It was a record-setting year for the Sounders.
They reached the postseason for the 10th consecutive season, won nine consecutive matches from July 21 – September 15, and registered the best half-season record in MLS history.
Sounders FC also set a new dock-diving record at the 2018 North America Diving Dogs/American Kennel Club National Championships in Orlando earlier this month.
No, really. It’s true.
"Sounders" is a three-year-old whippet dog owned by Washington resident and Rave Green supporter Laurel Behnke who has competed in a variety of dog events for 30 years. Eight years ago, Behnke discovered dock diving, which is an event where dogs compete for distance while jumping from a dock into water.
A few weeks ago, the top diving dogs were invited to a national competition where there would be an opportunity to set a world record. On his final jump, Sounders went for 33 feet, six inches, which broke the previous record by over two feet.
After breaking the record, many fans and spectators at the event wanted to meet Sounders. Among them, a 10-year-old boy named Gideon who asked to pet the first-place finisher.
“Here is a cute kid who wanted to pet the dog,” Behnke recalled of meeting Gideon. “It happens all the time.”
Behnke hadn’t realized that Gideon is the star of a successful Twitter account known as “I’ve Pet That Dog,” that has over 165,000 followers. The photo of Gideon and Sounders garnered nearly 200 retweets, 6,500 likes and the attention of SoundersFC.com.
It’s been a whirlwind of a week for Behnke, from a world-record dock dive to a viral photo of her dog. She attended high school with Kasey Keller and has been a Seattle Sounders supporter since Keller shined on the club’s inaugural MLS squad in 2009.
Behnke and her family had tossed around the idea of naming a dog after the team for years before deciding on “SoundersFC” in 2014 ("Sounders" for short). The name was an immediate hit with people who met him – they even sported their dog with a Sounders FC collar and coat.
"It is cool that people know we are big enough fans to name our dog after the club,” Behnke said. “It’s nice that people know we care.”