In this game, there are things that are bigger than games. There are various communities - supporters groups, your neighbors in your season ticket section, the other media, the readers here, and sometimes there are those few players that you get to know.
Many of the Seattle Sounders players are known in communities. Steve Zakuani and James Riley are part of Seattle for all the work they do with charities. Roger Levesque is known for his passion and commitment to his adopted town. Several of the Latino players are connected to that community (a community of which I am not part) for similar reasons. Mike Fucito is known here through the several long form interviews he gives, through the sacrifices he makes for the team, for those game winners.
Yesterday, in a game that many here expected to see as one for him to step forward. He had that opportunity in the 37th minute or so. He had beaten the defender on a long ball in the near touchline and the potential for him to go to goal or slot a pass to O'Brian White forcing a very different game will now only exist in our imaginations and dreams.
For in that moment of what-could-have-been we saw a man who had to pull-up with injury. He immediately reached for his inner thigh and the trainer sprinted over quickly. As he received treatment the crowd shouted his name. The Sounders community rallied around one of the players, the stands showering the field with the player's name, but really saying "we are here for you."
Immediately a tweet came to me, recognizing that my own personal player in my pocket (h/t to 7500toHolte) was injured. The Sounders reported a hip injury at first, but it now looks likely it is an abductor pull or strain. And we wait.
Things happened in the rest of the game. Taylor Graham was beaten several times. Erik Friberg looked good for the entirity of his time on the pitch. Patrick Ianni looked capable as a starter. Roger Levesque seemed a capable player throughout the pitch getting forward and defending at better level than expected. Zach Scott had some decent moments on set-plays offensively, but as a defender was beaten by younger, faster players. For some reason, all of these notes didn't matter much to me.
Often I try to separate my personal feelings and emotions from what I see in the game. Sunday, that wasn't possible. A member of my Sounders community was injured, and is injured. I was distracted. Someday I may rewatch the game; trying to take a bigger picture look at things, to focus on the set-play work that was better, to look at Friberg, Servando Carrasco and Ianni some more.
Right now though I can only think as Likkit said on twitter.
Hey Universe - I think you owe Mike Fucito at least one. Give him a break will ya?
8 days to go, until games that actually matter. But in one that didn't matter, something happened that clearly does. More than mis-hit shots, more than poor defense and shirt tugs, more than keeper gaffs; this mattered.