Category Archives: Seattle Sounders

Seattle Sounders

SLIP-N-SLIDE IN NYCFC

Kaitlyn O'Rourke - Seattle Sounders/mlsfemale
Seattle Sounders Key Contributor

By Kaitlyn O’Rourke 

Saturday, June 17: 2-1 Loss

The Seattle Sounders lost 2 goals to 1 against New York City FC on Saturday in a wet and slippery Yankee Stadium. Clint Dempsey and Jordan Morris (USMNT) Joevin Jones (Trinidad and Tobago), Oniel Fisher (Jamaica), and Roman Torres (Panama) are all back from their national teams. The Sounders lined up in their typical 4-2-3-1, playing all their returning internationals but Roman Torres.

Stefan Frei

Oniel Fisher, Gustav Svensson, Chad Marshall, Joevin Jones

Osvaldo Alonso, Cristian Roldan

Harry Shipp, Nicolas Lodeiro, Clint Dempsey

Jordan Morris

The game kicked off just as fans in Seattle were waking up, fans in New York were being poured on. The teams settled in, with the occasional chance resulting in someone looking like they were on a slip-n-slide (seriously, check out the photos and GIFS from the game. They’re hilarious). Both teams had trouble with the standing water on the field, the ball would stop and players had trouble kicking it. Neither team had a dangerous chance until the Sounders struck first with a goal from Cristian Roldan in the 40th minute.

The New York defense turned the ball over near CR7, who passed it to Harry Shipp, who then passed back to Roldan. The ball deflected off a defender then off Clint Dempsey and found its way to Roldan’s feet. Roldan kept running with the ball, and opted not to pass to Dempsey and scored the opening goal (seriously why is this guy not on the national team??).

In the second half, the ref awarded a penalty for Oniel Fisher “pushing” David Villa in the back. While I don’t think he dove, I don’t think he was pushed, my thought is that he slipped with all the water (but hey, I’ll always have a soft spot for Villa as a Barca fan ;)). Anyways, Villa equalized so congratulations on your 50th goal for NYCFC David*.

The Sounders subbed in Will Bruin for Harry Shipp, moving Morris back to play Shipp’s role and Bruin to be the lone striker. The Sounders had several dangerous chances following the sub, but didn’t capitalize on any.

In the 77th minute, David Villa scored again* for NYCFC on a cross from Jack Harrison. This sunk the Sounders ship for good, Seattle never found an equalizer.

*seriously Villa, you couldn’t have waited until you play Portland?!?!?! ok i’m over it

Takeaways and notes

  • Cristian Roldan deserves to be on the USMNT*.
  • Stefan Frei got his US Citizenship on Tuesday so — 1. Congratulations!! And 2. He’s now eligible to play for the USMNT
  • The game should’ve been stopped at half time, it was said during the broadcast that if the ball stopped moving due to rain/standing water that the game would be stopped. The ball did stop moving several times.
  • Nicolas Lodeiro, Clint Dempsey and Jordan Morris need to work better on the field. They should go fishing or dancing or something. **
  • The Sounders play again Wednesday against Orlando (which happens to also be their pride celebration)
  • I don’t know if this is just me, but can we do something about these game times?
  • The game Saturday started at 1pm ET, which meant many Sounders fans had to wake up earlyish for a game.
  • The game against Orlando starts at 7:30pm PT, which means many Orlando fans have to stay up late on a weeknight.  

*seriously Cristian Roldan should be on the national team. He and Jordan Morris could use their BFF powers for good. They could be like Captain America and Wonder…Man? And maybe it’s just me, but I would LOVE to see a USMNT that had DeAndre Yedlin, Cristian Roldan, Clint Dempsey, Jordan Morris, and Christian Pulisic all playing together.

**Maybe the Sounders need to start dancing after games again. It worked last year.

Featured image courtesy: soundersfc.com

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How I got into soccer…

Jennifer Denton - Seattle Sounders/mlsfemale
Official Seattle Sounders Reporter

By Jennifer Denton // @darkwynds

I only just recently got into soccer.  I knew about it, watched it a little growing up but I was more a football and baseball person.  Now my husband, on the other hand, was a huge soccer fan.  He played it growing up and loved the sport. 

So when the Sounders started in 2009, I told him let’s get the half season tickets.  I wasn’t sure I was going to like it and not sure we could make that kind of commitment.  I also lucked into getting tickets to the first game. 

By half time, I was hooked and was asking why we didn’t get a full season.  Ever since then I have been hooked.  I have also gotten into watching other leagues around the world and our national team. 

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Not A Fan Of Day Matches

Jennifer Denton - Seattle Sounders/mlsfemale
Official Seattle Sounders Reporter

By Jennifer Denton // @darkwynds

Saturday, May 6: 0-1 Loss

This is the rematch most, if not all, Seattle Sounders fans have been waiting for.  So much was made of the MLS Cup ending in PKs versus Toronto FC, and no shots on goal for the Sounders. 

True to the hype, this was indeed a “revenge match.” Jair Marrufo was in the center circle. I try not to blame bad matches on the refs because it isn’t only one reason a match goes badly.  Sounders’ match started out well enough but went downhill fast.  

Let’s go to the video tape: In the sixth minute Sounders got a free kick in a great spot.  Roldan took the free kick and it’s a goal! Or is it? Nope, called for offside, no goal. While, I was on the far end of the stadium from the goal, it didn’t look offside at all, but having the luxury of a replay, the assistant ref got the call right. *insert grumble about not liking offside*

So the match moves on and something just seems off with the Sounders.  After the amazing comeback against the New England Revolution the week before, the team seems tired. Another observation is that Toronto FC, while not playing dirty soccer, it’s certainly thuggish. To compound the frustration, they are getting calls from Marrufo for their behavior. The offside call was just a heart crushing moment. It was like the air was sucked out of the fans, which leads us to the 22nd minute. 

In the 22nd minute, a penalty is called against the Sounders.  Roman Torres fell onto Jozy Altidore.  When it happened live, it looked soft.  Now that I have had a chance to see the replay a few times, it was a soft call.  It looks like Torres tripped and fell into Altidore.  That is my opinion of course, the ref must make a quick call at the time and I can see where you would think it was a penalty.  I will be happy when the Video Ref system comes online (if it does). 

Well, from that point on it just got worse and worse for the Sounders.  If I hadn’t known better I would have said the Sounders were the team that played a midweek match.  The penalty just took the wind out of their match and they were just going through the motions.  If you looked at the stats from the match, you would think the Sounders won the match.  We were better than TFC in almost every category, except the one that really matters, the final score. 

There were some bright spots, though.  Stefan Frei was amazing again; he had a save that was almost exactly like “The Save”.  There were moments where you could almost feel like they were going to come back, but then they give up the ball and the moment was lost.  This loss will be put behind us and we move onto an away match at Chicago, Saturday evening.  Chicago has had a remarkable turnaround so this could be a good match.  I am looking forward to it.

See you in the terraces.

Featured image Week 10 MLS Save of the Week courtesy: @SoundersFC

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3 GOALS 3 POINTS

Kaitlyn O'Rourke - Seattle Sounders/mlsfemale
Seattle Sounders Key Contributor

By Kaitlyn O’Rourke

Sunday, April 23: 0-3 Win

Despite not being able to see who was who and which team was which due to the jersey colors, I got to watch the Seattle Sounders play for the first time in what feels like forever – actually just 23 days (being an east coast Sounders fan is not easy). I watched the first 30 minutes on the computer, then turned El Clasico off (Vamos Barca!!*sorry*) and put the Sounders on the TV. Around the 40th minute, it became easier to determine who was who due to the sweat on the Sounders jerseys.

In the past, LA Galaxy has not been a pleasant place for the Sounders to visit. Sunday, this was a different story. Like the last time they visited LA, when they won 2-4 on a Jordan Morris brace, they turned around history and pulled out not just a result, a win. The Sounders left LA with 3 goals and more important, 3 points. 

The Sounders started the game with a different starting Xl than normal, their back line didn’t feature Roman Torres and Chad Marshall, rather it featured Tony Alfaro and Jordy Delem. Instead of Jordan Morris playing up top, Will Bruin got the start and Morris played on the left wing along with Nicolas Lodeiro and Clint Dempsey. This lineup seemed to work pretty well.

Clint Dempsey scored the first goal in the 29th minute on a header. This was his 3rd goal of the season for Deuce. His goal came after a cross by Lodeiro. The Sounders 2nd goal came on an own goal by Ashley Cole in the 35th minute, also off a cross by Joevin Jones. The ball deflected off Cole’s foot and past Brian Rowe, goalie for LA Galaxy. 9 minutes later, Jordan Morris added the 3rd goal.

The Sounders and the Galaxy played a physical game, forward Will Bruin even noting after the game that if he took off his shirt you’d be able to see scratches. This was the Sounders first win on the road and put them above the red line and at a record of 2-2-3.

Overall, the Sounders had an 86% passing accuracy and the back line of Jones, Alfaro, Gustav Svensson, and Jordy Delem with Stefan Frei in goal have gone 180 minutes without conceding. Clint Dempsey and Nicolas Lodeiro were both named to MLS Team of the Week with Joevin Jones and Jordan Morris being named to the bench.

Featured image courtesy: @SoundersFC

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To Be A Seattle Sounders Fan

Seattle Sounders Key Contributor

By Kaitlyn O’Rourke

To be a Seattle Sounders fan means to love the team that was born in 1974, to love the boys in famous green, to be “full of hopes an’ full of fears, full of laughter, full of tears, full of dreams to last the years…”

It means to be the “rowdiest” fans in the league, to wear bright green and blue. But most of all, it means to love the team with all your heart. Even if you can’t march to the match, or sing and chant for 90 minutes with 45,000 others.

Even if you can’t lose your voice or follow them to every corner of the country and Canada, if you can only get to a few games per year. To be a Sounders fan means to carry the stories and memories of the team with you. It means to be eternal blue, forever green.

The Memories

The following list is a collection of anecdotes from Sounders fans (and Cristian Roldan’s family) about their favorite moments as a fan. (Promise they aren’t all the MLS Cup.)

~”When Marco Pappa volleyed the ball over Jaime Pinedo‘s head, to score our second goal, and claimed the Supporter’s shield.” –Jesse Lopez (Oct. 2014)

~”A friend brought me to a bar to watch a game. It was there I became a part of the ECS.” –Danny DiRe

~”Loved  traveling to our first away match in Vancouver, and seeing the players celebrate with us in ECS.” –Sandra Azevedo

~”My favorite Sounders moment of all-time was Kasey Keller’s last game. When Kasey Keller made that save in [h]is last game against the Earthquakes that put a huge smile on my face.” – Travis Hartman

~”During my first boom boom clap was the first moment I realized I was free of my emotionally abusive husband and I could live a life of my choice. For that, I will be a Sounder till I die.” –Kyla Lanham

~”Meeting the guys at the airport after my sister in law told me they were on her flight.  We rushed to SeaTac, and were the only fans there. They were so incredibly gracious! My kids were stunned into mutes when Jordan started talking to us, and I admittedly became tongue tied. Ha!” –Trish Mathias

~”I’ll say watching the MLS Cup final in my dorm and having non soccer fans and Timbers fans cheering with me when Torres scored.” –Nelson Matthew

~”My first time going to see a match at CenturyLink. Having moved to Seattle, we had dinner downtown before hand and were amazed at how many families had on Sounders gear heading to the match. It felt like NFL-level support, and the stadium experience lived up to the hype.” –Nathan Reynolds

~”I went to a Sounders game at the Kingdome, and they had 58,000 fans there.” –Pat O’Rourke (Sounders vs Cosmos on April 9th, 1976)

~”We were lucky enough to be in Toronto for the Cup Final. I was wearing a Kilt, because we win when I wear it, so I was borderline Hypothermic. I will never forget the sudden adrenaline of Torres’ PK and how warm I felt for the next hour standing there cheering our champions. I doubt I’ll ever top that Sounders memory.” –Chad Harris

~ “His first MLS goal” – Cristian Roldan’s cousin

~”My favorite moment was when Sounders played Portland at home last year. I thought it was an outstanding performance by the team and it put Cristian Roldan on the map.” –Alexander Roldan (Cristian Roldan’s brother)

~“One of her favorite Sounders moments was when Jordan scored against the LA Galaxy on the 25th September last year. We were still living in Seattle then, living at the Ronald McDonald House and she watched the game with us at the house. It wasn’t so long after Jordan and Cristian had been to visit us at the Ronald McDonald House and played with Erin. She was really happy that they beat LA Galaxy!! Also she said winning the MLS Cup was another of her favourite moments. Also meeting Jordan, Cristian, Tyler and Jordan Schweitzer when they visited her quite a few times at Ronald McDonald House and played football and generally fooled around!” –Erin Cross’s mom, talking about her daughter’s favorite Sounders memories.

~“When my friend Kaitlyn and I were the only 2 Sounders fans in this one area at an away game but we were louder than all the fans in the section, well, she was louder.” -Elizabeth (“oh yeah and Jordan Morris scored and they won”)

My memory? The MLS Cup. I won’t say how much I cried or for how long. It’s embarrassing.

The entire game I felt like I would explode. I kept thinking “the longer this goes on, the better our chances are”. Somewhere I read something that said “We get 30 minutes of bonus soccer because someone upstairs doesn’t care about your blood pressure.” And that’s how I felt. I was in my basement, surrounded by a light up Rainier beer sign and blimp, and a Washington State shaped table, and my dad, who had told me about 50,000 Sounders fans at the Kingdome.

I must have jumped on and off my couch 1300 times in the 10 minute shootout. I remember every thought I had. On the Sounders 5th kick, it hit me, if Nico Lodeiro missed, we would lose. At that point, I couldn’t imagine experiencing that. I didn’t have to. The Toronto player who went next hit the crossbar. That’s when the first tear came.

When I saw Roman Torres walk up, all I could think about was if he would shoot it over the bar. He didn’t. We had won. All I could think about was that We Had Won The Cup. My hands were shaking. I had such a big lump in my throat, I was crying so much, that when I went up to see my mom, all I could say is “We Won”.

I stopped crying at one point during the press conference only to hear Brian Schmetzer choke up. I had prayed for this moment (and I don’t normally pray). I had made bets on milkshakes (and never lost one). I had more pictures of grown men crying on my phone than I am proud of. I had imagined it 1000 different ways, but now I can’t imagine it any other way.

To be a Sounders fan is what all of these people said. It’s to be at away games, to meet the guys, to do the boom-boom-clap, to carry the memories, it’s to fall in love with the team. To be eternal blue, forever green.

Featured image courtesy: Gilman Park

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Fight and Win

Official Seattle Sounders FC Reporter

By Amber Rocha @amberrocha

Sunday, March 19: 3-1 Win

There is nothing like watching the Sounders play in Seattle. With March 19th being their first home game of the season since their MLS Cup win, the atmosphere at CenturyLink Field seemed to be more electric than normal. After their Championship Celebration and banner unveiling, the reigning MLS champs went on to beat the New York Red Bulls 3-1 in front of a record high crowd of 45,600.

With Roman Torres out on suspension for misconduct in last week’s match against Montreal Impact, a large question was how the Sounders would do without their star defender. However, the win was never too out of reach for the Sounders, as they started off stronger and more in control than they had during their first two games of the season.

The Red Bulls did put in effort and came away with one goal that came out of nowhere in the 59th minute when Bradley Wright-Phillips headed in a nice cross from Sal Zizzo. The Sounders, however, were unstoppable with three beautiful goals including a penalty kick from Clint Dempsey in the 28th minute after Jordan Morris was brought down in the box by Red Bulls goalkeeper Luis Robles.

Goal number two was a result of an impressive show of skills from Joevin Jones to Nicolas Lodeiro who made a beautiful cross where Jordan Morris was able to head it past Robles in the 66th minute. Lastly, the third and final goal came in the 78th minute after Harry Shipp tapped in a shot that Jones took from outside the box that seemed to be heading straight to Robles.

Yellow cards were not super prevalent in this match but one standout moment was when Red Bulls forward Fredrik Gulbrandsen attempted to earn a penalty kick for his team immediately after the Sounders had taken theirs and was instead met with a yellow for simulation and a Sounders free kick.

Injuries always seem to be around the corner and there seemed to be a couple that might become an issue in the future. Oniel Fisher came off in the 64th minute after a foul by Sean Davis with Alvaro Fernandez replacing him on the field. Jordan Morris played through the limps (and still scored) after he was brought down in the box but came away with an ankle injury. Lastly, Chad Marshall took an elbow to the head while doing his defending but continued playing and doing his thing, as Chad Marshall does.

All in all, after starting the season off with one loss and one draw, the Sounders are back to winning and on the right track to defending their championship title.

This result leaves the Sounders ranked as 6th in the Western Conference and is hopefully just the right beginning to keep this winning momentum going. Next week, we face Atlanta United who boast an impressive record so far. Atlanta did beat the Sounders during preseason but then, they have never played Seattle at home so it will definitely be a face-off to watch.

Random but important:

  • Joevin Jones’ space buns are all-powerful and every Sounders fan should wear their hair that way for the rest of the season.
  • The Sounders are really good at breaking streaks as they ended one of the longest streaks in Red Bulls history, with 18 unbeaten regular season games. Additionally, they have broken Orlando City’s 17-game home unbeaten run, the LA Galaxy’s 12-game home unbeaten streak and ended the Colorado Rapids 18-game home unbeaten streak while becoming Western Conference Champions last year.
  • Five Sounders have left Seattle for international duty including Clint Dempsey and Jordan Morris who joined the United States national team, Joevin Jones who joined the Trinidad & Tobago national team, Roman Torres joined the Panama national team and finally, Nicolas Lodeiro who joined the Uruguay national team for World Cup qualifiers.
  • The Sounders left in Seattle will be playing a friendly against Club Nexaca on March 25th which should be a good time.

Featured image courtesy: @SoundersFC

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Don’t Tread on the Sounders

Official Seattle Sounders FC Reporter

By Amber Rocha @amberrocha

The first official Seattle Sounders match of the 2017 MLS Season was a bittersweet moment for me. The reigning MLS Cup champs started off the season with an away match in Houston, coming away with 0 points after a 2-1 loss to the Dynamo.

The sweet part of bittersweet comes from the fact that Clint Dempsey, who has been out since August 2016 with a heart condition, made his regular season return and let it be known that HE. IS. BACK. The lone goal scored by the Sounders was a beautiful setup by Joevin Jones that was finished by Dempsey. (Yes, I screamed and scared my family when Clint scored his goal. It was a very emotional moment.)

During the first 45, the Sounders struggled all the way around. Though they attempted to keep possession, the offense was rusty and shots on goal were a nonexistence. The defense took a while to adjust to Houston and their attacking plays leading to two Houston goals (Erick Torres 20’ and Romell Quioto 42’).

However, in the second half, the Sounders came back refreshed and looking completely opposite than they did in the first half.

They dominated the Dynamo in every way and Joevin Jones was excellent on the left, creating chances and eventually winning THE Dempsey goal (58’).

Those second half Sounders are what I liked to see. Those are the Sounders that went from last in the West to MLS Cup champs in the 2016 season. And though they struggled in the first half, I am so glad they came back in the second and proved they are still that team.

Sure, a first match win would have been great, but it’s just that: a first match. The guys are getting back into the swing of things, warming up and getting ready to aim to be the 2017 MLS Cup champs. I, for one, can’t wait to see what is in store for the rest of the season, especially with Clint back at full strength.

Featured image courtesy: Seattle Sounders facebook

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Helping Grow MLS in the US

Official Seattle Sounders FC Reporter

By Amber Rocha @amberrocha

If somebody told me 3 years ago that today, I would be a huge soccer fan, traveling around the U.S. to soccer matches, meeting as many soccer players as I can, religiously watching any soccer game I can find on TV whether my favorite team is playing or not, I would have laughed hysterically.

A self-proclaimed soccer hater, I had always loved football and baseball but was disinterested whenever anybody brought up soccer. It was not until the Summer of 2014 that I discovered why soccer is called the beautiful game and fell fast and hard.

Sitting in a bar in Italy, watching the great American player that is Clint Dempsey completely destroy any opponent that came at him during the 2014 World Cup, I was hooked. I wanted more. That led me to Dempsey’s club team, the Seattle Sounders.

Me and Clint Dempsey

As a Southern California native who did not follow soccer in the slightest, the only team I had ever heard of was the LA Galaxy. With their extensive number of MLS Cups and clear infamy in the MLS, you would think I would jump at the chance to be an LA Galaxy supporter.

However, in LA Galaxy territory, I am an Eternal Blue, Forever Green, Sounders ‘til I Die supporter. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

What started as an infatuation with Clint Dempsey turned into a full blown love affair with the Seattle Sounders FC organization. Every single player played with everything they had. Every trainer and coach and staff member was kind and strong and great. Most importantly, every Sounders supporter loved the team through the ups, the downs, the good, the bad, the easy and the tough. I had never experienced anything as passionate and huge as being a supporter of a football club.

It’s a feeling I wish every American could experience.

My name is Amber Rocha and I’m a 22 year old soccer lover. How anybody could be disinterested in the sport is now unbelievable to me. I am so excited to be a part of MLS Female and contribute, even in a small way, to the growth of MLS in the U.S.

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Houston Dynamo vs Seattle Sounders Game Recap

Seattle Sounders Key Contributor

By Kaitlyn O’Rourke

“The Seattle Sounders had less than a 3 month offseason”, is the apparent and obvious excuse for the team’s loss Saturday against the Houston Dynamo. The Sounders opened in Houston on Saturday evening. It didn’t go as hoped for the reigning MLS Champions- the team lost 2-1. By the end of the first half it was 2-0 in the Dynamo’s favor. Things weren’t looking good for the Sounders.

The Sounders lined up in a 4-2-3-1 with MLS Cup hero Stefan Frei as goalie, Gustav Svensson as right back and Joevin Jones as left back. The big guys, Roman Torres and Chad Marshall played at center backs.

Ozzie Alonso wore the captain’s armband and started as center mid along with Cristian Roldan. Over the course of the 2016 season, the two developed a dynamic partnership that will hopefully continue, and get stronger, over the course of the 2017 season.

 Alvaro Fernandez and Nico Lodeiro started as right and left mids, respectively, and Clint Dempsey returned to MLS play after being sidelined with an irregular heartbeat last August. He played at attacking mid. Jordan Morris, 2016 rookie of the year, started as forward, like he did much of last season.

Frei had several good saves early but Houston took the lead on a free kick by Erick Torres just outside the box. Torres got the ball up and over the wall and sent it into the back of the net. 1-0. The Dynamo scored their second goal on a beautiful bending shot by Romell Quioto.

The Sounders got one back in the second half on a goal by the one and only Clint Dempsey in the 58th minute. The goal came from Joevin Jones sending in a cross, Jordan Morris tried to hit it in, missed, and caused the ball to come loose in the box. Dempsey reacted quickly and sent the ball into the net.

Houston applied lots of pressure in the first half then their intensity dropped off in the second half.  The Sounders kept control of the ball better in the second half and looked more like their Championship winning team. Jones had several good and dangerous crosses and Morris had a great run in the 77th minute.

Brian Schmetzer said that it was a “good learning tool” for the Sounders. The locker room was quiet; Morris remarked in his post-game interview that no one likes to lose. The Sounders will play again Saturday in Montreal. 5 of their first 7 games are on the road.

Featured image of Clint Dempsey courtesy: @SoundersFC

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More Than Just A Game

Seattle Sounders Key Contributor
Seattle Sounders Key Contributor

By Kaitlyn O’Rourke

December 10th, 2016. A day that Seattle Sounders fans won’t soon forget. A day that finally brought Seattle an MLS Cup.

For me, it was a day when I lost all of my fingernails. And lost a LOT of tears. This was the story of the Sounders 2016 season. Everyone’s heard it, “from last in the West to MLS Champions.” So I won’t talk about their miracle turnaround, I’ll talk about the emotional rollercoaster of the 2016 Seattle Sounders season.

October 27th, 2016. Sounders vs. Sporting KC. Playoff game number 1. For 88 minutes fans stood in the pouring Seattle rain. And finally, a goal. Even on my TV screen, 2720 miles away, I could see the tears streaming down Nelson Valdez’s face. I could feel the fans yelling. My dog started barking; I had jumped up off the couch screaming and knocked her head off my lap, causing her to fall to the floor. The miracle season had somehow continued.

They played FC Dallas, pulling out another miracle first game and holding on in the second. This brought more tears, I remembered what happened in 2015 against them. How I ran to my room crying the second I saw Jesse Gonzalez save Chad Barrett’s PK. Colorado Rapids vs Sounders, in Colorado. I remember hearing before the game that Jordan Morris was sick. Morris has Type 1 diabetes, something that someone close to me has. I started freaking out; I know how being sick and at altitude affects people’s blood sugar. When he scored in the 56th minute, I jumped up yelling of joy then out of fear, Jordan Morris was down on the field with an injury(he was okay). “You look like mom after a Hillary Clinton speech,” said my little brother as I fought back tears watching them lift the Western Conference Championship trophy.

Flashback to June 1st, the Sounders playing D.C. United in DC. I went with my friend who wore one of my Sounders shirts. To be honest, I almost cried when I heard the BOOM BOOM CLAP from the Sounders fans in the upper left corner of RFK, when I heard them shout the last names of the Sounders players. When they shouted “JORDAN MORRIS” after he scored.

I live 2720 miles away from Seattle. Some of their games I can watch on TV. The others, I listen to on KIRO Radio. I can’t tell you how many nights I stayed up until 12:30 in the morning on Wednesday nights, knowing that I had tests and quizzes the next day at school.

After the Sounders won the MLS Final, I facetimed my friend, the one who had gone to the D.C. United game with me over 6 months ago. She had tears running down her face. She had become attached, she’d listened to me talk about the players for months.

The Sounders are more than a team. Their rivalry with Portland Timbers is more than a rivalry. Every game they play isn’t “just another game.” If they were just a team, if it was “just a game”, then I wouldn’t cry about it, I wouldn’t spend hours making cookies with players names on them. If they were just a team, if it was just a game, it wouldn’t be the same.

My name is Kaitlyn O’Rourke and I am so excited to be a Key Contributor for the Seattle Sounders with MLS Female this season. I’m excited to be writing for a website that celebrates women sports writers. I am so happy that soccer brought me to this place and got me together with all these other women, and I am excited to build friendships that will keep us together.

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