May 4, 2002 is an important day in Sounders history.
This date marked the start of the 2002 USL season, and the Sounders had a Saturday-Sunday away-home double header against their long time rival Portland Timbers. The league games doubled as USOC qualifiers. (Welcome to the USL.)
That May 4, 2012 season opener was notable in several ways
- This game marked the beginning of Brian Schmetzer's coaching career with the Sounders
- The Sounders roster featured some of the very best to lace it up for the A-League/USL Sounders: Preston Burpo; Kieran Barton, Scott Jenkins, Ryan Edwards, Nate Daligcon ; Jason Farrell, Leighton O'Brien, Andrew Gregor, Zach Kingsley; Darren Sawatzky, Brian Ching.
- The Timbers roster included both former and future Sounders, as well as a certain now-familiar voice: Matt Napoleon; Brent Sancho, Gavin Wilkinson, Scott Benedetti; Keith Costigan, Brian Winters, Sean McAuley, Benji Somoza, Hugo Alcaraz-Cuellar; Chugger Adair, McKinley Tennyson.
- In the 73rd minute, Coach Schmetzer subbed in a rookie defender only recently discovered at an open tryout, a player who impressed Schmetzer with his tenacity. Thus would begin the career of Sounder legend, Zach Scott
- Future U23 coach Darren Sawatzky scored one of the most memorable goals in the rivalry: Farrell to Sawatzky to Ching to Sawatzky to Ching to Sawatzky.
So, welcome to the first May 5 without ZSMM on the roster in 15 years.
BTW, The Sounders followed up with a 4-1 win at home the next day.