It seems like just yesterday that the Sounders were lifting the MLS Cup high into the frigid Toronto air and spraying champagne all over the visitors’ locker room at BMO Field. I was lucky enough to be able to experience it firsthand, though getting to Toronto (and leaving) wasn’t the easiest thing in the world.
In the airport and at the Loose Moose we heard all kinds of travel stories. From the group that flew to Detroit and drove four hours each way, to the many people whose flights were delayed, canceled, or otherwise screwed up in some way. I definitely didn’t have the worst experience out there, but it got a little rough at times. Brendan Vaughn collected and tweeted out a map of many of the routes taken by Sounders fans to get to Toronto.
Here's the final map of Sounders #MLSCup travelers, thanks for all who responded! https://t.co/LCq7G7nTcd #ebfg pic.twitter.com/RzILfbaE7t— Brendan Vaughn (@bmvaughn) December 14, 2016
I only found out I was traveling early in the week before the Final, and I agreed to extremely early flights on both sides of the trip. If you’ll recall, Seattle experienced its first snowstorm of the season last Thursday, and I had to get myself to the airport at 5am on Friday. That was fun. I snagged the only window seat left on the plane—in the very back row—hoping to get some sleep. I sat next to a very nice SaH reader (I’m sorry, I forgot your name), but I didn’t sleep because my seat was about as large and comfortable as one of those wooden high-chairs you get for babies at restaurants. A three-hour layover in Newark (gross) and one-hour prop plane flight later, I made it Toronto. I also traversed the length of the airport looking for Jeremiah, who arrived when I did but in a different terminal.
Sounders fans are traveling more than 2,000 miles for MLS Cup
KICK illustrates just how herculean of an effort traveling Sounders fans are making to be at #MLSCup.Posted by Sounder at Heart on Saturday, December 10, 2016
My return flight was approximately 6 hours after the final whistle of the Sounders’ big victory, and I returned to the hotel 3 hours after that. In lieu of sleeping, I wrote a couple stories and shared some hotel poutine with Jeremiah and Mike Russell. Then 5am rolled around, and I headed to the airport in a surprisingly expensive Uber. I’d expound on the trials of my return flights, but I was so exhausted that I passed out for pretty much the entirety of the first leg to Vancouver. I finally made it home to Seattle on Sunday morning, where I promptly came down with a wicked cold that still persists today. But, as both a journalist and a fan, it was totally worth it. Thanks to everyone who read my stories, tweeted at me during the match, and introduced themselves to me at the Loose Moose.
Tell us your MLS Cup travel horror stories, or any story that’s Cup-related (whether you were in Toronto, Seattle, or elsewhere) in the comments.