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Alliance Council helps get banners hung, Landon Donovan honored appropriately

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Two different things that the Alliance Council has been working on lately- one a long-term item, one a relatively recent one- happened at the final home game of the regular season today.

Two things that the Alliance Council has worked on happened at the game vs the Galaxy.

First, the long-term issue... the rafters of CenturyLink now pay proper homage to all of the past championships that the Sounders have won.

For a couple of years, the Council has been asking the Club to put up banners that celebrated the 1995 and 1996 championships that the Sounders won while playing in the A-League.

We had banners for the 2005 and 2007 USL championships, but we wanted all of our Club's history represented up there. Unfortunately, the Club didn't have room in the budget for the '95 and '96 banners, but at the mid-season meeting with team GM and owner Adrian Hanauer, the Council brought it up again.

The Club heard us and, as part of our ongoing celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Sounders, decided to go for it. Due to space considerations, they chose to consolidate all of those championships onto one banner, and now all of our past is paid proper respect.

Championship banners

Championship banners celebrating Sounders achievements... Oct, 2014

The second item from an Alliance Council point of view happened prior to the game.  A month or two ago, the Club's staff approached the Council with a question: "How do we appropriately honor Landon Donovan for his contributions to soccer in America?"

The context here was that other teams were honoring Donovan's considerable accomplishments and influence on US Soccer and MLS by giving him gifts during his last visit to their stadiums in the regular season.  The league had also asked the Sounders, and from what the front office said, it was more in the vein of "how are you guys planning on honoring him, it's his last regular-season game" (as opposed to the "are you planning on doing anything?" type of question).

The general consensus among the Council (after some spirited conversation regarding Donovan's time with the Galaxy) was that if the Club did anything for him, it should emphasize his considerable contributions to the US Men's National Team, and it should not be part of an on-field pregame ceremony that breaks up the usual pregame warmup-and-ceremony routine.

The Council's thinking here was that considering he was about to step onto the field as a Galaxy player, trying to beat the Sounders, the last thing we wanted was to honor him as a Galaxy member.  (Keep in mind, at the time a few months ago, we only suspected it would turn out to be the final and deciding game in the Supporters' Shield contest.)

Additionally, we didn't want to break up the normal pregame flow for our players.

So what the Club wound up doing was a short little ceremony as the Galaxy arrived at the stadium.  We had Samuel Chesneau (with his son Moses) representing the Council, and he was joined by a MatchPass reward winner, John Beezley (with his son Brendan),  they met the LA team bus and gave Landon Donovan a couple of gifts to thank him for his terrific USMNT career.

(The gifts were very Northwest, too- a custom LD/USMNT Xbox One that some good people at Microsoft came up with, and a custom glass Spire done by local artist Dale Chihuly.)

The award was videotaped and then played on the big screens at the stadium just before the player processional and national anthem.  This way, both teams were able to stick to their normal warmup routines, and we were still able to honor Donovan's career.

LD gift

Landon Donovan is honored for contributions to US Soccer

When Donovan asked Moses if he would be rooting against LA and Donovan that day, Moses replied "of course!"