Posted by: Matt Gaschk
Michelle Brault works in research on primary immune deficiencies at Seattle Children's Hospital, but on matchday, she's Super Fredy.
During the 2011 season in Vancouver, Fredy Montero scored two remarkable goals, including a Goal of the Year finalist, to lift the Sounders FC to a 3-1 win over the Whitecaps and clinch the Cascadia Cup.
The chants of “Super Fred” rained in from the stands at Empire Field – packed with a raucous group of supporters that traveled north for the derby match.
This year, those chants had a costumed embodiment. Donning a cape, head band and electricity kit, “Supa Fred” has become a regular at Sounders matches ever since, but the real-life fan behind the costume may be much more indicative of the super-hero moniker than her alter ego.
Michelle Brault works in research on primary immune deficiencies at Seattle Children’s Hospital, finding ways to treat rare diseases through clinical trials.
“Kids get rare diseases that make it difficult for them to have a normal life,” Brault explained. “If they have them, they have no immune system or a severely compromised immune system. Infections that we might be able to fight off normally, they have a really hard time dealing with.”
The Mukilteo native found a perfect fit when she was hired at Children’s Hospital fresh off completing her double-major in biology and chemistry at Eastern Washington University. The move back to the Puget Sound area allowed her to pursue her ideal career while also supporting her favorite club up close and personal.
The flexibility of her work schedule has also allowed her to support the team on the road on occasion, too. Last year’s match in Vancouver was her first road match and she drew inspiration from that experience on the supporter busses to create her matchday alter ego.
Just days before this year’s first trip to BC Place, Brault was stricken with an impulse to create a Supa Fred costume, so she ran to the fabric store to get materials for her cape and headband, put the costume together, then the super hero was born.
She first wore it to Seattle’s 2-2 draw with Vancouver on May 19, when Montero scored a 90th minute goal to equalize with their Cascadia rivals, adding to an assist earlier in the match.
The “Super Fred” chant again cascaded down from the Sounders supporters, echoing through the concourse after the match. Brault stayed in costume all the way back to Seattle and is now known by those on the trip simply as Supa Fred. Many of them, she assumes, don’t even know her name. But she doesn’t mind. In fact, it may even add to the persona.
“Fredy’s a great player and I love supporting him,” she said. “The nice thing about the team is that all the guys are so nice and worth supporting.”