There are two men on the Sounders squad that embody what it means to be a Sounder. One of them is Brian Schmetzer, for many obvious reasons. The other is the only man to play for this club for 15 strong years.
Fans of the Sounders love and hate Zach.
The ones who hate remember only the (actually RARE) times when he's made a gaffe pass or let a mark go, and those mistakes led to a goal.
But the rest of us know who Zach really is.
He's not a bad pass. He's not a missed mark. He's not a slow run, or a bad turn, or an 'foul waiting to happen'.
Zach Scott is The Sounders.
Everything good about this team, everything worth loving about this organization, is Zach Scott. He is Rave Green. He is Cascade Shale. He is PItch Black. And you might not like it, but he is also Olympic White.
He is our (sometimes) captain. He is our defense, our Man Marker.
He is the stuff Blaz Perez has nightmares about.
He is perseverance. He is work, and work rate. He is blood, sweat, tears. He is playing through the pain. He is the man who played most of a season with a broken bone. He is the heart of the team, the true captain of the locker room. He is Cascadia, and anti-Timbers.
He is Seattle.
Last year, most of us thought Zach was done. He hit his #300, and we were all pleased for him, but when the season finished, his contract was declined. We all knew this was the end of Zach.
And then the Sounders called him back. For a 15th season as a Sounder.
We've watched Zach on the pitch, battling through matches. We've seen him make amazing saves on the line, make crushing tackles in the box (without fouls!), and make amazing last-ditch-effort goals. We've watched him ruin other team's days, and send opponents home sad.
Zach won't be missed.
He will be hoisted on the pedestal we reserve for heroes.
#20 isn't just digits on cloth. #20 is everything it means to give your all for your team.
He's given nearly half his life to this team, and that's not something many people can say in the world, especially in a sport where teams are always trying to "stay young".
Retire his jersey. Put him in the Ring of Honor.
Show the city, the league, the world, what it means to be a Sounder...
Because Zach certainly has.
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