Seattle Sounders and Seattle Reign Representing Soccer’s American Hotbed

Happy Labor Day Seattle soccer fans!

This past weekend was a scrumptious feast (and, no, I am not talking about the grilled salmon you probably enjoyed over the holiday. Beeteedub, if you want killer salmon at a great price check out Dee’s Seafood on Hood Canal. My wife and I were out in Belfair and drove around the point past Union to the Skokomish Reservation. There you can get fresh caught Kings for $3.50 a pound. They’ll even head and gut ‘em for you. Delicious!) for soccer, as the Sounders won their second in a row, while the Reign held home court in the NWSL Championship game. Unfortunately, the Reign lost in a valiant effort.

First off, it was a pleasure following the Reign this season. My wife and I enjoyed every game we attended, loved the new digs at Memorial and savored the fun, attacking style coach Laura Harvey encouraged. Alas, despite the records and regular season dominance, this was not the Reign’s season. When they fell behind Kansas City 2-0 in the 56th minute, I was down but not disheartened. I truly saw the comeback in these guys, as the Reign have made a habit of living dangerously. But the clock kept ticking and a ball wasn’t going in the back of the net. I kept making deals with myself: they’ll get one back by the 70th, then it became, they got a real chance if they get one before the 75th, then OMG we need one by the 80th. Seattle still had a puncher’s chance when Megan Rapinoe scored in the 86th minute at the end of an insane sequence of shots and ricochets in the box. Alas and alack, it was not to be.

I honestly didn’t imagine a reality where the Reign lost this game. But Kansas City is a fine team and they proved it on the pitch. I’ve been backseat coaching all day thinking Laura Harvey could’ve subbed in Mariah Nogueira ealier. KC had a bigbodied backline and the Reign had trouble connecting on their crosses or finding space in the box. Nogueira immediately gave Seattle a back-to-the-goal holdup presence they needed. The offense had looked dangerous all day, but came alive after she entered the game (she came on in the 84th, Pinoe scored in the 85th, just saying). BUT… I am being ungrateful. Coach Laura Harvey treated all of Seattle to beuatiful, brillaint soccer this season. She assembled and coached a team that set a new standard in how the game can be played. Her team just wasn’t better today.

Lucky for us Seattleites, one of our teams looks to be getting better when it counts. The Sounders handled a feisty Colorado Rapids team Saturday afternoon. We all expected more of a rout, but Colorado perservered to make the final minutes pretty frickin’ nervy. The Sounders were the better team, as they got to field the exact same lineup from last weekened’s tilt with Portland. With health, luck and, especially, consistency, the Sounders should be well positioned to stay in the Supporters’ Shield driver seat. Three more points are waiting to be had when Seattle travels to Los Angeles to play lowly Chivas USA, winless in their last 7 (a game my wife and I will be traveling to attend!). Seattle has to keep winning the games they should to keep ahead of the surging Los Angeles Galaxy (who just destroyed the Goats 3-0) and steady D.C. United (who just beat NYRB 2-0). C’mon Seattle, let’s enjoy another 5 game winning streak! We’ll show everyone where soccer thrives in this country.

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