The lead-in programming for the epic match-up between the Seattle Sounders and Portland Timbers is huge — Messi, Ronaldo, Pogba, Suarez are all leading their squads. In nations scattered around the world, the match that follows these legends is the I-5 rivalry, the Cascadia Cup.
Eyes and ears around the world will be on Seattle. There is a new hope in Seattle, even if their new signing cannot yet play. There is a faith, if waning, in a team that has proven over its short life at this level that few are its equal.
We, the fans of the Seattle Sounders, know our history. We know our team’s strengths. We know our weaknesses. We know that the late-season run will be difficult, but not impossible.
But those eyes and ears from around the world they won’t know the Sounders except for a few snippets. They’ll know of Ljungberg, Keller, Martins, Dempsey, Lodeiro — maybe. Most certainly these eyes of the world will know of you.
They’ll know of the 40,000+ whose voices echo from Brougham to King. They’ll know of the thunderous clap that ricochets around the rafters. They will know we march. They will know we sing.
To the world the Seattle Sounders are just another football club on the pitch, but there’s a certain respect for a fanbase that helped define an era of MLS and awakened recognition that we also embrace soccer.
From the outside, we are Sounders.
Saturday we get to show the world that remains true. The record doesn’t matter. The players don’t matter. The opponent doesn’t matter.
We are Sounders, and as the world watches we will be heard.