Sounders Punch Ticket to MLS Cup

Kathleen Daly-Jensen, Sports Reporter

On Nov. 27, the Seattle Sounders solidified their spot in the MLS Cup Finals for the first time in the club’s history. They beat the Colorado Rapids 1-0, and Jordan Morris scored a game-winning goal in the 56th minute to give the Sounders a 3-1 aggregate victory over Colorado. This was Morris’ second goal of the postseason and he placed his shot past Colorado’s diving goalkeeper Zac MacMath after a through ball from Nelson Valdez. This was a key goal and a relief as the Sounders had been outshot 11-1 in the first 45 minutes of the game.

The Sounders are a key component of the Seattle sports scene. They have managed to create a nearly unbeatable culture surrounding soccer in the Seattle area and Forbes ranked Seattle the second best soccer fans in the United States, falling behind Los Angeles.

Sounders fans were extremely excited at the prospect of their team playing at home for a spot in the MLS cup. Logan Schmidt commented, “I have been to many U.S. Open Cup matches, CCL matches and other big matches for the Sounders, but I have never quite experienced an atmosphere like that at Centurylink.”

To give you an idea of how electric the atmosphere really is, Logan described that “the chants never ended, the crowd got louder when Colorado opened the score line, and there was even a light display: fans in one of the 300 sections started shining flashlights on their phones and then one by one, the entirety of the stadium had a light up.”

For such a dedicated fan, there is nothing quite like watching your team succeed along with 40,000 plus people who share the same passion for the club as you do. Joe Abbott agreed, “The atmosphere was universally supportive and energetic in measures it has never been.”

Eric Conte, a Sounder’s enthusiast, is no fairweather fan. He has gone to the games since he was little with his family and has had season tickets since the team became an MLS franchise in 2009. He is very confident that his team will come out on top in the finals against Toronto. “Of course they will win. Toronto is a good team as well, but the Sounders are on fire,” Conte said.

Looking back on the seasons past, Conte stated, “It’s great to see the Sounders make the finals. It’s a little funny that this is the year they make it when the past couple of years they were the best team in the West.”

This season has been anything but smooth for the Sounders. This was represented well when they found the back of the net to overcome being outshot 11-1 in the first half of last weekend’s game against the Rapids.

The Sounders will be playing next on Dec. 10 on Toronto’s home turf. Conte shared his advice for the team, “I think the key is to score early to take the crowd out of the game.” Conte added, “It’s important to keep balls out of the net in the first 25 or momentum could easily build when you’re playing a road game.” Hopefully Brian Schmetzer, Seattle’s head coach, will pick up a copy of The Wire so he knows what to tell his team this upcoming weekend.

Sounders fans seem to share a common belief with Conte, who stated, “[The team is] always going to find a way, and that’s carried them very far.”

This upcoming weekend, Sounders fans everywhere will be hoping the team can finally hoist the MLS Cup trophy in celebration. The Pacific Northwest is rapidly becoming a hotbed for American soccer, and after the Portland Timbers won the cup last year the pressure is on for the Sounders to deliver on the game’s biggest stage. If Seattle plays with the same focus and determination they have displayed throughout the playoffs, the Sounders will have a great chance to be crowned MLS champions for the first time in history.