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Sigi challenge to Timbers fans: Draw 66,000; Hanauer never more bullish about MLS growth

Post by Don Ruiz / The News Tribune on Oct. 5, 2012 at 12:13 pm with No Comments »
October 5, 2012 12:21 pm

Asked a pretty general question about the huge crowd expected Sunday the the Sounders-Timbers game at nearly sold-out CenturyLink Field, coach Sigi Schmid swerved from praise for Sounders fans to a challenge for Timbers fans:

“It makes a tremendous statement for the city of Seattle, because our fans are able to come out in numbers,” he said. “They’re supportive, they’re going to be loud, they’re going to be boisterous and they’re here in numbers, which is a big thing. I don’t think Portland could get 66,000. Not just because their stadium’s smaller – I don’t think they could get 66. They could try it. They could play at the University of Oregon and see if they could get 66 for a game. That’s my challenge to them.”

Asked a similar question, general manager Adrian Hanauer spun his answer in a different way.

“I think first and foremost it speaks volumes about the league overall,” he said. “We wouldn’t be here without the partners who’ve come before us, and plowed the soil and gotten us to the point where something like this is possible. Certainly our fans here continue to amaze us, and Sunday will be another example of that. I personally have never been as bullish as I am today in the continued growth in the league. I think there are many good days ahead for this franchise and a lot of other franchises. As I look around the league, some of the attendance numbers for the weekend — numbers but also the passion in some of the stadiums. It’s fantastic. So: Very excited about Sunday.”

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