Chad Barrett entered a pantheon of surprising Sounders scoring at-the-death goals against SKC. After a wet and soggy ninety minutes, the Sounders had the game right where they wanted it. And yours truly was jumping around with the other 39,239 raving faithful on a rainy First Kick Saturday.
To celebrate Mrs. Ravinggreen’s birthday, we stood in the Seattle sunshine for three hours. We jumped, clapped, sang and cheered. I was quietly optimistic about our chances to win. But I was frankly more excited to see our new team gel. By the 90th minute, I was soaking wet, but content.
I was completely happy with the nil-nil draw. After the slaughterhouse Colorado and Vancouver games last year, I just relived with the new-look back five delivering a clean sheet. The new guys were performing well, especially Chad Marshall and Sean Okoli (wow!), and Dempsey was playing some meaningful minutes. All was good at the Clink. Then Chad Barrett happened. A killer feed from Ozzie to Dempsey, then Deuce finds Okoli who crosses back to Dempsey who takes not one, but two strikes before Barrett stabs it home. And the crowd went wild. Wet and bedraggled and delirious, it was a helluva birthday present.
It was fun game for many reasons. One, we won. Two, we won. Three, I just love cheering against SKC. I hate them, especially Jimmy Nielsen, Aurelien Collin and Peter Vermes. Thank god Nielsen retired. Another bonus to today’s game was that I didn’t have to see his tongue. It just made me all sorts of crazy when he would get all squinty-eyed and tongue-waggy between the pipes.
Whenever a broadcaster says, Vermes molded his team into the type of player he was, I always think, Peter Vermes was somehow both a goon and a flopper? The “flopoon” or “goopper” is an oxymoron I still haven’t figured out. But like the flight of the bumblebee it is nature that defies reason. SKC is absolutely a team that will physically hack you to death (25 fouls!?) while also rolling around on the turf deserving Oscars. They are just easy to hate.
Of course it all goes back to the US Open Cup. But other than Jimmy Nielsen’s facial contortions, I don’t remember much else I was pissed at SKC about. My memory is fogged red with memories of referee Ricardo Salazar. Maybe all these at-the-death winners is our karmic retribution for stealing our would-have-been-history-making-fourth US Open Cup.
Did I mention how happy I am we won (and that Nielsen retired)?