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In 2016 the Sounders won MLS Cup, but the year contained many other stories

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It was a year of major tournaments, a team in transition and also the year that Seattle won a championship star.

MLSwatercolors

This year in Sounder at Heart is clearly defined by one thing - the MLS Cup won on December 10th with an amazing parade just a few days later. We did a lot more than that though. Together our staff and readers enjoyed a lot of soccer stories from around Puget Sound and the world. The site drew more than 12.6 million views in its biggest year ever.

Here are the stories that got the most reads in 2016.

  • The biggest soccer event of the year was the Copa America Centenario. Here in Seattle the United States beat Ecuador proving again that Seattle is a potent home field advantage for international soccer. The US would then lose to Argentina who would lose to Chile. Clint Dempsey finished tied for fourth in goals scored behind Vargas, Messi and Higuain.
  • Portugal won the Euros.
  • Obafemi Martins abandoned the Seattle Sounders just days before the season’s start. The club went from having high expectations to pondering just how to replace one of the greatest attacking talents MLS has seen. It was months before Lagerwey & Co figured it out, and quite a bit happened between February 25th and late July.
  • The biggest change was that Sigi Schmid was fired, or dismissed if you trust the official statement. Brian Schmetzer was hired. Sounders FC went from their only MLS coach to their last USL coach who had won so many trophies in the lower leagues. He is loved, one of us, and his character lead the club towards greatness.
  • At the same time that Schmetz became the interim coach Garth Lagerwey finally
Seattle Sounders vs. Real Salt Lake: Photos Photo Credit - MikeRussellFoto

found the third DP - Nicolas Lodeiro. Under-30, Uruguay’s number 10 chose to call Seattle home. Nico went on to score 8 goals and assist 8 more through the end of the year.

  • Seattle Reign and USWNT fans did not have the success they have come to expect. Instead their year was defined by two moments that combined sports and politics. Hope Solo called Sweden’s team cowards after the USA lost in the Olympics. She was subsequently canned by US Soccer and her time with the Reign may be over as well. Megan Rapinoe took a knee in support of Black Lives Matter following the lead of Colin Kaepernick.
  • The club announced a new jersey - Pacific Blue. They kept their Rave Green with blue sleeves as well as the abomination that is Olympic White.
  • Seahawks schedule means no lines. Seriously, that was a major story. It turned out to be true, even if a playoff game had to be moved to a Tuesday night of Thanksgiving Week.
  • While Oba was looking for a way out of Puget Sound, Jordan Morris was turning down Werder Bremen to become the Seattle Sounder he’s always been in his heart. He won the first annual Jordan Morris Award as best Jordan Morris of 2016.
  • After tearing up Copa America, and just as he was getting used to playing with Nico and Jordan, Clint Dempsey left the team. The heart condition would cost the Sounders and the USMNT their best forward. But everyone’s focus turned to his health, and hopefully his future.
  • ECS lead a march on a different route defying a league that uses the images of supporters while banning those supporters for the very acts MLS marketing uses.
  • Winning the 2016 MLS Cup. Yes, this was listed before. Who cares? It’s the biggest story of the year. Relive the Cup win though this photo gallery from Mike Russell.

And then marching in a parade together with friends and the team.

We also had lots of #Kickbait to watch and Rumors that didn’t come true. We did Reign stuff, Stars stuff, and S2/Academy stuff in an attempt to recognize that soccer in Puget Sound is more than just the Sounders and we will continue to expand our efforts beyond MLS in 2017.

We have a bunch of associated non-website things as well. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, a podcast, meeting in real life (generally you’ll find SaH people at Temple Billiards pre/post-game and we also host meetups and watch parties like The Yacht Con II), and a store with hoodies and shirts inspired by the site.

Most of all we want to thank you, our readers. Sounder at Heart started in 2008 and in its first month had 31 readers. It’s grown quite a bit since then and we know it will continue to do so. We hope to be your primary place for news and discussion about the Seattle Sounders, winners of the 2016 MLS Cup, a Supporters’ Shield, four US Open Cups, Cascadia Cups, Heritage Cups, USL titles, A-league titles and numerous other honors. From myself, Jeremiah, and the rest of the staff here, thank you for your continued support. We appreciate every view, every comment, every like, every favorite, every retweet, every share, every shirt purchase, every single one of you who has chosen to be a Sounder at Heart whether you live in Seattle, the surburbs, around Puget Sound, in our amazing state, in our wonderful nation or scattered around the world.

You will hear us in your sleep. You will hear us from the deeps.
Nos audietis in somniis. Nos audietis in altum.

This is our Sound. You will hear us.