Of course, expansion is imminent. We expect to have 30,000 franchises located on five planets by the year 2137. Present owners each paid 25� per franchise. Prices for future franchises will rise according to the state of the economy.
The WPL plays only eight ball. Each team has a 30-game schedule. All four teams qualify for the playoffs, as there is no room for losers in the WPL.
Playoffs are tentatively scheduled for early October. We will, of course, expect national coverage.
Forest Grove, Ore.
Tex Maule's report on the progress of the North American Soccer League (They Knew a Way to San Jose
, Aug. 5) was particularly well timed.
During the preceding week, NASL contests attracted an average attendance of 8,455. Considering that the 1972 championship game was played before a gathering only half that size, Commissioner Phil Woosnam has good cause for optimism.
Perhaps the most encouraging sign is the Americanization of the game. NASL teams are employing more and more native performers while the quality of play continues to improve. The lowly St. Louis Stars fielded an all-American side on July 22 and upset powerful Werder Bremen of West Germany 1-0. Youth programs are flourishing, and the league will expand again next season.
The trend is obvious. Soccer is here to stay, and its continued growth and improvement give hope that the world's No. 1 sport may soon be America's as well.
One of the truly great stories of soccer's impact on a community is the one involving the Seattle Sounders. The city of Seattle and its sports fans are having a love affair with their pro soccer team. The town has gone completely soccer-crazy, and tickets to Sounder games have become rare items as game day approaches.
Seattle has had six straight sellouts and is averaging 13,521 fans per game. The seating capacity of the stadium was only 13,000 at the outset of the season but has been expanded to 14,876 by adding portable bleacher seats. Even so, Seattle has had three straight advance sellouts, including one nine days before kickoff for the July 26 Los Angeles game.
A junior soccer program involves over 20,000 youngsters in the Puget Sound area, and the Sounders have been staging clinics in cooperation with the Washington State Soccer Association. These have been very successful as has been the Sounders' "Meet the People" approach.