The moment has finally come for Seattle Sounders legend Zach Scott, who is retiring at the end of the season after 14 years with the club, both in USL and MLS. The organization has big things planned for Scott’s final regular season home match on Sunday, but the man they call Mr. Sounder isn’t convinced that he’s worth it. “The hoopla around it, on the personal side, is unwarranted in my opinion. I’ll accept it and I’m grateful for everybody that put it together, but i mean the focus is on the game.”
When asked if Schmetzer was planning on giving him a grand entrance—or exit—to the game, Scott said that he “would tell [Schmetzer] not to because that’s taking the focus off of what the guys are doing.” He even asked for a “backseat” in the planning and implementing of the festivities, because he just sees it as another game. “The fact that there’s a celebration around me doing my job is a bit bizarre to me, because I’m doing what’s expected of me.” Not that he takes his career for granted, but rather because he just thinks of it as that — just another career.
Scott said that everything worked out just right for him to end that career now, for the good of himself, his family, and the club. His dedication to the club and the sport shows that it wasn’t the glory or the accomplishments, but a love of the game that had him wearing various greens for 14 seasons. “Every moment I’ve had to train with the guys and step onto a professional soccer field is a joy and I haven’t taken that for granted.” His advice to young players was to “cherish the moments and make sure you’re not just doing a job, but that you’re really enjoying yourselves.”
Scott didn’t care to talk too much about recalling stories and memories over those 14 years, though he said that he failed to remember his first appearance for the USL Sounders back in 2002. Not due to a lack of sentimentality though, but rather a bit of memory loss due to “too many headers.”
As that (potentially) final home match looms on the horizon, Scott said that he’s pleased with how the season has turned out, despite the many ups and downs. “I’m excited for the opportunity that the team has. We dug ourselves out of a pretty significant hole, so the fact that we’re going into the final weekend with a shot to get into the playoffs, which seemed far-fetched a couple months ago, is fantastic.”
Scott said that he “hated” seeing Sigi part ways with the club earlier this season, because he knew that the team was fully capable of being better than they were in the first half of the season. Even after he made the decision to retire at the end of the season, Scott said that his attitude towards the team and the season “didn’t change.” Setting all of the “hoopla” and emotion aside, Scott said that the only thing that matters is Sunday’s result: “I’ll accept it and I’m grateful for everybody that put it together, but...the focus is on the game.”