Sounders' victory celebration

After an ardu­ous elec­tion year with shock­ing results, Wash­ing­to­ni­ans were in des­per­ate need of a feel-good sto­ry to close out 2016.

Panoramic view of Sounders' victory celebration

Cue the under­dog Sounders’ barn­storm­ing through the MLS Cup playoffs.

The unex­pect­ed loss of the team’s two top scor­ers and mid-sea­son fir­ing of head coach Sigi Schmid set the stage for a sto­ry­book turn-around that came thanks in part to the com­ing-of-age of two local sons; rook­ie for­ward Jor­dan Mor­ris (Mer­cer Island) and long-time assis­tant turned head coach Bri­an Schmet­zer (Lake City).

If just one Sounders vic­to­ry had gone the oth­er way, the team would have failed to qual­i­fy for the play­offs for the first time in their MLS history.

Instead, they nev­er let their epic come­back slow down, knock­ing off (among oth­ers) top-seed­ed FC Dal­las and East­ern Con­fer­ence Cham­pi­on Toron­to FC, stacked with big-name attack­ers, to bring home the club’s first MLS Cup.

Seat­tle May­or Ed Mur­ray was the first guest speak­er to address the crowd, ask­ing for a round of applause for the Seat­tle Police Depart­ment and the offi­cer who was injured on duty in the ear­li­er parade. He was joined on stage by King Coun­ty Exec­u­tive Dow Con­stan­tine and retir­ing Con­gress­man Jim McDer­mott, both Sounders sea­son tick­et hold­ers. As a fan since the club’s ear­li­est iter­a­tion in the North Amer­i­can Soc­cer League, McDer­mott showed off his knowl­edge of Sounders his­to­ry and claimed to have pre­dict­ed the path to the MLS Cup after see­ing his beloved Chica­go Cubs claim their first MLB World Series title in 108 years.

Sounders' victory celebration

By win­ning the league, Sounders also earned a birth in the CONCACAF Cham­pi­ons League where they will rep­re­sent the North­west as stew­ards of diplo­ma­cy in the inter­na­tion­al com­pe­ti­tion through­out North and Cen­tral Amer­i­ca and the Caribbean.

Con­grat­u­la­tions, Sounders, and thanks for giv­ing us some­thing to smile about!


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