I've been a part of the Sounders community off and on for about a decade. I saw games at Memorial, Renton Memorial, Starfire and Qwest. I sat in press boxes, box seats, standards and GA. I have witnessed USL wins over MLS sides, Open Cup home victories, great MLS successes and failures. There have been traditional 4-4-2s, 4-1-3-2s, 4-1-3-1-1s and more. I have seen fullbacks who directly challenge keepers, and Roger Levesque play as a near centerback.
Here we tend to analyze the game. It is kind of our strong point. Be it tactics, or statistics, we love the game. It is football.futbol.soccer.whatever league in which they play.
But some of my proudest moments don't have a thing to do with this site, nor with the victories.
My proudest moments as a Sounder have to do with events like last night.
This town, through soccer, has raised tens of thousands of dollars for Colombia, Haiti, the Seattle Children's Hospital, Nothing But Nets, the Boys and Girls Club (James Riley), America SCORES (Taylor Graham), Washington Youth Soccer and other great organizations and needy peoples.
And while the Supporters and the Front Office don't always get along, and while the various supporter groups don't always get along, and while we are in these trying economic times - our community is amazing.
I don't care how you define community there. Sounder at Heart readers? Yep, kick ass. I know several of you have donated significant amounts of cash. Sounders supporters? Still kick ass, 20k$ for Haiti. Sounders fans? Hundreds of thousands in just two years?
I love the game. I love the interplay. I love maneuver masquerading as attack. I love finding new ways to tell you how good Mike Fucito is (I've settled on him as the first of the off-season player profiles). I love getting home from a 12-hour work day and seeing so many stories and comments on this blog.
But most of all I love that for you, and me, this is more than just a game.
This is our avenue to connection to the greater world. Through this sport we reach out and touch lives in Africa, the Caribbean, in South America, in Renton.
I'm damn proud to say I'm a Sounder. I'm damn proud of this community.