Now that the all-clear has been sounded for Sunday's Sounders opener against New England, it's time to look back on some of the best and worst first games for Seattle clubs. Ready, let's roll.
March 19, 2009 - Sounders FC 3:0 New York
From the unfurling of that first tifo to Montero's bomb (see below)-all before a national audience-it was more than anyone could've imagined, pulling Seattle's soccer community together again.
Best Home Team Performance
March 28, 1981 - Sounders 3: Los Angeles 0
It was nearly a 7-month wait to get payback after a dreamy 25-7 season ended in premature playoff elimination in a shootout loss to LA. Sounders made short work of Aztecs, scoring three times in first half-hour.
Worst Home Team Performance
March 30, 1979 - Sounders 3:4 Tulsa (aet)
Sounders go in front three times only to see Tulsa pull level, the last time with 5 minutes remaining in regulation. Roughnecks then prevail in extra time. Seattle goes on to finish under .500 for time.
Best Away Team Performance
May 4, 2002 - Portland 0:2 Sounders
What better way to leave Portland than to give TA nothing to cheer? Schmetzer Era is off and running. Sounders start season 8-0-0, finish top of A-League at 23-1-4.
Worst Away Team Performance
March 23, 2006 - Minnesota 4:0 Sounders
As defending champs, Sounders arrived with a bulls-eye on their backs. Minnesota promptly put two in the net a minute apart after 15 minutes. It would look worse in retrospect: Thunder finish season bottom of the table.
Best Venue to Open (Other than Seattle)
April 8, 1977 - Team Hawaii 0:0 Sounders (Hawaii won shootout, 2-0)
Never mind the 5 ½ -hour flight, you wake up looking at Diamond Head and the team walk is on white sands of Waikiki. It's paradise. And it's not like you play bad, you just don't win. Besides, the season ends with your first final.
Best Individual Performance
March 19, 2009 - Fredy Montero brace + assist vs Red Bulls
One-way to introduce yourself to a soccer-crazed/starved populace is to unleash pandemonium with a 12th-minute strike. But the capper was the 21-year-old Colombian's thumping drive to seal the deal.
Most Tragic Individual Outcome
April 1, 1978 - David Gillett crunched by Colorado
For his first four years in Seattle, Dave Gillett was a defensive stalwart and ironman, on his way to becoming the best center back in the NASL. Seven minutes into the season, Gillett scores from a volley off a corner kick. Thirteen minutes later his career is effectively over, the victim of compound fracture of his left leg, courtesy of contact with Colorado's Matt Bahr.
Worst Dressed Guest
April 1, 1978 - Caribou of Colorado
It was an ugly evening all around. Caribous debuted those infamous jerseys with the fringe on top. If Sounders' 3-0 win failed to send a message, fashion police did.
Best Individual Performance with Next-to-No Sleep
April 13, 2014 - Reign FC 3:0 Boston
After flying nine hours the day prior, Kim Little comes up huge in Reign debut. She scores from the spot and again on a counter en route to MVP/Golden Boot season [VIDEO]
Frank MacDonald is a Seattle soccer journalist and historian. This story first appeared on his website and has been republished here with his permission.