For the most part, it’s not very hard to be a fan of the Seattle Sounders. They win a lot more than they lose, sign exciting players and have a pretty nice collection of silverware in their trophy case. But it’s stuff like Wednesday that make being a fan of this organization feel good for non-sporting reasons.
It’s not just that they welcomed 8-year-old Bheem Goyal to the field for a friendly against Borussia Dortmund through the Make a Wish Foundation. It’s everything they did to make the event truly memorable for the young boy fighting leukemia.
Wish Granted ✨— Seattle Sounders FC (@SoundersFC) July 19, 2019
On Wednesday, Bheem Goyal's dream came true. pic.twitter.com/hlqm0b1xE0
Beyond getting outfitted in a full kit, being given a locker next to Stefan Frei, walking out with the team during the pregame ceremony and taking the field as part of the starting lineup, he also trained with the team the day before. Sounders fans cheered him as loud as any of the team’s stars, gave him a huge ovation when he was subbed out and even asked for his autograph after the game. That was the kind of stuff that’s impossible to choreograph.
Similarly, Brian Schmetzer’s pregame talk to get Goyal loose was charming to say the least. The coach’s postgame comments about how happy the boy seemed when working with Frei and goalkeeping coach Tommy Dutra during the training session help put the entire experience into perspective for everyone involved.
Goyal’s story has clearly struck a nerve with people beyond our fanbase, too, as the video of his performance against Dortmund has now been viewed more than 1.5 million times and retweeted nearly 1,000 times.
At seemingly every turn, everyone involved in this has gone the extra mile. I’m sure everyone watched with a smile, and maybe a tear.