This summer I had a handful of equally unique soccer watching experiences. From Colorado to Bremerton, PDL, U.S. Open Cup and MLS, they made me think about soccer clubs. Like how they succeed, how they promote the sport and how they work as sporting organizations.

The first delibertaly written report (the first is actually here and here) is from our family trip to Colorado which included a nice trip up to Dicks Sporting Goods Stadium.

All of these posts will be organized under this category.

I’m not sure about formatting these posts, so I’ll just start with random, numbered observations.

1. Wow, Sounders fans travel. There were at least 20 organized Sounders fans who came to the game. In addition, I ran into at least a half dozen other folks from Washington coming to the game.

2. About sixty percent of the people I saw at the game were wearing some sort of soccer related gear, which seems low. About just less than half were wearing something Rapids related, and a good portion of those were wearing old style Rapids stuff. The rest were split between youth team jersies and jersies of worldwide clubs (Chivas of G, Barca, Manchester United, etc.).

I think it might have been a youth soccer night, so those jersey observations might be thrown of by that. But, it makes me think that Colorado suffers from the typical MLS problem in attracting fans. There are plenty of people that are involved in soccer (youth organizations or by following soccer worldwide), but have a hard time attracting them into following the local pro club.

3. Colorado had a very nice stadium, but it was in the middle of nowhere. There’s something to be said for having a soccer stadium near other stuff. Makes walking into the stadium a bit more meaningful. I don’t know, its just a feeling I have.

4. I understand there is an actual local connection to the term “Arsenal” for the Rapids, but the use of the UK’s Arsenal brand in the stadium, the firing of the cannon and the youth program is just ripping off the authentic British soccer experience, not trying to create your own. Just saying.