“Keep Writing History” was the focal point of the season opener’s tifo. Fitting, for a club that has shown itself to be among the very best in MLS history. It is the expectation of the fans that this club will continue to grow and succeed, anything short of that is a let down and disappointment. Something, three minutes into the second half, Seattle fans were forced to fear after Chicago took the lead.
I love that MLS is back. While I watch the sport year round, my passion for the game truly comes alive during the MLS season. And getting to open it at home, with 40,000 of my closest friends, is something special. The inaugural boom-boom-clap. The cheering. The crowd’s response to the game, the gasps, the yells, the claps, the cheers, the jubilation at the goals… It was well worth the fuzzy feeling as my body warmed up on the drive home.
Thankfully, the reigning MLS Champions were able to give the fans a victory and earn their first three points at home to start the season. It wasn’t pretty, but it was the definition of what Sounders fans have come to expect: Grit. Determination. Never giving up. And Jordan Morris.
Overall, I came away from that game feeling positive. We absolutely did not play our best, but we did grit out another Sounders victory. We subbed on the hometown hero and he put the game on his back and scored two goals for us, including the winner in extra time.
The starting lineup was missing three to four starters depending on how you slice it. Nico Lodeiro is still recovering from his offseason tendonitis, and while he seems well on the way to recovery there is no denying how much his presence is missed on the field. Gustav Svensson is expected to be back at full training this week, and his presence will bolster our defenses as the Swede has become a staple for the team in that role. Our new DP center back Yeimar Andrade Gomez was on the bench for this game having just arrived in Seattle after receiving his visa, but did not feature in this match. I would expect him to start in the near future. And then at leftback we started Joevin Jones, and it is not clear if he or Nouhou, is going to be our starter in that position.
I have to believe having Svensson and Yeimar would have greatly decreased the chance of the Chicago goal, but thankfully, as coach said in his post game locker room speech, the Sounders are no stranger to going down a goal and needing to make a comeback. We don’t stop fighting.
One thing some Sounders fans are going to have to adjust back to is the prevalence of Offside being called on us. We were called offside five times this match, though it felt like more. With this roster makeup, we are going to likely hear that a fair bit. It takes me back to when the club had Eddie Johnson and Clint Dempsey as I recall that era being one that had many Offside calls on the Sounders.
This offensive team though put up the highest xG of the weekend, by a wide margin. That comes from two opportunities directly in front of next which didn’t go in, but which represent a huge sign of things to come. I am extremely excited for the offensive prowess once we have the full roster with Nico at the steering wheel, Jordan and Cristian on the wings, and Ruidiaz up top. We’ll have Joao Paulo coming up along with Leerdam and our leftback, whether it is Nouhou or Jones.
I sincerely believe this team could be the best Sounders team ever. And now that we crashed out of CCL, my expectations turn to the remaining trophies. Garth and the front office came into this season expecting to focus on the CCL. What if we take that roster and instead ask, “Can we be the first American team to win the treble in the same year?”
Can we keep writing history?