The Wash is David Falk’s take on the world of soccer in The WA.
by David Falk
This is an opinion column. So here’s my opinion: it’s going to be hard for me to get excited about Seattle Impact FC.
Who’s that, you ask?
That’s Puget Sound’s new entry into the new MASL – Major Arena Soccer League. They will play their home matches at the Showare Center in Kent.
My inbox has a few early press releases from them. Most have not made it onto goalWA.net.
Indoor soccer is a niche sport at best, and failed national leagues litter the landscape. There was no great public groundswell to get a club for Kent. It just sort of happened in a head-scratching series of events coming out of the first MASL meetings. Then Impact owner Dion Earl (aka “Corporate Consumer Advocate Watchdog “) made an uncomfortable splash on the local soccer scene with a mismanaged Facebook page, threats to this website and an eventual losing lawsuit against the Tacoma Stars.
Now the Impact want all to be forgiven, and some sources tell me that Earl is indeed sorry for his rocky start. I have not heard from Earl since his threats except for an email suggesting I double-check sources.
I’m afraid it is going to be “wait and see” from my corner.
Last week the attendance-leading Rochester Lancers folded out of the MASL. In July this owner bought a team and named them Oxford City FC of Texas. The MASL is headed by Kevin Milliken. Locals know all about his style.
Local players are being asked to try out for the Impact. If that’s their dream, they should. But they should also beware. Google a few owner names. Don’t delay cashing checks. We hope the best for them.
As for Earl, our sources say he has told more than one fan that he expects to sell out every home match at 6,500 and draw better than the Seattle Thunderbirds Hockey Club. There is no one I know that sees that as even remotely likely. Imagine the amount of television time, advertising investment, and star player power it would take. That doesn’t seem to be in the cards.
So, a league that is already unstable, and includes more than one owner who has been in and out of the courts. A sport that has no pent-up spectator demand in the Puget Sound area. A club in Kent, with the same name as an MLS team in Montreal, and with a Seahawks-colored cookie-cutter crest. Operators with pie-in-the-sky attendance expectations. And the nearest MASL club? Sacramento at 609 miles away. What could possibly go wrong?
We’ve been told that the Impact might have enough money to be around more than a year. That’s good to hear.
But nothing to get excited about.