Posts Tagged With: Seattle Sounders

Can’t win them all

For the second year in a row our beloved Sounders have made the major league soccer finals in against Toronto football club. We went to Toronto last year and the Sounder were lucky to pull off a victory. We have been season ticket holders since 2001 and knew championship games are rare and it may never happen again, we were wrong.

As the Sounders stormed through the playoffs this season we still weren’t planning to go if they made it to the finals this time. After all we went last year. Plus flights, game tickets would be difficult to get and it hard to top the experience of last year.┬áBut in the stands in Seattle as the minutes ticked down on the final playoff game, and it became clear that it was going to be a Sounder’s victory, slowly our mindsets started to shift. H started to muse, “we might be able to get flights on air miles and maybe I can get Monday off.” Even so, we had plans that coming weekend and it would still not be easy to get tickets, so we were still leaning against it.

Sounders win. Next stop Championship game in Toronto

The game ended and indeed our Sounders were going to the championship game again! As we cheered, celebrated and jumped around, our good friend with connections to the Sounders came to find us. “I can get you tickets for Toronto!”

We got the red-eye out of Seattle on Friday to Dallas then to Toronto. Not the most direct route but the only option. We landed at Toronto at noon. Train to hotel, check-in, shower, 1:30. Quick lunch and we met our friends by 2:30 for some pre-game ‘Loose Moose’ beers and off for the 4:00pm kickoff!

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The Sounders were in trouble from the beginning. Toronto was laying siege on our goal and our keeper had to basically do somersaults to keep the ball from going in the net. We were lucky it was still 0-0 at half time.

Things didn’t change in the second half and a relentless Toronto scored in the 66th minute. Sounders struggled to get the equalizer, but to no avail. Toronto scored again in extra time and when the final whistle blew the local fans went wild. The better team had won on this night. A shame but I don’t get over-emotional with these things, it is only a game after all.

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We spent a wonderful few days touring around Toronto seeing the sites and getting some rest. We actually stumbled across the Championship parade through the streets of Toronto with the team riding high on massive trucks. There were some very happy Canucks lining the route, I was glad for them, it was their time. Plus the people of Toronto and the fans of their team were great to us again.

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We said that this is the last MLS championship game we will travel to. But there is always next year and so never say never.

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Categories: Americas, Toronto 2017 | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

MLS Cup 2016

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We have been season ticket holders for the Seattle Sounders since 2001 (pre-MLS!) and we were not going to miss their first trip to the Championship Cup Finals, even if it was in Toronto in December.

CNN Tower

CNN Tower

After arriving late the previous night, we got up and hit the town. We wandered around Toronto and kept on running into Seattle fans in their green Sounders gear. Hours before kick-off we went to The Loose Moose bar where Sounder supporters had planned to meet. The bar was packed with a few hundred Seattleites; We fought our way through and ordered a beer and talked with our fellow fans. The bar occasionally erupted into raucous song and chants about our beloved team. Everyone was all smiles, but they became nervous smiles as game time quickly approached.

Cold but all smiles.

Cold but all smiles.

When we headed off to the game the temperature was in the low twenties. That’s football weather, not the usual temperature for a soccer match. We layered up, put on knit hats and long johns, but I wore my lucky Van sneakers, not the most ideal cold weather footwear.

Walking through the streets and into the stadium we talked with Toronto fans. You gotta love Canadians, so friendly and welcoming. Waiting in line for drinks, we exchanged some friendly banter with a Toronto fan wearing a funky red wig. We bought him a beer before setting off to our seats high up in the stadium, in the area designated for Seattle supporters.

Toronto fans

Toronto fans

I was already freezing cold as they kicked-off and sadly, the game was not poetry on the pitch. Play was slow and the game dragged on and our nervousness increased. After the end of regulation and two extra time periods the score was still 0-0.
Finally after 3 long, cold hours, we won the game on penalty kicks, not the best way to win, but we didn’t care! We jumped around and shouted ourselves hoarse with the rest of the Seattle fans for another hour, which finally stopped feeling so cold! Yes!

I can’t reveal how we obtained access to the team after-party back at their hotel, but we did. It took a few beers but I finally built up the courage to shake some players hands. I tried to keep it short, I didn’t want to act like a stalker; “Congratulations… I’m so proud…. I’ve been a ticket holder since 2001…” But it was late, I was a tad bit tipsy, so it came out a little incoherent at times. The Spanish-speaking players clearly had no clue what I was saying. It was past 3am by the time I met the coach, Brian Schmetzer. My speech was impaired and my train of thought, derailed. I blabbed nonsense at him as he made his escape.

Helen and her favorite player Tyrone Mears

Helen and her favorite player Tyrone Mears

It was a long way to go. It was the coldest match I’ve ever been to. It was one the worst games I’ve witnessed. But we won and in the end that’s all that matters.

MLS Cup 2016

MLS Cup 2016

Categories: Toronto, ON - December 2016 | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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