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Ex-Sunderland, Man City midfielder Reyna - Seattle Sounders raising the bar

Former USA national team captain Claudio Reyna hopes that the rest of the MLS clubs can follow the path taken by the Seattle Sounders.

Saturday night's clash with San Jose Earthquakes at CenturyLink Field produced a MLS record of more than 64,000 fans which has given Reyna hope that perhaps one day soccer in the US can make it big.

The former Sunderland, Manchester City, Rangers and New York Red Bulls midfielder, who was in attendance to see former USA teammate Kasey Keller in his final home game for the club, says that the Sounders crowd was completely organic and is looking for more of the same to really give a healthy kick to the state of the sport in North America.

"At times in the past, I think we've tried to build up things in the stadium to make it (soccer) look and feel like the real product," Reyna told the Seattle Times. "But this was real.

"I think there were times where we all had doubts if we would see nights like this. I'd be lying if I said we didn't doubt the potential ability for soccer to take off here. I doubted it. I spent most of my career in Europe, and to see the passion and to see what it meant over there…

"Hopefully, in the future, all of the American players only have one vision and one goal and that's to play in this country. We're used to having so many different sports in our country, and I've always thought soccer would be an uphill battle, but nights like this make everything seem possible.

He added: "We, the MLS and the U.S. national team, have gone through some tough times as a sport and if you look now at both, I think they're both in great positions and very healthy and ready to kick into good things that we couldn't have even imagined 10 years ago.

"Seattle's come into this league and really raised the bar. It was really an amazing experience to watch this game."

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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