Seattle Sounders fans revel in championship march experience

SEATTLE — Stu Allen has been a fan of the Seattle Sounders since their inception in 1974.

He’s watched the team grow from its formative NASL days through the USL and into Major League Soccer. But after four Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cups and a Supporters’ Shield, Allen finally saw his favorite team of four decades hurdle its last obstacle and capture its first MLS Cup.

On Tuesday, when the Sounders marched through downtown Seattle celebrating their championship, Allen summed up his sentiments succinctly: “Unbridled joy.”

The Sounders filled four trolleys and paraded north up 4th Avenue before reaching Fisher Lawn at the Seattle Center to join fans for a rally. Sharing this experience with their favorite team in the city they love was almost a surreal experience for some.

“It means everything,” said Gary Haskins, who has been a Sounders fan for the past three years. “This is the first time I’ve been to something like this.”

Seattle Sounders fans revel in championship march experience -

Robin Bradbury agreed.

“It means everything to the fans,” said Bradbury, whose son, Alex, is a member of the Sounders’ U-16 Academy team. “People have been in the rain and the cold for these boys, and we’ve been here and we’ve been at games as season ticket holders, and I think this is the ultimate [feeling].”

The Seahawks had their parade in Seattle two years ago as Super Bowl winners, but for fans of the Sounders, and fans of soccer, Tuesday was a long time coming. The Sounders won two USL championships in 2005 and ’07, and had made the postseason in each of their first seven seasons in MLS since joining as an expansion franchise in 2009. They had been as far as the Western Conference Championship twice, but had never made it to the MLS Cup Final until winning the title this year.

“It puts us on the map yet again,” said Eric D’Intino, who was attending the march with friend Tim Pardue. “It shows that we’re a championship city.”

Pardue smiled and added: “Soccer City, USA.”



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