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GRANT WAHL
October 24, 2011
FÚTBOL-SIZED CROWDS
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October 24, 2011

Quick Shots

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FÚTBOL-SIZED CROWDS

With an average attendance of 17,795 through Sunday, MLS was on pace to surpass its alltime high of 17,406, set in the league's inaugural season, 1996. Much of the credit rests with the remarkable Sounders, who have averaged 38,496 at CenturyLink Field this year. (Seattle has led the league in attendance in each of its three seasons.) Last Saturday the team opened the upper sections of the stadium that are usually covered for soccer and drew 64,140 fans—third-most ever for a stand-alone MLS match—at the farewell game for retiring goalkeeper Kasey Keller, a 2--1 win over the Earthquakes. To put the turnout in perspective, the only soccer crowds around the world that were bigger than Seattle's last weekend were those in the home stadiums of Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid.

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