In the past three seasons the "Moment of the Year" was something related to the US Open Cup. It helps that the major trophy was won in each of those seasons. This year the voting here at Sounder at Heart will be a little bit tighter as there were no trophies - major or minor. Presented in no particular order are the nine moments that are up for this virtual award. The question is simple, which was your favorite?
- Seattle Sounders FC open season with two-one win over Santos Laguna - Wins over Mexican teams in competitive matches are rare enough, doing it in the knockout rounds of the CONCACAF Champions league is nearly unheard of. David Estrada opened scoring putting one past one of the better keepers in the history of CONCACAF. Seattle's second would come from Brad Evans.
- Battle of Kezar - It was a match that nearly no one watched and the coming out party of Cordell Cato. There was possible violence, red question marks, and clearly partisan reports from both sides but in the end Seattle's only win over the Earthquakes would come with nearly no rest and one of the most bunkery lineups we've ever seen.
- Roger Levesque Given Golden Scarf - In a pure Hollywood moment Levesque was giving the Golden Scarf prior to the match against his greatest rivals. He worked as the hype man for both the fans and the team. While only a minor player in the MLS era Levesque's connection with community may never be matched.
- Fredy Montero opens his account with 40 yard blast past Galaxy - Montero's season started slow, but when he joined his goal scoring teammates he did it as only a Golden God can - with something simply stunning.
- Steve Zakuani Returns To MLS Play, Exchanges Jerseys with Mullan - Another non-goal moment that was more about what happened between the two players post match as much as what happened nearly two years ago. Zakuani was the man I wish I could be.
- Eddie Johnson scores in rout of Timbers - In a game that was simply a must win to have a chance at a trophy Eddie Johnson stepped up and showed the Timbers Army whose house they were in - his. There were more spectacular goals on his season, but that one showed his connection to the city.
- Mario Martinez Pushes Seattle To First Round Success - Finally the burden of "can't win in the Playoffs" was gone. Martinez' wonder strike would push the Sounders into a Conference Final for the first time.
- Zach Scott puts Sounders up 2-nil in Leg Two - It isn't often that a goal will go down in memory for a match that wasn't won enough, but Scott did that with his header against the Galaxy.
- Zach Scott Ties Sporting KC in Open Cup Final - If at the beginning of the year you thought that Scott would be on this list you need to play more lotteries. Scott's header against Sporting forced overtime and eventually penalties. His header would for Nielsen, the keeper of the year, to just stand and watch.
There may be others, but those nine moments will sit in my brain vault for years. They were special, helped define the good, but not great, season and are uniquely Seattle.