There is no need to recap what happened. The Sounders started in March and looked pretty poor. Their dreams were quashed. Then they chased down their dreams, pursuing them through eel-infested waters. April looked like neat things may be possible, but there was a huge cliff in the way.
It was insane to think that they would be able to survive the climb. They needed a bit of help, but by the end of May and June things were looking a touch better. July was again a bit of a battle. It went back and forth, but Seattle again rose in the standings.
August and September they matched up against heavyweights and the brilliant. Against the thuggish, they used guile. Against the brilliant, they used cunning. It looked as if they would have their dreams. It was essentially in hand. Carefully avoiding rats and fire, the happy ending was so close.
Surrounded and out-matched, the Sounders were beat to a pulp by a league that uses parity as a club to beat down hopes. This is where our tale begins anew.
Don Garber: [admiring his parity contraption] Beautiful isn't it? It took me half a lifetime to invent it. I'm sure you've discovered my deep and abiding interest in parity. Presently I'm writing the definitive work on the subject, so I want you to be totally honest with me on how the league makes you feel. This being our first try, I'll use the lowest setting.
[Don Garber activates the salary cap and international call up powered parity machine. Sounders FC writhe in great pain]
Don Garber: [calmly] As you know, the concept of sports parity is decades old. Really that's all this is, except instead of sucking points, I'm sucking hope. I've just sucked one trophy of your season away. I might one day go as high as five, but I really don't know what that would do to you. So, let's just start with what we have. What did this do to you? Tell me. And remember, this is for posterity so be honest. How do you feel?
[Sounders FC cry and moan in pain]
It is difficult. Our heroes are battered and beaten down. Only one trophy/dream is left and they are far from assured of seeing it. They need help. The return of Oba and EJ could be just that. The two rescue the club from the parity device and lead the rest into the final fight before the playoffs.
Sigi: [planning a strategy] Oh, what I wouldn't give for a healthy squad.
Adrian: There, I can not help you.
Tenney: [produces a healthy squad] Will this do?
Schmetzer: Where did you get that?
Tenney: At Starfire. It fits so nice, they said I could keep it.
There are 11 men blocking the gates to the Playoffs. It is a tough task. But the members of our fair party see their dreams in front of them. Their goals, individual and as a group, are just beyond that gate.
Sigi: Give us the gate key.
Arena: I have no gate key.
Oba: EJ, tear his arms off.
Arena: Oh, you mean *this* gate key.
The gate then opened, though there is still little reason to think that our side will succeed. The hurtles to this point have weakened them so. They are not as healthy as the opposition nor are they as prepared for the end battles.
This does not matter. Whether they lie on beds or chase through halls. They have a chance.
Finding the Timbers in the way will not be a problem.
ECS: Hello. We are the Emerald City. You took our Shield. Prepare to die.
TA: Stop saying that!
And then we take what we want.
The Galaxy in the way? That club that stole so many of our dreams over these past few seasons is just a prince sitting on a throne they stole. With so many things helping them it may just be the league again that they represent.
Sounders: You mean you wish to surrender to me? Very well, I accept.
Because we are Sounders. We are only mostly dead. We are not dead yet. Story lines are expected, as is victory.
The real question is; will you be there? Or will you have assumed that the club is already dead?
Sounders FC: I told you I would always come for you. Why didn't you wait for me?
Some Fans: Well... you were dead.
Sounders FC: Death cannot stop true love. All it can do is delay it for a while.
Some Fans: I will never doubt again.
Sounders FC: There will never be a need.
This is the script Joe Roth would buy. This is the script to victory. It is the script that makes the pain worthwhile.