Self-definition is a style of coaching. It forces others to react to you. You define your team so that they must adapt to your plan. Rather than sit back and react it is the team that wants to be the white pieces in chess because they choose the battlefield. A team that self-defines forces a match to be held on its terms.
Self-definition is what Head Coach Brian Schmetzer wants from his team against Portland.
We’ll just work on making sure that we don’t get caught in various different areas and make sure that they have to deal with us. It is our home game and we’re a little bit different than the last time we played them. We’ll hopefully be able to have them adjust to us rather than the other way around.
Self-definition is assertion of identity. There are no other teams. There is me and you and all of you. I am a Sounder. We are Sounders. We are together.
What is a Sounder? It is 1974. It’s having pro soccer in the 70s, 80s, 90s, 00s, 10s. It’s a coach that grew up watching and playing for the team that is now head-coaching again. It’s green-blue-green in many different shades over these 42 years.
What is a Sounder? It is Clint, Nico, Jordan, Oba, Freddie, Fredy, Eddie, Nate, Lamar, B-Rad, Steve, Ozzie, Flaco, Chad, Mau, Mike, Marco, Sammy, Kenny, Andy, David, and Roger Levesque. It’s players that leave and come back again. It is players both from here and those that adopt us.
What is a Sounder? It is the 60,000 us strong with boom-boom-claps, call & repeats and the echo of fire after goals. It is the commenter, the writer, the editor, the photographer, the creator, the follower, the fan and the supporter. It is our community.
What is a Sounder? It is a trophy case full and sparkling with brilliance and glory throughout our history. It is a team that knows and breathes victory. It is cups upon cups upon cups.
What is a Sounder? It is All In, Building a Bonfire, Decades of Dominance. It is the absence of fear because we are together from Brougham to King, from Occidental to the railyard.
What is a Sounder? It is our neighbors not yet into the soccer, but most definitely into our Sound. It is the people of the Salish Sea and those along the waterways of our state.
What is a Sounder? It is not jealous, for we are us. It is not staring at the standings. It is knowing that the season is up to our voices and the players’ hearts. It is adapting to change.
What is a Sounder? It is Brian Schmetzer saying "We need to win games. Our existence, our playoff existence, depends on winning games. I don’t care who the opponent is...We have to make sure that on that day we prepare for that team and any win is a good win for us."
Self-definition is power. It is heroic, just, honorable and a necessary way to avoid the pains of jealousy. You do not need that thing because someone else has it. You need it because it defines you, your self, no one else.