UPDATE: According to Haley’s Twitter feed, the surgery was successful and the tumor was “obliterated.”
Gilbert has been obliterated. pic.twitter.com/ysUT2uPtGK— haley is a Tough Kid™ (@raincityhaley) September 19, 2018
In case you needed a bit of extra proof that the Seattle Sounders are coached by one of the best people in the business, consider this story:
Earlier this week, a friend asked if I could do her a favor. Her friend was about to undergo surgery to remove a tumor from her brain and figured a pep talk from Brian Schmetzer might help. I simply passed along the message to the Sounders, crossing my fingers that they might be able to make something happen.
Perhaps predictably, they did.
Despite having only some basic information about the situation and needing to prepare for a rather important match, Schmetzer managed to find time to record this message:
When I first found out I had a brain tumor, all I wanted was a pep talk from @brianschmetzer and a tough kid tattoo.— haley (@raincityhaley) September 15, 2018
I have both of those now, so I'm ready to go kick this tumor out.
From the bottom of my blue and green heart, thank you. pic.twitter.com/4IB3VEFmht
Awesome as that is, seeing the response makes it even better.
Just to add a nice bow to all of this, Schmetzer even mentioned Haley in his postgame comments following the win over the Whitecaps.
It’s not that this one act was such a big deal. There are similar stories that pop up around sports all the time. What’s impressive to me is how Schmetzer and the Sounders seem to do stuff like this all the time. It’s easy to take this sort of thing for granted because we’re all used to what a good guy Schmetzer is and how little the Sounders try to limit that.
The Sounders are enjoying some wonderful success and are coached by someone who genuinely loves the local soccer community. This is just the latest example. I hope we all take some time to appreciate how special that is.
(Oh, and in case you’re wondering, Schmetzer really did mash that follow button.)