I am supposed to write a post every day at this site. I’m really behind in my monthly post so I figured I’d try to write something now while I watch a bit of soccer on this mid-Wednesday afternoon. This made easier by the fact that Fulham (the English club I follow) is getting the tar beat of them at home against rival Chelsea.
Think of this as similar rival to what we have in the pacific northwest… only more like 2 miles between complexes rather than 100. Seattle still managed a draw at home against Portland and the talent different between the two is closer than either side would care to admit. The Sounders even had the full 3 points up until the 89th minute header by Rodney Wallace, that scored the game tying goal and gave each club a point.
I think it’s kind of interesting to see where I’ve come as a soccer enthusiast in the past year. Last year this time I was still writing baseball for Fansided and moving a family across the country and starting my first full year where I followed the Sounders start to finish.
Prior to returning back stateside I began following Fulham more closely. Clint Dempsey, the American international, had a brilliant season and it was cause for me to start taking notice. I watched him score against Italy and I forced my co-workers to re-watch that slusher of a game because he had the difference maker.
Now, here we stand, with difficult road ahead of us. One that many Sounders supporters may not be used to facing. We make a lot of jokes about the Seattle sports community and I mean, my God, the Mariners have been awful for long enough. But, the Sounders were something different. The way they pursued talent and their attitude of mediocre wasn’t alright and all the passion. It won a lot of people. I know it did me.
I know that a lot of Timber fans call Sounders supporters “groupons” and everything. But whatever. I’m alright with admitting I didn’t become a real Sounder fan until 2009. I didn’t understand American soccer without MLS and learning about the NASL and USL blew my mind, and does so even now. The American “soccer pyramid” is crap and the fact that I’m just now learning that should reveal how much a n00b I am about this sport I’ve become so passionate about.
Adversity, as someone once said, doesn’t build character, it reveals it.
How our guys play through this mess of a situation, and how our fans react to them, will show the rest of the world who we are as a club, and who we are as a fan base. Dave Clark likes to say that “I’m not a supporter, I’m a Sounder”. This is a crappy time for us Sounders. But it’s those crappy times that help grow our fandom. It’s these bad times that help us cherish the good ones that will eventually come back.
Losing sucks.But it’s part of life and the Sounders did it 8 times last year. Real Salt Lake took second place in the west with 57 points and still lost 11 games last season. I’m not trying to compare our situation with any other. Lord knows I’ve heard every thing from the situation with the Galaxy last season to the Columbus Crew and their 2007 season where they won the supporters shield but only scored 4 goals in their first 8 games and only took 7 points from them.
The Sounders are a very complex club and have some many different movie pieces that it’s hard to quiet nail down what can exactly help them solve their woes. But rather than trying to find an answer let’s just take a big deep breath and know that regardless of where we stand 5 GAMES into the season, we have just as much talent as anyone else in this league and that includes the Los Angeles Galaxy.
I leave you with the advice I give my three year-old when he fell down the steps this afternoon: “Shake this off, Seattle. Shake it off.”