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Fans greet victorious Sounders at SeaTac airport

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Enjoy this moment. They don’t happen every day.

Three years ago, the Sounders brought home their first Western Conference Championship, landing from Denver at around 9:30 PM and being greeted by around 200 supporters as they stepped off the plane.

Two years ago, the Sounders won the Western Conference Championship at home, giving the team the chance to celebrate in CenturyLink with the fans.

This year, after a massive upset over The Greatest Team in MLS History™, the plane landed from Los Angeles a little after 2:15 AM, with just under 30 supporters braving the cold and lack of sleep to greet the team at around 2:45 AM.

Immediately after the victory, there was a frantic search on social media, trying to determine where and when the plane would land. The first flight plan photo to circulate had a charter plane from Los Angeles to Seattle landing at 1:03 AM at Boeing Field, which piqued quite a bit of interest. The next photo had the correct flight, with an estimated arrival time of 1:45 AM. After a few delays, the landing time was updated to after 2 AM and the meetup point was clarified. It seemed to be just a little too late for many, especially with work and school looming the next morning.

For those who made it, however, there were no regrets to be found. Coach Schmetzer was the first off the bus, addressing the fans before stepping into the crowd to give high fives, hand shakes, and hugs. Stefan Frei, Cristian Roldan, Jordan Morris, and several others entered the fray as well. Nicolas Lodeiro stepped off the bus, proudly displaying the Western Conference Championship Trophy with a huge grin. He then shook hands, took selfies with the supporters, and stayed until the last of the fans had a chance to greet him.

Most people there are probably suffering a bit at work today, but opportunities like this don’t come around often. There are times when you need to heed the words of a very wise coach and “Enjoy this moment.”