A cold autumn wind blows, down the slopes of the Cascades, gently ruffling the pines that carpet the foothills like a snug blanket for the season’s chill. Gentle at first, but gaining strength as the wind is pulled through the glacial valleys and hills marking the landscape, towards the maw of a pressure system passing to the north. This wind races towards the sea, the faint scent of pine and snow chills the denizens of the Sound ever so slightly as they remember the bitterness of the night before, the cold of the air, the wind, and their hearts from the 120+ minutes spent standing or sitting, watching their own so-called ta’veren, ones whom destiny has chosen to take center stage.
Losing feels awful. For Seattle Sounders fans it’s not something we’re used to, the club doesn’t do it that much compared to other MLS teams. The empire that is the green and blue, stretching from ‘74 to the present has played seasons upon seasons of extra games thanks to making the playoffs so often. Cristian Roldan has an extra 24 games and 1981 minutes of playoffs play in his seven pro years. That’s because Seattle wins, a lot.
For all of the deep knowledge that the Sounders are indisputably the greatest MLS team ever, we are hit emotionally with the finality of loss (technically a draw, but Lumen Field will still be barren and empty this Sunday). The sorrow and disappointment the community of Sounders fans has right now is completely valid.
There’s a sense that the door is shut; that the era has passed; that an Age is over.
But ages come and pass.
“The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth comes again.” — The Wheel of Time, Robert Jordan
The threads of the last loss remain with us. The tapestry from the grandest wins hangs from our rafters. These fibers and connections from history are our strength.
Losing, or not advancing, is a disappointment. The ambition through every season is more than a single round of the playoffs. The current failure is another teams’ success.
Tuesday night was both a crashing halt to those dreams and a small transition towards the next: the next legend, the next myth, the next age. The cycle of the Sounders is not to reboot. As long as our two rivers — the mighty Columbia and Duwamish — flow, our Sounders will remain strong.
These Manetheren are mighty, mighty Sounders. They haven’t fallen. They haven’t ended. The fields may be barren and empty. The stadium waits for new heroes, like empty and abandoned castles. The Wheel still turns.
What endures is us.