The home training complex of Sounders FC echoed with breathless shouts and pounding feet before the U.S. Open Cup. Footballers sprinted up and down the indoor field, dripping sweat as they drilled shot after shot into the net. It's the kind of intense training you expect from a team of reigning champions. Only these weren't players; these were Sounders FC fans … Sounders FC fans taking their lunch break.
This Tuesday Peter and I put aside our grade school fears of being picked last, and joined South Seattle office workers at Starfire Sports in Tukwila for their twice weekly lunchtime pick-up game. Being a little rusty on our footwork, we hoped PEMCO footing' the bill on the field fee would get us easy treatment on the turf. But our good natured competitors quickly put us at ease. "We don't even worry about keeping score til the very end," said Song from Renton. "We just have fun." And fun we had — even after losing 5-3 in the final minutes.
We were relieved to know "Northwest nice" applies to the practice field too.
You can eat lunch at your desk, but you can't play soccer.
Our heads were still buzzing that night as the Sounders staked their claim on the US Open Cup trophy for the second year running. We're glad we got a chance to give our full 90 on the field with the fans that made it all possible.