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"It's going to be a special day": Sounders honor supporters on Saturday in Fan Appreciation match

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The Seattle Sounders’ final home match of the season is a critical one as the team prepares for the upcoming Audi MLS Cup Playoffs. But this weekend’s match is meaningful in more ways than one as the Sounders honor the collective group that has provided its unwavering support and commitment to the club since 1974 — the fans.  

The Seattle Sounders celebrate Fan Appreciation Day on Saturday, Oct. 7 when the team takes on the Vancouver Whitecaps in their final home match of the 2023 MLS Regular Season. 

“It's going to be a special day for us and for the fans,” said midfielder João Paulo. “I really appreciate the fans, so it's pretty cool to keep this tradition.”

The annual tradition comes with several activities and giveaways before and after the match, ensuring the fans know how special they mean to the organization. 

This includes, but not limited to, the yearly Alliance Member Garage Sale at the Ninety, a free meet and greet with former Sounder Chad Marshall, and most importantly, the sharing of carnations post-match.

“It’s a special moment between the players and the fans,” said João Paulo about the carnation tradition. “We like to be close to the fans.”

Saturday serves as a reminder of how significant the connection between players and fans is to the team’s success. 

“We thrive off of that environment when the fans are cheering for us,” said defender Alex Roldan. “So having them around us is definitely a big boost for our team.”

And the Seattle squad hopes the fans can bring that same support on Saturday as they battle it out against their Cascadia rivals. 

“It's always great to play in front of our home fans, obviously, they give us that energy, the energy that we need to go against the high motor teams,” said midfielder Cristian Roldan.

Sounders fans are the make-up of what the club is and what it stands for, and the team is looking to emphasize that this weekend.

Head Coach Brian Schmetzer said it perfectly after the home opener at the start of the campaign.

"Some of our play is based on the fan support. I think the guys feel it. So, it's always that combination. You need both of them to be really successful."

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