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Sounders friendlies: Boca Juniors and Celtic

Post by Don Ruiz / The News Tribune on April 28, 2010 at 8:22 am with 20 Comments »
April 28, 2010 8:33 am

Sounders FC announced this morning that they will face Argentina’s Boca Juniors, on May 26 and Scotland’s Celtic on July 18 at Qwest Field.

The third match included in the 2010 season ticket package is promised soon.

Here’s the release from

Pretty nice pair for a start. Thoughts? Hopes for No. 3?

Leave a comment Comments → 20
  1. joepublic says:

    Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the Boca visit coincided with the announcement that Juan Roman Requelme was going to stick around to boss the Sounders midfield for a couple of MLS seasons?

    Will be out of town July 18, but DY, I know you will be there in full green hoops regalia to cheer on the Bhoys, right?

  2. blahbl4hblah says:

    Any season ticket holders from last year remember what the face value for the friendlies were? The three from this year were (at least for my seats) $25 for these two and the third being $65. Was just wondering why the price difference… Whether they had something big planned for the third and whether or not they did the same thing last year with the pricing…

  3. derekyoung says:

    Boca was a great pick. I had hoped we’d bring up a Latino side but it doesn’t get any better than this. Ok maybe River but whatever. And yes, might be good for Requelme to do a little touring around…. you know, get to know the area.

    However, I’m a little torn about the Celtic match. For me this was kinda ideal. Celtic is really struggling these days and the Ranger supporter in me would love nothing than to see them take home an embarrassing pre-season loss. Short of an MLS Cup, nothing could make me happier.

    On the other hand there’s been this really big push by the support groups to keep any side linked to racism or sectarianism out of Qwest Field. That means teams like the Old Firm (Celtic and Rangers) Juventus, Red Star, etc. I thought it was a bold stand and set a good example for the rest of the league. Might even attract some players sick of the hatred away from Europe and to our fair city. Because of this widespread grassroots effort it feels a little like a slap in the face of supporters from an ownership group that has talked a lot about Democracy in Sports. If your most passionate fans specifically tell you which clubs they don’t want to play here under any circumstances, and you do it anyway, can they really claim to be democratic?

    Prost is absolutely on fire about this issue. He even seems to think they waited this long to announce Boca to downplay criticism (actually kinda makes sense given the long delay.)

    So while I really want to go, I’ll honor a boycott if the support groups organize one.

  4. jimkingjr says:

    If the support groups organize a boycott, I’ll buy extra tickets to the game. They are barely relevant as it is, and this will put them beyond the pale.

  5. nurse_ratched says:

    I already knew we were on our way to having the most hated fans in MLS. Now, I am very sure of this. What a horrible horrible article on PA, and only a bunch of small minded wanna-be progressives could come up with the circular logic that is their argument against Celtic.

  6. HI Derek,
    I can’t begin to tell you how disappointed I was by your comments about the proposed match between Celtic and Seattle Sounders. I am immensly proud to be a Celtic supporter as they are not only a great football team with a splendid history (first British team to win the European Cup etc etc etc.) but have consistently maintained standards of decency , honesty and fair play in all their dealings. They have never espoused racist or sectarian attitudes or behaviours and have consistently signed players, managers and ground staff of all colours and creeds without any bias or bigotry whatsoever. i would like to also point out that you support a football team renowned the world over for the appalling behaviour of your away support . If you disagree might I ask you to seek the opinion of the people of Manchester (where Rangers Fans rioted during the UEFA Cup Final), the people of Barcelona, Osasuna – the list is almost endless and basically comes down to where Rangers fans go- riots follow. I would further add that Rangers F.C. are the only club that I have ever heard of who refused to sign Catholics in any capacity at the football ground until 1987. So if you disapprove of sectarianism how on earth can you support Rangers? Celtic’s travelling support on the other hand have an excellent record, managing to take 80,000 fans to Seville for the UEFA Cup Final with no trouble whatsoever, winning, in the process, the first ever Fairplay Award for fans which Sepp Blatter President of UEFA came to Parkhead to present to us. Sadly we did not win the match but we gave a great performance. Celtic fans form excellent relationships with opposition fans and there are now Celtic Supporters Clubs worldwide as a result of our forays abroad .
    My best advice to you Derek is forget about your personal prejudices and stop trying to lay them on other people by organising a boycott. I’m sure that most Sounders fans have the intellegence and resources to look up the Internet and check the facts. There must be footage somewhere of Celtic’s joyous romp through Seville which they might like to contrast with Rangers fans battering lumps out of the police in Manchester when both sets of fans were attended UEFA Cup Finals which they had done well to qualify for. I’d concentrate on enjoying what should be a smashing game of football, Do your best to remeber you’re in a new country and try to absorb some of the wonderful values and welcoming attitudes of the people there and leave your bad old prejudices behind.

  7. joepublic says:

    I enjoy the intersection of politics and football as much as anyone, and while I want to be respectful of peoples’ opinions, this is one of the silliest complaints I have heard in quite some time.

    European politics past and present being what it is, you could find a racist or sectarian link or some other reason to be offended in most of the big clubs. Football is a human enterprise, and one that gets the passions boiling. And there is no shortage of us v thems all around the world.

    In many cases clubs represented segments of the population that were disenfranchised or lacking representation in other venues. For example, you must acknowledge, for just a moment, that there was a time when the Irish Catholics of Glasgow had legitimate reasons for their contempt. And if you were discriminated against in housing, in employment and anywhere else, there was a place for working joes to express their anger about all that, and that was in supporting Celtic every weekend, and especially when they played The Man’s team, Rangers.

    I don’t say all that because I like Celtic. Swap the names and places and there are plenty of grievances on all sides. I’m just saying some people had their reasons for feeling the way they felt. The really foul, really offensive keep hanging in there — the disgusting monkey chanters in Spain, in England, all across Europe. But most people, it seems to me, are trying to move on.

    These days, I would be willing to bet that 95 percent of the Celtic and Rangers fans hate the sectarian elements more than any of us could ever understand. They’re the ones that have to live with it. And they’re the ones who have been trying to push those elements out.

    Boca’s got its skeletons. The big clubs in Argentina pay off their fiercest Ultras to keep the peace at the stadiums — the Ultras control jobs and tickets and all sorts of other pieces of the footy business in Argentina. And from everything I’ve read, it’s still pretty nasty down there. They have had the season suspended as recently as just a couple years ago due to fan violence.

    It’s part of football. That doesn’t mean it has to be part of football here, though. If you want to have soccer without politics then leave the politics out.

    It just seems comical to me that newcomer fans in Seattle — relatively untouched by any of the problems that spawned some of this ugliness that we’re talking about — would want to set up some kind of litmus test for these historic clubs that would come to town.

  8. Don Ruiz says:

    I appreciate that this controversy is being discussed intelligently. As always, let’s stick to addressing the issue and avoid personally insulting those with whom we disagree.

    I have addressed this issue a bit in the new post above, including this reaction from Adrian Hanauer:

    “I caught wind of (the controversy) this morning. It was the first I heard that there were people upset at their coming. Soccer has been a political game over the years and just about every team we could think of to bring has some political baggage that it carries. I was thinking of Barcelona coming last year: There is a strong movement and conflict between Barcelona and Real Madrid, and that is deeply rooted politically. Celtic’s been here numerous times. The fans have been great. The games have been good. We try not to get too deeply involved in politics: Sounders FC. We’re working on other games in other regions of the world, and I guess I can say the Middle East, Israel, where we’re exploring some possibilities there. That’s deeply political as well. We’re just here running a soccer team and not taking sides. We just want to provide our fans with some good entertaining football.”

  9. joepublic says:

    Classic. Barcelona groundskeepers turn on the sprinkler system to try to stop Inter from celebrating on the field.

  10. derekyoung says:

    Whoa, didn’t think I’d touch off WWIII over that. Without going too much further I just want to say that I’m not particularly picking on Celtic. I support Rangers. JP and I tease each other over it but that’s about it in terms of my “prejudice.” I thought I’d made it clear that I was speaking of both sides of the Old Firm.

    That said, it’s hard to ignore the pretty shocking behavior that is tolerated by their clubs. Other clubs, like Chelsea for example, have made huge strides to end their connection to far-right groups and racism. I just don’t think the Old Firm has done nearly enough and can understand people being upset. I went to one of the matches and what goes on there would shock just about anyone here. Celtic fans sing IRA anthems and Rangers chant anti-Irish/loyalist slogans. Black players are taunted by their own fans (Beasely’s care was firebombed this season by Ranger supporters.) Very ugly.

    JP is right, it’s gotten better. But still is bad enough. Anyway, I’ll leave it there for fear of reigniting the Troubles. :)

    By the way JP, I actually didn’t know that about Boca. My knowledge of Argentine football is pretty limited to their national teams until recently when I got Fox Soccer.

  11. joepublic says:

    Recommend Simon Kuper’s Football Against the Enemy for more on this general subject.

  12. jimkingjr says:

    I don’t recall any great controversy when Celtic and Man U filled Qwest…

  13. derekyoung says:

    I didn’t catch the end of the match, had to log into a conference call. Were they actually still out on the pitch when the sprinklers on? That’s kinda hilarious/juvenile. If I were a betting man I’d have lost. Never would have put it on Bayern/Inter for the final.

  14. jimkingjr says:

    I’m actually more upset that the Sounders have yet to announce game times.

  15. jimkingjr says:

    Well- with Ticketmaster showing the Boca game as being at 1pm on a Wednesday, no wonder the team is hesitant to publicize it.

  16. Don Ruiz says:

    The Sounders say kickoff times will be announced “soon.”

  17. SouthHillHooligan says:

    Chelsea and Barcelona both have their own issues with racism. Where was the “outrage” last year?

  18. EverydayFan says:

    Very interesting discussion … I know nothing about any of the negative history with Celtic, whether it is just one side of the story, etc., but generally speaking, that’s the problem I have with bloggers versus journalists like DR and his team… too much opinion, not enough factual discipline, turned up to 11.

    It works both ways: People who hold an endless grudge just perpetuate prejudice.

  19. jimkingjr says:

    Don- it reminds me of the front office’s inability to get accurate information out on playoff scheduling. This shouldn’t be that difficult. If they can e-mail me trying to get me to buy blocks of 20 or more in presale, they should be able to let me know what time the game will start. Sort of makes a difference in who I can encourage to attend…

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