The Sounders held an event at the stadium for their season ticket holders. Tom and I had decided not to go, but then Jill and the kids came home from the beach on Saturday and wanted to go. Jill has two season tickets and we have two. Jill needed three for her and the kids, so I hurriedly RSVP-ed so I could download my event tickets, we left Tom at home, which was fine with him, and off we went at 10:00 to catch the light rail into the city.
Tom and I had been at the stadium just the day before, attending a Sounders match.
After the match Saturday we celebrated the victory and cooler, clearer weather with ice cream in Occidental Park.
Sunday we were joined by other season ticket holders seeking to get up close and personal with our favorite Sounders players.
Players were stationed all around the stadium, inside and out. They all had long lines of fans waiting by the time we got in. There's Christian Roldan.
And Tony Alfaro.
We passed up those lines to go inside to see what we could see. The line to the MLS Cup was the shortest. Zach Mathers was there, and an official photographer.
The line to get our replica championship rings was daunting, so we'll get those at a later game. We waited in line to sign a waiver to get out onto the field.
Waiting can be boring and a test of patience, but I did enjoy people watching.
Ah. Light at the end of the tunnel.
Out on the field, we tried out the players' bench.
I found my seat way up there on the rail in 333 - that's between 332 and 334 of course.
Then we got in line for Ozzie. Osvoldo Alonso is the heart of our team and definitely worth the wait.
Interviews were being projected on the big screens.
Kasey Kellar, former goal keeper and current broadcast star, signed my scarf and Isaac's shirt.
I said Hi to Aaron Kovar and got his autograph.
And of course, B-Rad, Brad Evans!
There's Nico Lodeiro.
And Christian Roldan again. The players swapped stations every half hour so it wasn't possible to get all of their autographs and personal photos, so we zeroed in on a few favorites.
Like Defender of the year, Chad Marshall.
We weren't supposed to hold up the line here to take photos, but I guess he liked what I said him because he set up this photo. Love ya', chad!
Gustav Svensson is another favorite defender.
Love that smile!
Two of our stars, striker Clint Dempsey and goal keeper Stefan Frei, were stationed side by side, but we could only get one. We got Clint!
I told him I loved his grin when he scored, so he gave me a big smile. Deuce!
No autograph from Stefan, but a good photo.
It was all exhausting after three hours of standing around, but also lots of fun just being part of the experience. I was impressed that all of the players were there and made themselves so accessible.
The Sounders have moved up steadily in the standings and now share first place in the Western Division. I am excited for the next match!