Old Futbol Buffet–We are the Blue, We are the Green
Before my first Seattle Sounders game, we met some of the Emerald City Supporters at Fuel. While drinking a point of Emerald City Amber, we were able to watch some fan videos on the big screen that showcased the passion and excitement of the fans. I also got a chance to meet ECS Co-President Greg Mockos (fellow Juventino). In the June ECS newsletter, Greg revisited the transition of the supporters from the USL to the MLS. Very informative and a great insight into the formation of major soccer support. After that we headed over to the park for the march to the field, which was pretty cool, as hundreds of fans sang and cheered in unison to CenturyLink Field, or as the ECS would say Royal Brougham Park. The stadium is amazing, with clean sight lines plus a stunning view of downtown above the northern end.
At the stadium, Greg hooked us up and got my cousin and me into the ECS section at the Brougham End (our original tickets were at the opposite part of the complex) and the supporters provide song cards to new fans so that they can fully participate in the experience. Simple but awesome idea. Before kickoff they unveiled a special tifo for Zach
Morris Scott, who has played for the club for 10 years. Worth checking out. During the match, several different flags made an appearance, along with all kinds of scarves. I really liked the argyle version of the Brougham End as well as the alternating black and green scarf for 2012 season ticket holders. Finally a special shoutout to the “cheerleader” for our section. The guy never stopped cheering, encouraging and motivating. Really cool experience.
Seattle started the match quickly, with crisp passing and active movement. Rosales was a withdrawn forward and constantly found dangerous space. Osvaldo Alonso (#6) ran his socks off and had a great game. Along with Andy Rose (#25), I thought these two were a great paring, creating a solid foundation for the Sounders, breaking up the opposition and starting attacks. Unfortunately the Sounders’ finishing was poor and they did not take advantage of numerous chances. As Arlo White (@ArloWhite) tweeted during the match: Enjoyable half. #sounders dominated early. Colorado working way into game. Casey a constant threat. Its intense. With both teams in some sort of variation of a 4-5-1 (mlssoccer.com had the Rapids in a 4-1-4-1), the game became a midfield slugfest.
Midfielder Alvaro Fernandez turned the tide of the match in the second half, heading in a Rosales corner. From there Seattle upped the pressure and were rewarded soon after. There was a possible penalty decision as Johnson was taken down in the box. The incident happened right in front of us in the Brougham End and it was a tight call, but Johnson made absolutely sure on his next chance, as Rosales whipped in another fantastic ball for the American to head home after a breakdown in the Colorado transition. Fernandez then had a chance to make it 3-0 but took too long and allowed a Rapids defender to recover.
With about ten minutes to go, Colorado scored a very tidy goal (Zapata to Cummings) to set up a crazy and exciting finish. First, Steve Zakuani returned to action after his injury last year. The crowd went absolutely nuts on his entrance into the match. Then the Rapids had a possible equalizer ruled out for offside before Rivero fired just over the crossbar when he had the goal at this mercy.
Seattle got three vital points and are now third in the Western Conference, with Colorado falling back into the pack in the bottom half of the table. Full highlights and game report here.
What a week. Two entertaining games, two memorable fan experiences. Back to work (and sweltering hot temperatures) but full of excitement and memories.