What a ride 2016 was for Eastside Supporters and Sounders fans
What a ride 2016 was as a Sounders fan. So many things happened in such a short amount of time. Jordan Morris signed with the Sounders as a Homegrown Player and a few weeks before the season, Obafemi Martins decided to leave and head to China. Not the best way to begin the season.
The Sounders would then proceed to lose their first three games of the season before winning four of their next six games. Then things went from bad to worse really quick. The Sounders would then lose five of their next six games and it looked like nothing would come of a once promising 2016 MLS season.
The July 24th happened. That is the day the Sounders went to Kansas City and put together one of the worst performances of the Sigi Schmid era. Two days later, Sigi would be fired and Brian Schmetzer would be named interim head coach. The very next day, Nicolas Lodeiro would sign with the Sounders and things slowly started to change.
First it was a 1-1 draw with the much-hated LA Galaxy. Then the Sounders would reel off three straight wins and another draw before the Schmetzer led Sounders would lose their first game, to the even more hated Portland Timbers. Two games before that, Clint Dempsey was lost for the rest of the season due to an irregular heartbeat.
The Sounders would bounce back after that 4-2 defeat to the Timbers and would lose only once in their final eight games. Remember that when Sigi was fired, the Sounders had 20 points in 20 games. The final 14 games, the Sounder secured 28 points and lock up the fourth seed in the West.
The first playoff game was a nail biter that was punctuated with Nelson Valdez’s first goal in over a year. Then game the Supporters’ Shield winning FC Dallas that the Sounders beat 3-0 in the first leg and 4-2 on aggregate. Then the Colorado Rapids came to town and found an early goal. But a Jordan Morris equalizer and a Nico penalty gave the Sounders a much-needed 2-1 lead heading into the final leg of the Western Conference Finals. Then Morris sealed the deal for the Sounders with his game-winning goal early in the second half and the Sounder booked their first ever trip to the MLS Cup Final.
To all of you that made the trip to Toronto, hats off to you. You braved the cold and crazy air travel to watch the Sounders beat the mighty Toronto FC on their home field in penalties. We still get chills every time we watch Roman Torres’ penalty go into the back of the net and hear Alan Kelly blow the whistle for the final time in 2016.
It was a wild ride and we wouldn’t have changed one thing about it. Well, maybe a few things. We’d rather not begin the season so bad that we thought it was over in July. Let’s hope the additions of Will Bruin and Harry Shipp will help the team begin 2017 the way 2016 ended, on top of MLS.