The US Open Cup final was bound to be a special night for six-year-old Jett Brownfield and his older sister Jordan.
They were dressed for the occasion, all decked out in Sounders gear to root on their favorite team as they took on the Columbus Crew. They never could have imagined the story they would have to tell when the night ended.
Before the match, they went to the March To The Match with their parents, as they do with all of the matches they have attended over the last two seasons. What made this one special at first was that Jordan carried around her giant replica US Open Cup trophy that they made out of Styrofoam one year earlier to tote around after the Sounders topped DC United for the 2009 Open Cup title. As the real trophy was marched to the stadium, Jordan rode on her father’s shoulders holding the replica aloft.
At this year’s final, they brought the trophy again and were stopped for nearly as many pictures as Keith Hodo and Lori Ross, who carried the 2009 championship trophy to the stadium.
When the referee blew the final whistle on a 2-1 Sounders win, Jordan and Jett celebrated with the 31,311 on hand at Qwest Field, staying afterward to see the trophy presentation. When many of the players made a celebratory lap around the field, signing autographs and posing for pictures, the Brownfields were right there among the hordes.
When US Open Cup MVP Nate Jaqua reached them, Jett had a thought after seeing players giving away their jerseys and shoes.
“Can I have your medal please?” he asked.
“He’s not going to give you that, he’s just earned it,” his mother Stephanie assured.
But Jaqua signed a few autographs, then pulled the medal from off of his neck and gave it to the young fan.
“He turned around and gave it to me,” Jett said.
From that moment, he was on cloud nine.
The whole drive home, he talked about how great a moment that was. He didn’t take the medal to school the next day, but when his mother came to pick up him and Jordan, she brought the medal and the Styrofoam trophy so they could show their friends.
On Friday, the Brownfield family was on the field before the game, winners of a contest with Pemco Insurance. Wearing his autographed Kasey Keller jersey, Jett had another chance to meet Jaqua.
“He’s my favorite player,” Jett said. “Jaqua and Kasey Keller.”
After just over a week, Jett had the opportunity to thank Jaqua for giving him the ultimate US Open Cup memory.