An empty Brougham End - Dave Clark / SounderAtHeart.com
Hahnemann, Scott and Yedlin talk about when the 2013 season will feel real and how they get ready for that first game day that is just two wake-ups away.
DeAndre Yedlin and Marcus Hahnemann are both home grown, though only one is per the rule. For Scott this has become home. They are from three different generations. They get ready for the season in different ways.
They are all Sounders and on Saturday night they join in your Sounders Rave.
On Saturday it becomes real. "I don't think it is real until the stadium is full. You know we come out, train here, talk about it being two days away," Hahnemann said after Thursday's CenturyLink Field practice. "But still, once you see the crowds in here, everything is a little build up, like today feels a little bit different. It seems like we just finished [the season.]"
For Zach Scott it feels real on that transition from preseason to season. When he can tell the rookies that their camp was nice, but things are going to be faster, the tackles harder and the meaning greater. That realness culminates on the first match day.
"Driving into the stadium and seeing people already here an hour and a half, two hours before the game starts. There's such a good vibe around the stadium," the long serving Sounder notes."Our fans do such a good job of creating such an awesome game environment and I think that gets you going early. It definitely lifts you during the game. I think driving in really does it for me."
Just a few years ago Yedlin was with the Academy players watching from the endline or helping with gameday operations as a ballboy. "I've thought about it, but I can't even begin to put into words what it would be like," the HomeGrown Player pondered. "I'm home. I'm front of all the people I grew up with, my family, the fans that watched me in the Academy." It is an experience he will never have again.
When he joined the Sounders Academy his dream was to be a pro. That dream has come true. His next dream is part of a familiar refrain this preseason: "The next dream is to win the MLS Cup for this team. It would be great for the city."
Each gets ready in their own fashion. DeAndre listens to 2 Chainz (yes, that needed to be looked up). Hahnemann has rituals.
"I always shave my head the day of the game. I do things a little differently than most people," Marcus chuckled. "I always have a tuna fish sandwich on gameday. I don't know why. I always have a fair dose of caffeine. Coffee on the way in and Red Bull in the stadium."
And the music that gets him going on gameday is part of that routine as well.
"The harder it is the better. That's kind of changed over the years and different things have made it into the playlist. I've got some Slipknot live albums that I really like, some of the Tool stuff I have, Machine Head. Those are some of my favorite things. And Malefice. Those are probably on the pregame playlist that I like to listen to the most. I like the live stuff. You can hear the crowd before the songs and after the songs. It really gets you pumped up for being out here and performing. I've seen Machine Head, Slipknot, Tool, Malefice, all those bands that are on my playlist I've seen them live. When I've got live albums from them and hear the music I still get that buzz, you know that feeling, it kind of helps you prepare for the game. That's the great thing about music. It takes you where you want to go. You can put on chill out music if you want to chill out at night, but on gamedays I want it as heavy as it can be to get me going."
Scott uses no music to get him ready. "I'm not a guy that needs any of that stuff. Once the whistle goes I'm ready to go."
Except maybe one thing - the chorus of the fans. As he said earlier "Our fans do such a good job of creating such an awesome game environment and I think that gets you going early."
Two more wake-ups and then the party starts again.