Last year is behind us. The Seattle Sounders, Seattle Reign FC and S2 gave us so much joy, even if they fell short of titles. They created so many stories for us, and ways for the community of Sounder at Heart to bond over this game. This is the story of 2018 told via the most-read 4-6 stories of each month.
The month of rumors
It’s the month of rumors and drafts. Some rumors came true (Magnus Wolff Eikrem did in fact sign with Seattle), while others did not (Ismael Diaz seems to not sign with the Sounders regularly). Since it is an offseason Nicolas Lodeiro was rumored to be going to Boca Juniors. That was while he was working to recruit Luis Suarez. In the SuperDraft Seattle took the younger of the Broldans.
The month of loss
They lost their one-time captain, a talisman of the organization via Free Agency.
The Seattle Sounders lost to Santa Tecla, but they lost more than that. They lost Jordan Morris to injury, and that could have changed their transfer strategy [narrator: it didn’t].
A fan followed the team to Hawaii for a preseason match and taunted the Whitecaps.
Kim Kee-hee was first rumored to join the Sounders.
The month of Champions League
Sounders started their contest with Chivas with a win. Mexican press started to freak out. Chivas drubbed Seattle in Mexico.
Diego Capel trained but did not sign.
The month of ideation
After a rough record and enough violent conduct that Brian Schmetzer went public in his criticism of team behavior the team needed to improve, especially in its ability to score.
The biggest ideas were to sign Chicarito, Nando and Joel Campbell. They didn’t do any of that.
The month of distraction
As losses and hope dwindled we looked to what makes soccer fun. That included a tifo that roasted Portland via signal flags; Morris getting roasted by his teammates; Yedlin driving a Rolls; and Vanney raging against a goal.
In more serious news Garth Lagerwey apologized for a series of appearances where he reduced the Sounders spending and ambition.
“I got frustrated by being asked the same questions, and that’s not on (the media), that’s on me,” Lagerwey said. “I think that’s what caused me to melt down a little bit. Not good on my part, but hopefully we can correct the record here. Again, we’re trying to win championships. We’re trying to win Champions League. We’re trying to win MLS Cup. We’re going to compete on all fronts. I am really excited to be at the Sounders, there is absolutely no reason we will not continue to be the excellent team we’ve been since before me and since I’ve been here.”
The month of Raul rumors
No, seriously. If I were to present the top 10 stories of the month 7 of them would be about the Raul Ruidiaz rumors. In about three weeks the Peru great went from rumor to appearance in Bellevue, to officially signed.
The month of cavalry not coming
Two significant names were attached to join Seattle and the Rui-powered Sounders. Paolo Hurtado would have been a TAM player in year one and DP in year two. The deal fell apart. Hurtado visited the city, but did not sign. Nicolás Stefanelli was a less ambitious target, maybe. Nothing came of that either.
While the rumored signings fell apart the Sounders parted ways with the Wolff. We explained the situation.
Eddie Johnson is a one-on-one trainer now. His biggest client? Just the greatest American currently playing.
The month of Nacogdoches
On the pitch things were cruising. Seattle’s comeback win against Minnesota United fans so much some dork threw a beer.
Off the field we started to wonder if we would ever see Clint Dempsey play again. His role was undefined in the new high-flying Sounders. How could he fit? The deserved heroes ending never happened. Deuce was done.
The month the red line started to matter
Sure, the Luis Suarez thing seemed to start as a joke, but when a joke gets told often enough you start to think “Is it real?”
Chad got a red, which went away.
On the pitch Seattle was charging up the standings. While Ruidiaz had a lot to do with that, so did the resolution of a lockerroom dispute. That turn around meant watching the Red Line.
The month of clinching the playoffs
Seattle didn’t just make the playoffs, they crushed the West late and took second. The final minutes against San Jose were beautiful chaos. Things went so well in October that centerbacks were out there stunting.
Dreams of a soccer-specific stadium re-emerged.
Players keep making more money as MLS salaries expand.
Joevin, like so many Sounders, may want to come back.
The month the playoffs ended
After a leg one performance in Portland that ended with two injured greats the series went to penalties. Bruin and Alonso apologized for their performances — you loved them for it.
The focus quickly turned to building for 2019 as Seattle’s offseason roster took shape.
MLS players were dumb and didn’t vote the best keeper of 2018 as the best keeper of 2018.
There’s going to be a new kit sponsor and you had ideas.
The month of Sigi
There were more read stories, but nothing shook MLS like the news of Sigi Schmid’s passing.
Jorstian Mordan will be in Seattle for quite some time as both parts of the duo are rumored to be signing massive extensions.
In 2020 the XFL is going to try to exist again. One of the teams in playing in CenturyLink Field, which won’t impact Sounders much.
Lagerwey might be chasing another World Cup star from Peru.
Top 3 of 2018
We are what we are because of you
Thank you for celebrating our 10th birthday with us, for celebrating our motto appearing on the 2018-19 home kits, for helping me get a dream come true as I entered the broadcast booth. Thank you for noting that Sounder at Heart is about more than just the First Team.
Thank you for joining us on matchday and making the greatest comments sections in the world what it is.
Thank you to Jeremiah, Susie and the dozen others who help with Sounder at Heart.
Thank you for 2018. It’s 2019, a year with trophies on offer. The Seattle Sounders, Seattle Reign FC, S2-be-named, and Tacoma Stars will help us discover that the Puget Sound is a community of greatness that can bond over a ball, two goals and the players who represent our crests and ideals.