ST. PETERSBURG, Florida – The US Open Cup is a special tournament for many reasons.
Linda Scott can attest to that because twice in the last three years she has had the opportunity to watch her sons, Sounders FC defender Zach Scott and Tampa Bay Rowdies defender Daniel Scott, compete head-to-head on the field in the tournament.
In 2011 when the Sounders met the Kitsap Pumas at Starfire Stadium, she was there, decked out in a home-fashioned Seattle-Kitsap duel jersey to support both sons. On Wednesday, she did the same, this time surprising Zach at the entrance to the field as he took the field for warmups of Seattle’s match with the Tampa Bay Rowdies, again wearing a duel jersey, this time with the Sounders and Tampa Bay.
He took a few steps toward the field, then heard the familiar call of his mother shouting his name. He turned a confused eye toward the stands at Al Lang Stadium and then smiled as he walked over to the greet her, simultaneously amazed that the she made the trip and disappointed that he didn’t figure out her surprise sooner.
The moment she learned that the Sounders FC could travel to Florida to meet the Tampa Bay Rowdies in the third round of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup this year, she booked her flight for Tampa.
The Rowdies did their part by beating VSI Tampa Bay in the second round to set up the matchup against the Sounders. If they didn’t win, it would have just meant a trip to Florida for Linda to visit with her youngest son.
“Daniel has been wanting me to come here,” she said. “If they didn’t win, I would just spend three days with Daniel.”
That was the easy part.
The tricky part was making sure Zach didn’t hear that she would be making the trip.
A native of Long Beach, Calif., Linda visited with Zach over the weekend while the Sounders FC met the LA Galaxy at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., on Sunday. They spent time together on Saturday and Sunday and the last thing Zach said before leaving for Florida was that he would see her when they got back to California on Thursday for Saturday’s match against Chivas USA. In all that time, she never let slip that she would be visiting he and his younger brother for their match on Wednesday night.
For that 90 minutes, nobody was as nervous about the match than Linda. Either way she wins. And either way she loses. She is thrilled to see them both competing at the same time, but agonizes that one of them will go home defeated.
This time around, it was Daniel and the Tampa Bay Rowdies that walked away victorious, pulling the 1-0 upset of the Sounders FC.
After the fact, Linda breathed a sigh of relief as they both walk off the field, head held high as competitors and brothers. And she beamed at the notion of them one day playing together on the same team, something Zach hinted at hoping to do before he retires.
“It’s just amazing that Seattle would be paired with Tampa. The fact that they’re both playing, as a mom, is a dream, especially coming from Hawaii where there wasn’t much competition,” she said. “If they were ever to play together … that would be a dream come true.”