Category Archives: Seattle Sounders

Seattle Sounders

Sounders Earn Tough Point Away at Philly


Official Seattle Sounders Reporter

By Ashley Savage // @savage_hart

After only two days rest and a cross-country flight, the Seattle Sounders gritted through a tough 0-0 tie in Chester, Pennsylvania against the Philadelphia Union, earning them 7 points in 7 days.

Heavily rotated, the Sounders came in to the game vs the Union with a 5-3-1 formation, an unusual look for the Rave Green. The lineup included 3 center backs, Kim Kee-Hee, Roman Torres and Jonathan Campbell, and two wingbacks in Nouhou and Saad Abdul-Salaam. The Broldans (Alex and Cristian Roldan) made up the 3-man midfield with Jordy Delem and Nicolas Lodeiro sat behind Will Bruin offensively.

The modified lineup resulted in very little offensive threats, producing only 6 shots on the night. However, the parking of the defensive bus did help Seattle maintain a clean sheet, their fifth of the season.

Alex Roldan and Jonathan Campbell both made their first start of the regular season, each putting in decent performances, especially Campbell who helped take some of the pressure off Kim and Torres who have both played extended minutes lately.

While Raul Ruidiaz, Kelvin Leerdam and Brad Smith all made the bench of the 18 man lineup, Jordan Morris, Victor Rodriguez and Chad Marshall did not travel to Philadelphia and their timetables for return have not been specified by the club. While the signings of Joevin Jones and Xavier Arreaga will help fill the void of Rodiguez and Marshall, neither will be available to the Sounders until mid-July due to international call-ups.

The Sounders travel next to Sporting Kansas City on Sunday, May 26th. While Sporting has been battling their own depth issues lately, the KC Cauldron has statistically not been a location of success for the Sounders.

After that match, the Sounders head in to another double game week with two road games at FC Dallas Saturday, June 1st and the Montreal Impact Wednesday, June 5th. Morris, Torres and Cristian Roldan will all be absent from both road games while Ruidiaz, Lodeiro and Delem will miss the Montreal match.

This will leave the Sounders missing 6 of their regular starters vs Montreal before taking a welcome break until June 29th at home against the Whitecaps.

Featured image: @SoundersFC

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @savage_hart

Check us out on Instagram @mlsfemale

Sounders grab 3 points at home from heavily rotated Orlando


Official Seattle Sounders Reporter

By Ashley Savage // @savage_hart

Seattle Sounders defeat Orlando City 2-1 at CenturyLink Field

The Seattle Sounders took 3 points in their mid-week home game against an Orlando City side who made 11 changes from their previous game.

Injuries continued to plague the Sounders this week as Chad Marshall, Gustav Svensson and Victor Rodriguez were left out of the 18, all of whom play an important role in Seattle’s ideal starting XI. The return of Raul Ruidiaz was a welcome sight for fans, as was seeing him get back in to scoring form.

Brad Smith continued to shine offensively and found great chemistry with Harry Shipp down the left wing. While Smith was credited with an assist here, his positive contributions to the Sounders offense has been more than the game score sheets show.

Whether with Victor Rodriguez or Harry Shipp in front of him, Smith has made an incredible impact down the left wing. It can’t be said enough how vital the retention of his loan from Bournemouth will be for the Sounders in the second half of the season.

The Sounders went in to halftime leading 1-0, but coach Brian Schmetzer stated to the sideline reporter he believed they should be leading “at least 2-0.” Both Nico Lodeiro and Harry Shipp missed sitters, but the lead was still maintained heading to the locker room.

In the 53rd minute, Jordan Morris went down with a non-contact injury and his physical and facial reactions indicated all was not well with the homegrown player. Handwalla Bawana substituted in for Morris, who was filmed in tears on the sideline bench. In post-match comments, Schmetzer stated the injury was a hamstring and would be followed up with an MRI.

While there is no indication this injury was due to the aging turf, it cannot be said enough that continuing to play on turf will negatively impact the team and the city. Any hope at a city selection for the probable North America World Cup bid would hinge on playing surface quality. Also, the United States National Teams both issued recent statements saying they would not play on any turf surfaces or with grass laid over turf. This eliminates Seattle from any future National Team games.

Turf rant over. Back to game notes. In the 67th minute after replacing Jordan Morris, Bwana finished off a BEAUTIFUL (and powerful) cross from Nicolas Lodeiro and extended the Sounder’s lead to 2-0.

While Orlando would grab a goal of their own in in the 75th minute thanks to Chris Mueller, the Sounders held off further efforts by Orlando and finished the game with a 2-1 victory.

The Rave Green travel to Philadelphia on a quick turn around for their next match on Saturday with a kickoff of 4:30 PM PST. This road game begins a month of away games for the Sounders who will travel to Sporting Kansas City, FC Dallas and Montreal Impact before returning home on June 29th for a Cascadia match against Vancouver Whitecaps.

Featured image: @SoundersFC

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @savage_hart

Check us out on Instagram @mlsfemale

Sounders hold off Dynamo with 1-0 victory and roster rumbles


Official Seattle Sounders Reporter

By Ashley Savage // @savage_hart

Take a bow, Cristian! The Seattle Sounders rode the wave of Roldan’s 5th minute golazo all the way to the 90th minute to a 1-0 win over the Houston Dyanmo.

The Sounders were strong defensively as Houston had Sounders fans holding their breath and sighing with relief several times in both halves. Chad Marshall was left out of the team 18 for the second consecutive game, but Roman Torres gave a solid performance.

As always, Stefen Frei came up big in goal and kept the all-important shutout, helping the Sounders claim 3 more points and gain traction in the Western Conference standings.

Both sides had offensive chances throughout the game, although the score remained unchanged after Roldan’s 5th minute rocket. The only other notable event was Victor Rodriguez being substituted in the 15th minute with a hamstring injury. Rodriguez just recently returned from concussion protocol, so picking up a new injury is not something Sounders fans were happy to see.

After 11 games played, Seattle sit in third place in the Western Conference tied on points with the second place Galaxy and 5 points behind first place LAFC. However, the Sounders go in to the upcoming week with a game-in-hand that they will play at home on Wednesday against Orlando City.

The upcoming week is important for the Sounders to claim points. Taking at least 4 points from both games would move the Sounders to second place. With the Galaxy hitting a run of bad form lately behind injuries to Romain Alessandrini and Jonathan Dos Santos, the upcoming week is a vital time to pass them in the Western Conference Standings.

League leaders LAFC are on a hot streak that doesn’t seem to be burning out and with rumors that Carlos Vela might not be called up for international summer duty, the Sounders need to grab points while they can to catch the Black-and-Gold.

Injuries are still plaguing the Sounders starting XI that played so dominantly at the start of the season. Gustav Svensson is out for an undisclosed amount of time, Victor Rodriguez has picked up his third injury of the season, and Chad Marshall missed his second game in a row with a knee injury. On the positive, Raul Ruidiaz returned from a month long injury and Will Bruin substituted in for Ruidiaz, marking his return after several weeks injured as well.

Reinforcements in former Sounders wingback, Joevin Jones, and Ecuadorian centerback, Xavier Arreaga, will arrive some time in the next few weeks. Sounders fans were notably surprised to see Arreaga receive a DP tag, especially as the team currently has 4 centerbacks on their roster (Torres, Marshall, Kim and Campbell).

How and when Arreaga will be utilized is unclear, but some fans have speculated on Chad’s retirement coming earlier than the end of the season. Spending the money on a DP caliber defender seems ridiculous if he isn’t in Seattle’s immediate plans, but no clear statement has been made from the front office.

Jones played predominantly as a left-back for the Sounders and occasionally as a left wing, but played almost exclusively the latter during his time in Germany. It’s likely the Sounders will use him as a variation for Rodriguez or if Brad Smith‘s loan from Bournemouth can’t be extended this summer as the Sounders have vocally said they would like to see happen.

Featured image: @SoundersFC

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @savage_hart

Check us out on Instagram @mlsfemale

Sounders Show They’re A Group of Tough Kids In Gutsy 1-1 Tie To LAFC


Official Seattle Sounders Reporter

By Ashley Savage // @savage_hart

On a sunny Sunday in Seattle, LAFC traveled to play the Sounders for the second time in 7 days. This game was, in so many ways, the definition of “so MLS”.

Still battling injuries and missing Chad Marshall, Raul Ruidiaz, Gustav Svensson, Victor Rodriguez and Will Bruin, a depleted Sounders opened the scoring just 45 seconds in to the match. Jordan Morris picked off a faulty LAFC back pass and scored the second fastest goal in club history. And there ends the happy Sounders highlights a mere 1 minute in to a 94 minute match.


Image: Jill Peck/mlsfemale

Captain Carlos Vela (who else?) equalized in the 4th minute, leveling the score to one all, which would remain the same 90 minutes later after many yellow cards, missed chances (by both teams) and tough soccer.


Image: Jill Peck/mlsfemale

In the 18th minute, the Sounders went down to 10 men after Cristian Roldan received a red card (which a review committee rescinded) for being pushed in to Eduard Atuesta and making hands to face contact.

The Sounders simply toughed out a tie, which considering Kelvin Leerdam’s stoppage time red card for DOGSO (Denial of Obvious Goal Scoring Opportunity), LAFC’s 21 shots (5 on target) and 74% possession was a gritty and well earned point.


Image: Jill Peck/mlsfemale

The Sounders move to 5-1-3 on the season and sit third place in the Western Conference with 18 points behind LAFC and LA Galaxy.

Injuries

After an incredibly hot start right out of the gates, the Sounders have softly sizzled due to injuries and lack of first team depth. Raul Ruidiaz, Will Bruin, Chad Marshall, Victor Rodriguez, Gustav Svensson, and Nouhou Tolo all missed Sunday’s match due to injury. While Bruin and Nouhou have not been consistent starters this season, Ruidiaz and Rodriguez make up a bulk of the Sounders’ offensive attack. Chad Marshall is also a defensive powerhouse on the back line, even though Roman Torres is a seasoned backup.

While the Instagram Story of Ruidiaz has indicated he will travel to Minnesota, it is unclear whether or not the forward will factor in to Saturday’s game considering he hasn’t participated in training for several weeks.

The Battle For Who Gets To Call Him Honey Badger

The Sounders travel to Minnesota this Saturday for their first look at the Wonder Wall and also at Ozzie Alonso on the opposite side of the field. The loss of Ozzie has been met with mixed emotions by Seattle fans, but with the current lack of midfield depth more are missing him than not.

Cristian Roldan has made comments to the media that he is especially glad his red card has been rescinded so that he can play against his mentor. That midfield match up will be a must watch for Sounders and Loon fans alike.

Featured image: @jillmpeck on Instagram

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @savage_hart

Check us out on Instagram @mlsfemale

Sounders Suffer First Loss Of The Season To LAFC, 4-1


Official Seattle Sounders Reporter

By Ashley Savage // @savage_hart

Coming to Los Angeles as the last undefeated team in MLS, the Sounders were definitely a lesser version of the team that started the season with the greatest run in franchise history. With Chad Marshall, Raul Ruidiaz and Will Bruin all missing the trip, Jordan Morris became the lone forward in Seattle’s 4-2-3-1 lineup.

After a midweek flop in Vancouver, the Black and Gold were aggressive and borderline vengeful with their attack from the opening whistle. After repeatedly knocking on the door, Carlos Vela finished off a beautiful pass from Mark-Anthony Kaye for the game’s opening goal.

The remainder of the first half, Seattle seemed unable to get anything started offensively and had several miscues on defense. Shortly before the halftime whistle, Eduard Atuesta took Roman Torres for a slip and slide as he slotted home the second goal for LAFC in the first 45.

Known for his compelling halftime speeches, Brian Schmetzer’s boys came out of the locker room with an improved look and created some excellent build up play. In the 51st minute, Victor Rodriguez found an open Harry Shipp, who tallied his first goal of the season and brought the Sounders back within one.

However, four minutes later Carlos Vela scored an almost identical goal to his first of the day, this time assisted by Atuestsa. In the 61st minute, Christian Ramirez tapped in a sitter from six yards out that gave Kaye his third assist of the day and LAFC a 4-1 lead.

While the game finished with a 4-1 score, the saga continues less than seven days later as LAFC will travel to Seattle for an incredibly quick rematch in the Emerald City. With injuries plaguing the Sounders in Los Angeles, a full squad and home field environment should help the Sounders put on a better display. However, a midweek home match against San Jose will likely require some squad rotation and depth is a luxury the Sounders do not currently have.

A comment on fan behavior

Let me start this by saying I’m not a Sounders fan who hates all other Western Conference or MLS teams. When I first became a season ticket holder, I went to an away game in Portland. A small group of us were grabbing beers at a bar far from the stadium that was playing morning football games (the Seahawks were playing) and no one in the bar was wearing Timbers gear. Eventually, a small group of Timbers came in to the bar. A girl from their group walked up to me, threw sardines in my face and tossed a salmon head on the table while saying “today we gut the fish”. I was in shock. I promised myself then and there I would never become a fan fueled by hatred for other teams, only passion for my own.

I enjoy watching other teams do impressive and inspiring things, because it benefits the league. I love what Atlanta is doing with their fanbase and attendance. I love Minnesota’s new soccer specific stadium. I love what Mia, Magic and Will Ferrel are building in LA and I respect the hell out of Bob Bradley. Having him coach in this league helps make MLS more respectable globally.

What does not help the reputation of MLS is LAFC fans throwing beer on opposing team players. It is atrocious beyond explanation. Watching a sideline fan throw beer on Nouhou, who was simply attempting to throw the ball in, was disgusting. And it’s not the first time. When facing RSL in the knock-out round last year, the referee stopped the game for 5 minutes after fans from the LAFC supporters section were throwing beers at Nick Rimando. This should not be a representation of team or fan culture if we ever hope to progress MLS to the level of the EPL, Bundesliga or La Liga, three leagues where actions like this would never be tolerated.

RSL Goalkeeper Nick Rimando’s tweet after having beer thrown on him in a playoff game last season.

While LAFC were a beautiful display of skill on the field Sunday, it disappointed me to see fans still throwing beers on opposing team players. I hope that fan behavior can someday replicate the professional integrity of the teams.

Featured image: @SoundersFC on Twitter

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @savage_hart

Check us out on Instagram @mlsfemale

Bruin Brace Helps Sounders Stay Undefeated


Official Seattle Sounders Reporter

By Ashley Savage // @savage_hart

With the absence of Ruidiaz for the second straight week hanging over the Sounders starting XI like a pesky cumulonimbus cloud, Will Bruin came up huge bagging two goals as Seattle defeated Toronto 3-2 on Saturday.

Toronto rolled in to CenturyLink Field missing two of their starting defenders and starting goalkeeper, but with two of the highest paid DPs in MLS in Jozy Altidore (5m)  and Michael Bradley (6.5m) and the most talked about early season signing, Alejandro Pozuelo.


Image: Jill Peck/mlsfemale

Toronto and the Sounders are old friends at this point having split the success of two MLS Cups and showing no love lost after either of those games. Nearly 38,000 (another turnout on the lower end for the Sounders) turned out Saturday afternoon to watch the Sounders beat their old MLS Cup rivals off of a Will Bruin brace and a rocket by Cristian Roldan.

The game got off to a disappointing start for Seattle, who saw a wide open Jozy Altidore head home a cross from Pozuelo in the 13th minute. The crowd grew silent, aside from boos for the former/occasional US National Team striker. In the 24th minute, much to the joy of the Sounders faithful, Bruin slotted home a diving hider off a deflected cross from Brad Smith to bring Seattle even at 1-1.


Image: Jill Peck/mlsfemale

Starting the second half still deadlocked, Seattle found the advantage of possession and offensive pressure. In the 66th minute, the pressure paid off as Bruin knocked in another cross from Smith to put Seattle up 2-1. Two minutes later, Cristian Roldan roofed a laser finish to give the Sounders a two goal cushion of 3-1. Not to be quieted easily, Altidore and Pozuelo connected once more in the 70th minute to give Toronto their second and final goal, ending the game 3-2.


Image: Jill Peck/mlsfemale

First of Several Challenges

Toronto came in to CenturyLink undefeated and left with their first loss, but they were only the first of two undefeated teams the Sounders will face in April. Thanks to the genius that is MLS scheduling, Seattle faces LAFC two times in seven days both home and away. The Black and Gold have been extremely dominant to begin the 2019 season and are the only team ahead of Seattle in the Western Conference.

They also feature a star forward named Carlos Vela, who has been tearing teams apart all across the country the past month and shows no sign of slowing down. Bob Bradley has his team playing just how he’d like, except for a few injuries, and the results have been undeniably dominant. While the Sounders survived TFC at home, facing LAFC two times in seven days will be a real test.

Brad Smith is Really Good

Brad Smith is really good at soccer. I’m not sure if people nationally are noticing it, except for Stu Holden:

But he’s contributing both offensively and defensively like no other left-back in the league right now. A healthy Brad Smith could be just the key the Sounders need to make a solid postseason run.

Featured & all images: @jillmpeck on Instagram

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @savage_hart

Check us out on Instagram @mlsfemale

Seattle Sounders get First Road Win versus Chicago Fire


Official Seattle Sounders Reporter

By Ashley Savage // @savage_hart

The Seattle Sounders rolled in to Chicago just as hot as they’d started at home. From the opening whistle, the Sounders were firing on all cylinders down both wings and through the middle with Nicolas Lodiero.

The first goal came in only the 8th minute when Victor Rodriguez found the back of the net from an insanely accurate cross from Jordan Morris. The 1-0 lead was doubled in the 15th minute when Morris chipped Chicago goalkeeper David Ousted with the outside of his right foot. The finish was just as highlight-reel-worthy as the ball in from Nicolas Lodiero.



The Sounders returned to the field in the second half with a clear offensive push that showed they were not content with only 2 goals. Rodriguez drew a penalty after a hard take-down and el capitan, Lodiero, placed the ball on the spot. While the initial kick seemed to have hit the woodwork, the shot hit the crossbar and bounced down crossing the goal line, giving Nico his first goal of the season and increasing the Sounders’ lead to 3-0.


Image: Seattle Sounders FC

Minutes later, Raheem Edwards, a first half substitute, pulled one back in the 56th minute. The two teams battled for the next 30 minutes and Fabian Herbers made things interesting in the 84th when he scored a second goal for Chicago making it 3-2 Seattle. Raul Ruidiaz came to Seattle’s rescue, however, and tallied his third of the season in the 88th minute to make the final score 4-2 in favor of Seattle.



Takeaways

Morris Might Be (he definitely is) For Real

There was so much speculation and excitement surrounding Jordan Morris’ return to soccer. After more than a year out with injury, there was still a good deal of skepticism even after his dominating performance in the home opener. For whatever doubters might still be lingering, his goal and play this game showed that the hometown kid is back and better than ever. Morris left Chicago to join Gregg Berhalter and the US Men’s National Team in Orlando where he’s hoping to spark a comeback in the stars and stripes as well.

Dominant Offense, Dreary Defense

The front four of the Sounders were at it again from the opening whistle until each (excluding Ruidiaz) were subbed off. The dynamic tandem on the left side with Brad Smith and Victor Rodriguez was an issue early on for Chicago, as it was for Cincinnati and Colorado previously in the season. Kelvin Leerdam had another open look at goal, Morris and Lodiero put on a show of skill and Ruidiaz scored a goal in his 8th consecutive MLS game.

Stefan Frei was called upon a few too many times this game, although he rose to the occasion for many of them. The Fire put up 25 shots and 12 on target and maintained 52% possession during the game. While the Sounders still secured a solid 3 points on the road, it wasn’t their cleanest victory.

Featured image: @SoundersFC

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @savage_hart

Check us out on Instagram @mlsfemale

Sounders Hold on to Early 2-0 Lead to Beat the Rapids

Official Seattle Sounders Reporter

By Ashley Savage // @savage_hart

While the 2-0 lead is the most dangerous lead in soccer, the Seattle Sounders were able to hold off the Colorado Rapids for over 80 minutes at CenturyLink Field Saturday after scoring 2 goals in less than 10 minutes.

While it was a shock to some and a joy to all, Kelvin Leerdam notched the opening goal for the second week in a row. In the fifth minute, Brad Smith sent a cross in to the box that created a mad dash of ricochets and poor clearances. Leerdam somehow ended up with the ball at his feet and hammered home a left-footed beauty that sailed past the Colorado keeper, Tim Howard.

Image: Jill Peck/mlsfemale

In the 8th minute, Raul Ruidiaz smashed home his second goal of the season by finishing off a stellar cross from Victor Rodriguez.

Starting Off Hot?

The Sounders have notoriously played catch-up their past few seasons, including their back-to-back appearances in the MLS Cup Final. With Leerdam and Ruidiaz both notching their second goals of the season and Morris bagging a brace the previous game, the Sounders now have three players with more than one goal.

Last season, the Sounders did not have more than one player with multiple goals until June. The victory on the night also signifies the Sounders first 2-0 start to a season since 2015. While it’s definitely early, the team is certainly making a statement.

Image: Jill Peck/mlsfemale

Keeping A Clean Sheet

While Stefan Frei wasn’t truly tested during the match, the backline and goalkeeper looked seriously solid while putting up a clean sheet. Brad Smith and Victor Rodriguez show signs of being an increasingly powerful wing combo, producing multiple strong runs and overlaps throughout the game. Leerdam’s ability to contribute goals is something he has accomplished at previous clubs and is a welcome change from the usually predominant defensive role he has played with the Sounders.

Image: Jill Peck/mlsfemale

Road Test Ahead

After two dominant performances at home, the Sounders now travel to Chicago next Saturday (3/16) and Vancouver at the end of the month (3/30), following a bye-week during International Friendlies. The road games will be a true test for the team who has always performed better at home.

Featured & all images: @jillmpeck on Instagram

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @savage_hart

Check us out on Instagram @mlsfemale

Opening Stunner Can’t Stop Sounders

Official Seattle Sounders Reporter

By Ashley Savage // @savage_hart

Image: Jill Peck/mlsfemale

The newest team in MLS, FC Cincinnati, struck first with an opening cracker of a goal, but it was the Seattle Sounders who ended the night on top sailing to a 4-1 victory.

Prior to kickoff, the Sounders presented Sigi Schmid’s wife and family with the Golden Scarf, a Sounders honor given to a select few members of the soccer or Seattle community. The crowd raised their scarves to honor Schmid, a loss that the Sounders community felt deeply.

As kickoff opened on the Sounders 10th season and FC Cincinnati’s inaugural season, the Sounders pressured early. Raul Ruidiaz sent in a firing header in the 3rd minute, forcing an early save from goalkeeper, Tyton, that hit off the post. 

Image: Jill Peck/mlsfemale

In the 13th minute, FC Cincinnati opened their MLS goal scoring account with an absolute stunner from Leonardo Bertone. However, their lead was short lived when Kelvin Leerdam found the equalizer in the 27th minute after connecting on a deflected cross from Nicolas Lodeiro.

The rest of the game was simply a showcase return for Jordan Morris. After waiting 500 days to start in an MLS match after recovering from ACL surgery, Morris slotted home two goals in 10 minutes. His first goal curled past the keeper in the 33rd minute, ending in a full-team pile up of celebration.

The stadium cheered to one of the loudest volumes in years, rejoicing for the joy of their hometown boy’s return to the score sheet and the field.

In the 43rd minute, Morris powered home a left-footed rocket assisted by Victor Rodriguez to give the Sounders a 3-1 lead. Raul Ruidiaz tallied his own goal in the 87th minute to close the game 4-1.

Image: Jill Peck/mlsfemale
Image: Jill Peck/mlsfemale

Take Aways 

Sigi Started It All

Celebrating their 10th season in the league, players from the inaugural season returned to CenturyLink to be honored in the opening ceremony. They were also joined by Sigi Schmid’s widow, sons, daughter, father and grandchildren. It was a somber moment for Sounders fans to celebrate the team and man that started it all a decade ago. 

The Hometown Boy Is Back

Emotions were high from the start Saturday night, but peaked when Morris first put the ball in the back of the net. When every member of the team joined him in celebrating, their joy was echoed by every fan in the stadium.

While walking back to midfield, Nico grabbed Morris by the shoulders, pointed to him, looked up towards the crowd and cheered. In return, Morris broke away from the rest of his teammates and gave a fist raise and clap to the crowd.

Having an in-from Morris will greatly benefit the Sounders this season, who struggled to get started last season. But if his first game is any indication, Morris and the Sounders are storming into their 10th season.

Featured & all images: Jill Peck/mlsfemale

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @savage_hart

Check us out on Instagram @mlsfemale

Born in ’74

Official Seattle Sounders FC Reporter

By Ashley Savage // @savage_hart

Hello, from the Emerald City! My name is Ashley Savage and I am beyond excited to be covering your Seattle Sounders FC this season for MLSFemale.

While I’m new to reporting, I’m well-seasoned at being a pundit. Sports fandom was a way of life in my house growing up. My parents were multi-sport college athletes at the University of Southern California and, as their only daughter, I was heavily involved in both the playing and supporting of college and professional sports teams.

When I moved to a suburb south of Seattle at the age of 6 (shout out to Maple Valley!), soccer instantly became a way of life. I’m fairly certain that it’s an unwritten rule all girls living in Washington State must enroll in soccer for at least one season before age 8. For most of my friends it didn’t stick, but for me, it became an obsession.

Mia Hamm and Alexi Lalas posters littered the walls of my childhood bedroom, much to the disappointment of Devon Sawa, I’m sure. 

Photo credit: Ashley Savage

In my teenage years, my club team would be ball girls for the USL Sounders games. I remember watching these grown men play HARD and thinking they were the ultimate professionals.

When the announcement was made that Seattle would be receiving an expansion team in 2009, I was away at college.

I watched that first game from my couch in awe that the team I used to shag balls for had become an MLS team. A team that in its inaugural season shattered league attendance records, made the Western Conference Semi-Final and won the US Open Cup. How could you not love this franchise?

Photo credit: Ashley Savage
Photo credit: Ashley Savage

After spending a few years abroad teaching ESL in South Korea, I finally returned back to the Seattle area in 2011. Shortly after, I met a guy (an inaugural season ticket holder, he would insist I add) whose love for Sounders was deeper than any fandom I’d ever encountered.

We joined season tickets, got married in 2014 and even wore our wedding attire to the Portland game the following day where we got to be down on the field, high-five legend Roger Levesque and take pictures with DeAndre Yedlin.

In 2016 we met a Future Sounder who had a due date the same day as the MLS Cup Final. He was born 6 days later to a wonderful world where the Sounders were reigning MLS Cup champions, which is the greatest way to give birth to a child, in my opinion.

It’s a beautiful life here in the Pacific Northwest and I’m looking forward to reporting on the greatest franchise in MLS!

Photo credit: Ashley Savage

Featured & all images: Ashley Savage

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @savage_hart

Check us out on Instagram @mlsfemale