I will start by saying that Sounder at Heart is a part of me. It is a place that I visit every day. And while I don't ever comment on the site there are many personalities that I recognize and feel, for my part, connected with. Tonight I was spoiled. I was treated to my first ever Seattle Sounders match by a small group of some of my best friends, as well as the greater community that is the Sounders faithfull.
My connection to the game runs very deep. I worked my way up from a kit man with the Washington State University Women's Soccer team, to a person who was offered a coaching position there after my undergraduate years. I turned that position down in pursuit of other things, but miss the everyday life of the game. When Seattle was gifted the oportunity to have an MLS team, and blessed to be given the Sounders, circumstances kept me away from participation in support of our team.
As a service member I don't get to choose where I live. But I will always be proud of where I'm from. I have supported our team from Oklahoma for the past 3 years. I watch every match on TV, as a section of one, singing and giving my full 90 (as dumb as that is in my living room). But I love my home town of Seattle. And I love this team.
I found out a few months ago that I was going to have to go over seas in support of our country. Many different emotions have moved through me since I recieved that news. I knew that I needed to come home to Seattle and see several people before I left. But there was one other thing that I knew needed to happen. I needed to be there ... at a match ,,, supporting a team that represented everything that I love about my home. Our Seattle Sounders FC. Tonight I finally had the chance to do that. And what a great night it was (though I would have prefered 2-0, or 3-1). For me the bigger picture was much more clear. We are a community. A people. A city. And we have an amazing representation in Sounders FC. For one night, my first night, I got to live my dream. Tonight I supported my team in person. I supported my home town. And I felt like my team and an my home town supported me. I felt unity. And it was awesome.
All this to be said, there are two points I really want to make; first is thank you. Thank you to the Sounder at Heart folks (especially you, Dave. Thanks for the scarf), and thank you to all who were there creating this culture that represents our home. For me tonight was a night to rememeber, truly a dream come true. Second; for those of you that live in Seattle, don't take this for granted. It is an amazing thing that we have here and we are truly blessed. So much so that I will be following it from half way across the world for the next 12 months, with a lunacy that only a Sounder die hard would understand. I would trade so much just be there in the stadium when we win all these trophies instead of having to read about it.
Thanks again to all you Sounders for making this one of the best nights of my life. God willing I will be back next year, to share a beer and a victory with you all. From the Bluest Skies, I am a Sounder 'Til I Die.