Scoring Kings of Cascadia

Legends are made from exploits when matches matter most. Sometimes that’s the postseason, and sometimes those feats come in the context of a derby.

Delivering the goods consistently in derby matches makes one tifo-worthy. (Courtesy Sounders FC)

Leafing back through time, those who have constructed tifo-worthy Seattle careers have largely done so through earnest effort, tenacious battling, artful orchestration and as fearless saviors. But of course, the most golden of moments is when the ball billows the back of the twine, and the crowd goes wild. Glory beyond compare awaits those who score goals, and the bigger the occasion, the more splendid the finish and the more goals, the better.

Here, then, going into Sunday’s match with Portland, are Seattle’s golden boys of Cascadia, era by era, over the past 41 years:

NASL / Sounders, 1974-83

Cascadia goals: Peter Ward (6); John Rowlands (5), David Butler (5), Paul Crossley (5), Mark Peterson (5)

Peter Ward proved a one-man wrecking for the Timbers in 1982. (Frank MacDonald Collection)

Continue reading Scoring Kings of Cascadia

Soccer Hall Beckons (And There’s room For More)

It’s probably a good thing that induction into the National Soccer Hall of Fame is a byproduct of job well done rather than an objective from the outset. Otherwise, seeing what must be undertaken over years and years would seem overwhelming. Why, it would be enough for a coach to consider accounting.

In assessing the careers of Kasey Keller and Sigi Schmid it seems they should’ve locked-up an invitation to the Hall long ago. They appear to have what it takes in spades.

KaseybobbleFor Keller, he was tracking toward this day for more than 20 years,
beginning in 1989 when he shined at that U20 World Cup. By 2005 he’d been U.S. player of the year three times, made three World Cup rosters, broken new ground for Americans in Europe and blanked Brazil in a performance for the ages. Yet he kept on going for another six seasons, in the end coming home to remind those in MLS what we’d been missing all those years. Continue reading Soccer Hall Beckons (And There’s room For More)

Take A Number, Any Number

So maybe they wouldn’t be coveted for the waiting line at the DMV. But two Sounders rookies have unwaveringly embraced the numbers they’ve been issued.

When Victor Mansaray sprinted onto the Toyota Stadium pitch last week, he not only became the youngest Seattle pro to appear in a competitive first team match, the 18-year-old also broke new ground by wearing ’80’ on his kit, front and back.

A few minutes later the numerology bar was pushed higher still with the introduction of number 91, Oniel Fisher.

hugos sounders photos 034
It took more than 30 years for Seattle to break out of the 30s, with Hugo Alcaraz-Cuellar (77) doing the honors. (Courtesy FC Alliance)

The Numbers Game

While it took 33 years to break with tradition and go beyond the 30s, now the Sounders are approaching the outer limits. Officially FIFA restricts numbers to 99, but as those attending the Xolos friendly will attest, who’s counting?

Tijuana substitute Matthew Gomes wore 104 on his back, and the club roster lists a first team player with 112. Furthermore, their academy ledger is loaded with players asssigned triple digits.

What’s in a number? It’s become more personal and less about tradition. Continue reading Take A Number, Any Number