcome, the Western Conference knows that Sounders are one of teams to beat in '09.