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2014 in Review: Part 1 of a many part series

Mike Russell/Sounder at Heart

It did not end the way any of us had hoped, but 2014 was still wildly successful. Two trophies, a ton of goals and more wins than any other team since MLS stopped using shootouts will do that. But more than the general success, this season was simply fun and that's something we had been missing around here recently.

This was a regular season, after all, that began and ended with the Sounders scoring stoppage-time goals at home. That they were both scored by players who weren't here last year -- first Chad Barrett against Sporting Kansas City and then Marco Pappa against the LA Galaxy -- was also a fitting way to tell that story.

In between we saw more standout performances than we'd ever seen before. There was Clint Dempsey bringing the Sounders back from two goals down to tie the Portland Timbers on the road. There was Obafemi Martins bossing those same Timbers in that same stadium over the summer in a 4-2 romp. There were late winners against Sporting Kansas City, FC Dallas, the Philadelphia Union, FC Dallas again, Real Salt Lake and the LA Galaxy. There was a penalty shootout win over the San Jose Earthquakes and overtime victories over the Timbers and Union in Open Cup play.

Sure, there were some lulls and a couple points where some folks started to lose faith, but this was a season that always felt like it was going to special and it fell a tiebreaker short of being the greatest season in MLS history.

But I'm not going to make an attempt to wrap that up here. Rather, over the next week or so we're going to go month-by-month and recap the greatest season in Sounders history. So buckle up, it's going to be a fun ride.