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Seattle’s other Football Club are MLS Champions!

December 19th, 2016 · No Comments

Otay, so I’ve kinda given that one away, as I’m talking about the Rave Green, and not the 12S’ today. And although I’m not surprised one iota, nonetheless I’m disappointed that none of the local Yeahoos who go All Gaga over each ‘N every Seahawks win by lighting off BOOM-BOOM Fireworks; Yeehaw! Made nary a Peep over this momentous occasion late Saturday night.

Yet the following Thursday after that Green Bay shellacking, I knew the Hawks had defeated those woeful Rams ’cause there were a BOOM-BOOM barrage around 8:30PM Pacific; URGH!

Have NO idea where in my voluminous cavern ‘O typewritten word, where I’ve saved scribblin’ about growing up as a Sounders Fan during the late 1970’s, as I’ve still got several Seattle Sounders buttons handed out at various matches at the Seattle Center’s Memorial Stadium, home of the original NASL Sounders.

As the Sounders began their tenure in the North American Soccer League in 1974, playing their first two seasons at Memorial Stadium, where my fondest memories of the club still reside, especially attending games on sunlit summer days as a Wee lad, when my favourite player was Sounders #17 Dave Gillett, a brilliant Defender.

Then forty years ago, which ironically coincides with Tis’ land ‘O T; Err America the Beautiful celebrating its Bicentennial, the Sounders moved into their second venue, the brand new Kingdome, who’s 59,000-66,000 seating capacity for its other main tenants, the Seahawks (1976-1999) and Mariners (1977-1999) was quadruple than Memorial Stadium’s.! While the Supersonics also resided at the Kingdome between their “Glory Years” of 1978-1985.

The Sounders were the first team to host a game at the newly completed Kingdome in April, 1976 when hosting the New York Cosmos, featuring Brazilian Superstar Pele in an exhibition match that saw over 58,000 fans attending, then believed to be the largest ever crowd to witness a soccer match in the States.

Kingdome’s first event: Sounders vs. NY Cosmos exhibition match

As the (NASL) Sounders zenith was reached between 1977-1982, when once again facing those Dastardly Cosmos, not once but twice.

As both times would see Seattle representing the Western conference vs. the Eastern conference’s and NASL’s Juggernaut Cosmos for the prized Soccer Bowl trophy.

Although I didn’t attend either, the championship game that stands out most for Mwah is Soccer Bowl ‘77, with Seattle losing 2-1 at the original (NASL) Portland Timbers home venue, Civic Stadium where the Sounders lost 2-1 in what was Pele’s last professional match.

It would take a further five years for another Soccer Bowl rematch between these two squad’s, this time seeing Soccer Bowl ‘82 being held in San Diego where those pesky Cosmos were victorious One-Nil’, which is soccer; Err Football parlance for 1-0 Mates.

The Sounders would play one more season before folding at the end of 1983, along with NASL turning out it’s lights, ceasing operations following the ‘84 season’s conclusion.

El Soundero!

It would be over a further quarter of a century before another Top Tier Professional Soccer Franchise would appear upon Seattle’s Waterfront, this time in the guise of the Major League Soccer (MLS) expansion Sounders FC (Football Club) debut in ‘09.

As could there be any doubt that the team would fray far from its roots in regards to its club’s name? For which now all three of the original Cascadia Clubs have reclaimed their original names, with the “Triangle ‘O Death” as Drew Carrey coined it, with the gang all being back. As rivals Portland Timbers and Vancouver Whitecaps FC have rejoined Major League Soccer. With those dreaded Timbers beating Seattle to MLS Cup glory by a single year…

As thanks to Randy’s generosity as a Sounders FC season ticket holder, I’ve been privileged to attend at least one match per season since the Rave Green’s return to the pitch, first at Qwest Field, where the Seahawks used to be in Quest of a championship; Hooah! Before becoming known by some as Der Clink, nee Century Link Field.

Sounders FC make Open Cup History

As I think that being fortunate enough to be in attendance for that magnificent U.S. Open Cup victory at Century Link Field five years ago, will always be my most favourite match attended! As so far, and most likely, it’s the only championship game I’ve ever attended, and it was so cool seeing the players hosting the trophy, along with the electricity of the crowd all the way back to our vehicle!

Three Soccer Ghosts visit Sounders FC…

And I won’t try reliving the entire Sounders FC Saga, other than what a Fairytale ending! As the team was mired in ninth place and headed for desolation this summer, i.e.; missing the Playoffs for the first time ever at 6-12-2 when longtime Assistant Coach Brian Schmetzer was tabbed to replace Sigi Schmid, with just 14-games to improve and have his interim tag removed. And the rest is history!

As I really enjoyed Coach Schmetzer’s post-game comments ’bout Rom├ín Torres. Noting repeatedly: Romain says he was a forward before coming to MLS, but we’re not sure about that; Hya!

Amazingly, as sidelined Sounders FC Star Forward Clint Dempsey pointed out afterwards, Seattle failed to have a single shot on goal, with the fewest ever in a championship match, with just a paltry three overall. With the game being the first in history to go scoreless for the entire 120 minutes duration.

Seattle Sounders FC win MLS Cup over Toronto FC, in a Shootout

Ironically, current Seattle Goalkeeper Stefan Frei, deservedly the game’s MVP, with what’s simply being touted as “The Save!” When Frei made his overly impressive save of Toronto FC’s Jozy Altidore’s masterful header, destined to be the game’s lone goal! Saw Frei defeating the team that traded him to Seattle in 2014.

While the win was especially sweet for the three remaining original Sounders FC members from the ‘09 Squad: Zach Scott, Brad Evans and Oswaldo Alonso. As Scott, at age 36 had already announced his retirement prior to the playoffs beginning, and leaves the pitch as an MLS champion!

Brad Evans, who’s been the team’s Captain for several years, and having already won the championship eight years before, spent the season somewhat in purgatory, never quite adapting to a Center Back’s role, deemed “the Experiment.” Along with battling multiple injuries, being subbed-in during the overtime, before calmly scoring Seattle’s first PK.

And what can I say ’bout Oswaldo Alonso? As the gritty Midfielder, possibly the Heart of Sounders FC on-field competitors, took four shots before, and a further four more during halftime in order to dull the persistent pain in his gimpy knee!

Having stuck to my yearly, long standing tradition of listening to the Rave Green’s playoff’s progress via my ‘lil transistor radio tuned into KIRO 97.3FM. It was enjoyable having two former mainstays of Sounders FC lore calling the game.

With original Goalkeeper Kasey Keller staying warm in the booth, while past No. 1 overall MLS Draft Pick Steve Zakuani, who had his bright career cut short by a nasty, crude tackle, attempted staying warm on Toronto’s frigid sidelines.

And I understand why, but it’s mildly disappointing for Mwah that longtime Defender Leonardo Gonzalez wasn’t on the pitch this year, as he totally deserved to be there! But alas, Father Time waits for no one, as JJ’, nee Joevin Jones, eleven years younger simply was faster, stronger, etc.

As I’m awaiting Clint Dempsey’s retirement announcement, as perhaps Coach Schmetzer tipped his hand, claiming that Dempsey will make a Helluva Coach one day, and the Rave Green have an opening for Assistant’s Me Thinks; Hmm? Who knows, eh?

Why Brian Schmetzer chose to march with Fans in the MLS Cup parade

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