After living in Seattle for 3 years, Josh and I decided it was about time we go to a Sounder's game. We heard that the games were a lot of fun, and we definitely found out why!
We went to our first game on Saturday, 8/3. I was excited to see what all the hub-bub was all about with the Sounders. Generally speaking, I'd rather play the game, than watch it. Although I do remember enjoying the Real Madrid game I went to Madrid (which I later learned had some very famous player involved - ha, I just went to be social - sorry soccer fans). But I was curious if I might enjoy watching soccer since I did play it competitively during my younger years.
We parked in Pioneer Square, which is apparently the "thing" to do. Everyone that walked beside us to the stadium was geared up in their Sounder's paraphernalia - all pretty much green.
Then we arrived.
I could feel the excitement buzzing around me. There was a band playing, people were crowding around drinking and eating, and just a overall all cheery jive.
We found our seats, and we were very impressed with how close we were to the field (section 105, row U). I almost felt VIP. Almost.
Once seated, the real excitement began. Now, let me tell you, there is a ritual to being a Sounder's fan. And somehow everyone knows about it. Josh and I just rolled with the punches and followed the fans around us.
First, the clapping. Suddenly people raised their hands up. Just raised them, and after about a minute, the hands all slowly started to come together. Slowly the clapping began - the whole stadium coordinated, mind you. Then it grew faster and faster, until it began a wild, rage of claps.
Next, the announcing began. Players from the other team were announced. And after each name of our opponents, there was a big "boo" from the crowd (aren't we good sports?! ha). Then our team was announced. Again there was a ritual...the announcer would say the players first name, and the crowd would follow by shouting of the last name.
Time out: okay, and this might be the exact order of events, but you get the general idea.
Then, came the fire from the goal posts - yes fire. There were two blow torch type things on the end of each goal post, and those fired off at the very same time that the field (and I learned later that both the goal post fire & fireworks boomed when the Sounder's scored).
Oh, and the fun doesn't stop there.
One thing that the fans loved to do was hold up their Sounder scarves with "Sounders FC" facing the field. My favorite was the scarf that said, "Pride of the Northwest." Guess I need a scarf now.
Of course, there was all the National anthem. They brought out a flag and everyone. I love that!
More cheering. There was also a moment when they let off a bunch of green streamers.
Now, here's the kicker.... Little did we know, we chose THE game as our first. The latest Sounder player was announced before the game. The new guy came out with a announcer wearing a hoodie. Funny thing: Before I caught on to what was happening, I thought he must be some famous rapper because they played this video. But this was an incorrect assumption.
The announcer dude said, "So Dempsey, we hear you've been touring the West coast looking for a new home. Did you find anywhere you like?" Then Dempsey unzipps his hoodie to reveal the green Sounder's jersey. The crowd went completely wild. Even a flag that said "Keep Calm and Dempsey Watch" was raised. (This guys must be good. I bet he probably has a pretty big ego, too. I would too if people held up signs and cheered for me like that - ha!)
After all that, the game started. And we stood the whole time. Everybody stood the whole time. I felt I might be shunned if I sat. That, and I wouldn't be able to see anything. But it all added to the fun & excitement. Look at us having a good time:
In my opinion, we owned the game. We had control most of the time. We saw some penalties, some yellow cards, some corner kicks, and some good passing.
Sorry, here's Soccer for Dummies if you don't know what I'm talking about.
The cheering kept up throughout the game. There was one section at the end of the field, which I believe is called "the nest" that cheers the whole time. You look over there and the fans are bouncing up & down the entire game. They hold up flags, and then did some crazy arm "wave" thing where they held up their arms to the left, and then to the right. It was like a sea of arms waving. Pretty wild stuff.
At the end, we beat Dallas FC (btw, we played Dallas), 3-0. Booya! There was even a great penalty kick at the end.
We left the game as Sounder's newest fans. I definitely want to go again this season. It was a fantastic time (probably helped that we won, but hey). I even have a Sounder t-shirt that I wear proudly.