Zach Scott shares perfect sendoff with his family following MLS Cup win

Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way…

Zach Scott is standing on a stage in the center of BMO Field. Alongside he and his wife, Alana, their three children prance in a circle.

Scott is smiling and laughing while he chases his children around the stage celebrating. The Seattle Sounders have just won the 2016 MLS Cup against Toronto FC, the final match in Scott’s 15-year career, and he is having the time of his life.

There are pictures and posing and playfulness, and Scott doesn’t take his eyes off his family. He knows he is on that stage because of them and the joy he feels is not his alone.

“My career started with my family sacrificing,” Scott said on Saturday, “and it ended with them being a part of the greatest Sounders run and hopefully one of the best years that generations of Sounders fans talk about.”

Oh, what fun it is to see Seattle win away, hey!

There is confetti scattered about his feet and an “MLS CUP CHAMPIONS” scarf wrapped around his neck. At one point it looks as if he smiles and shakes his head in disbelief. Whether it is because the Sounders have won, his family is there or both, only he knows.

“I can’t thank [Sounders owner] Adrian [Hanauer] enough for having the foresight to bring the organization, the front office, out here,” said Scott, “but also reaching out to our families and saying, ‘You guys have been with us through thick and thin this year, a year that had more downs than ups but has ended on the ultimate up, but we want you to be a part of this.’

“It’s always been a ‘we,’” Scott continued. “It’s been ‘we’ as in our families. It’s been ‘we’ as in our fans. It’s been ‘we’ as in this locker room.”

Scott could have left the Sounders and retired at any point during the last few seasons — “You guys know my contract, I certainly didn’t stick around for the money,” he quipped last week heading into the MLS Cup Final — but his relationship with his teammates and the fans kept him coming back.

Scott thinks it’s cliché, but he truly believes adversity brings out the true measure of a man. After all the Sounders went through in 2016, he’s proud of the way he and the team responded to capture the franchise’s first MLS title.

Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way…

“It’s going to go down as my worst, best year,” Scott said. “From a year that had so many lows, we were able to dig through and not fracture as a team and stay focused on the ultimate goal.”

Scott will leave the Sounders with three league championships: his MLS title on Saturday and two in the USL in 2005 and ’07. He also won four U.S. Open Cups and a Suppoters' Shield.  A consummate professional, there will never be another Zach Scott. No one else in Seattle represents the soul and determination and attitude of the club more.

One of his favorite and lasting memories was the first time he walked out of the tunnel at CenturyLink Field for the inaugural match in 2009. He’s looking forward to watching a game from the stands — with his family, of course — and being a part of the fans he so dearly loves.

On that stage on Saturday night, Scott shared a moment with his wife and children that validated everything he had gone through and everything through which they had stuck by him. The Sounders made history this past weekend, a shared moment that Scott hopes the city remembers long after he’s gone.

“My career is going to be forgotten, but the Sounders are going to be a club that will be around for hopefully forever just continuing to win trophies,” Scott said. “If I can be a small part of that, then I’m proud of that.”

Oh, what fun it is to see Seattle win away, hey!

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