Commentary: FIFA visit, upcoming postseason big reasons to turn our attention to Sounders FC, OL Reign

We start tonight with a reverse of the "shiny new object syndrome" - the shiny new object obviously being the Seattle Kraken, which has been and continues to be a wonderful and historic addition to our sports community. 

But it’s also time to focus on a couple teams that need and deserve our attention. 

On Monday night, the Sounders play their final home game of the regular season. With two matches left, they’re in a battle for first place in the Western Conference. And on Saturday, OL Reign won their final regular season match, earning the No. 2 overall seed in the NWSL playoffs.

Back to Reign in a second, but Monday’s Sounders match is also critical for this city. FIFA Officials are already in town and will be at Lumen Field as part of their tour of potential host cities for the 2026 World Cup.

Seattle is one of 17 American cities hoping to be selected as a host venue, for the World Cup, which will also be held in Canada and Mexico along with the United States. And while I hope FIFA officials were impressed with the atmosphere they hopefully experienced at Sunday's Seahawks game, it’s vital that the Sounders supporters bring their best as well. 

And given that our friends in Vancouver are still not bidding for a spot, it should increase the opportunity that Seattle has. 

"I mean, our stadium, our city I believe is built for World Cup," Schmetzer said this week. "That stadium was actually built for these types of games. So I’m hoping that whatever FIFA sees is positive and we get some games. That would be unbelievable."

Then again, we ARE dealing with FIFA here, which, according to the U.S. Department of Justice, had been bribed by representatives working for Russia and Qatar to secure hosting rights for 2018 and 2022.

In fact, Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter is among those tied to the organization who have publicly said the decision to choose Qatar for next year’s event was a mistake, and much has been made about the treatment of migrant workers hired to build the infrastructure there. That’s been one huge mess.

No offense, but I don’t think anyone on Seattle’s World Cup executive committee, which includes Russell Wilson and Ciara, will be part of bribing anyone from FIFA making the final call. 

Which means it comes down to Seattle just being itself – showing itself off as a world-class sports city with the spirit, infrastructure and flexibility necessary to be a host city. 

And it also makes Monday night a perfect launching point for a renewed focus on a team that’s about to play in its 13th consecutive postseason – an MLS record – and one that’s reached the championship game four of the last six years, winning two titles along the way. It’s becoming a saturated sports market, but that doesn’t mean the Kraken or Seahawks should monopolize our attention, especially when the Sounders need it the most. 

Or OL Reign, which has only lost two of their last 16 matches, winning 11 of them, and vaulting themselves into 2nd place all the way from the bottom of the standings in the first part of the year. Reign are now two wins away from their first NWSL championship in franchise history, and they’ll be hosting the league semifinals in Tacoma on November 14th. 

And if we’ve learned anything, this region comes together when championships are at stake. Both local soccer clubs are in position to make history. And this is when they need us the most. 

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