BY DYLAN BUTLER
They made their presence known by first reserving a record number of season tickets before the team even played a game and then by drawing 32,523 for their team's inaugural game and averaging 29,536 per game, far and away the best in the league.
And now, Seattle Sounders FC fans are stuffing the ballot box like no one else. One week into the MLS All-Star First XI voting and EIGHT — that's right — eight Sounders are among the top XI.
The leading vote-getter, to no one's surprise, is Kasey Keller. The former U.S. National Team keeper has a league-best 0.41 goals against average. And Freddie Ljungberg is understandable because he is one of Major League Soccer's most recognizable stars.
Hey, cases can even be made for Fredy Montero, Osvaldo Alonso, Tyrone Marshall, Steve Zakuani (barely) and John Kennedy Hurtado, who, in that order, have accumulated the next highest totals in the first week of voting.
But then it gets a little crazy. Just behind Columbus veteran Frankie Hejduk is James Riley. Really? The three non-Seattle players on that list are Hejduk, Toronto FC midfielder Dwayne De Rosario and Los Angeles forward Landon Donovan.
OK, this is only fan voting and, of course, we understand this is going to be a popularity contest. Fans votes count for 25 percent of the overall total with the other 75 percent votes from media, general managers and coaches as well as players. But are you upset that this year's All-Star Game might well have a very Northwestern flair to it? Do you even care about voting? Who is your First XI? Let us know.