Only Just Begun

Geez, what a year, huh? I mean, think of all the stuff we’ve done together this first year together. We didn’t win a single game (or lose or draw) and yet there’s so many memories to share.It’s O.K. if you forgot to get a card. After all, it’s practically impossible to find just the right one.

An anniversary is a personal thing, and those store-bought cards rarely get it just right.

You can do what you want, but I’ve decided to write my own. Here goes.

Geez, what a year, huh? I mean, think of all the stuff we’ve done together this first year together. We didn’t win a single game (or lose or draw) and yet there’s so many memories to share.

Like that time at the bar, when Drew stopped by. He was going straight to you, the people, letting you know that the rumors were true and the wait was over. And he promised he and his friends would always be there, and would always listen.

The next day, Nov. 13, 2007, it happened. On the most beautiful day imaginable and 76 stories up, atop the tallest building in the Pacific Northwest, Joe stepped to the mike professed his desire to make Seattle the soccer capital of the continent. He said a lot more but let’s face it, he had us at ‘Hello.’

Yes, there were some rough spots. But as promised, we listened to you and got it right. We’re proud to be Sounders FC.

Once we got over that, it’s been all good, don’t you think?

Seventeen-thousand have stepped up, pledging to support us every night and day, come what may.

We’ve promised to put the best possible team on the field and if we don’t, you can tell the GM when to go.

So far, Adrian’s gone around the world, and already he’s got the makings of something special. Seba and Sanna, Kasey and Freddie. Admit it, you love ‘em, oh yes, you do.

No, we couldn’t see them play just yet. Still, you’ve got to admit that Mexico and Brazil both made for a couple stirring evenings at Qwest.

Drew promised you a band that you can groove to, one that will help you go crazy and get loud like no other.

And we will be dressed for success. Wearing our patented bright green and emblazoned with Xbox across the chest, Sounders FC will be unmistakable, from sea to shining sea.

Yep, lots of good times. It should get only better because, together, we’ve only just begun. Now, clank those cups together and celebrate. Cheers.

One last thing, next year, let’s make a date to celebrate the second anniversary, say, down on King Street, before the big match. You know, there’s no harm in dreaming.

Election Special
No one can dispute the fact that the night of the 2008 general election was a spectacle to behold, no matter what side of the aisle to which one leans. It was one to remember, especially for Kasey Keller’s family.

For the first time, Kasey, Kristin and their kids watched the results on home soil. He had spent the previous 18 autumns overseas.

Until this fall, Kasey says, the twins “felt more British than they did American and that was certainly something I definitely wanted to change before it was too late. I wanted them to feel the American side of life, and I’m excited they’re having that opportunity.”

At school this week the kids participated in mock elections for U.S. leaders (rather than a prime minister) while the parents spent the evening in their living room (instead of, say, the U.S. Embassy in London, where Kasey was a guest in 2004).

Registered in Thurston County, Kasey voted absentee, avoiding some long lines at some local polling places. But he couldn’t avoid all the inconveniences.

“When we were in Europe, one thing I didn’t miss was the stupid political commercials,” he laments. “Whether your candidate won or lost, you have to happy those spots are over with.”

Tryouts Update
The first of three Sounders FC open tryouts is Sunday in Spokane. Prospective players will bring their bag of gear, some boots and their hopes to Plants Ferry Park and maybe, just maybe, one of them will make the roster next spring.

The second tryout is Nov. 15 at Starfire and the final session is Nov. 22 in Yakima. Registration is free and available at here. So far, nearly 600 players have signed-up statewide.

A minimum of three players from each of the tryouts will advance to a final tryout Feb. 1, and one of those is guaranteed to make the cut. That announcement will come during a live televised workout, airing in Seattle on KING 5 TV after the Super Bowl.

Final Four to be Determined

Turn On, Tune In
Sat., Nov. 8
4:45 a.m. (PT; pub replays at 10), Setanta, Arsenal-Manchester United
Why Watch: Unbeaten in 12, United threatens to push the Gunners out of the top four

8:30 a.m. (PT), GolTV, Hamburg v Dortmund
Why Watch: Hamburg undefeated at home; Dortmund’s strongest on the road

6 p.m. (PT), Univision, San Luis v Santos
Why Watch: Apertura leader San Luis hosts Clausura holders

4:30 p.m. (PT), HDNet, Columbus v Kansas City
Why Watch: Will the Crew’s splendid season go for naught or can they make their first semifinal since 2002

7:30 p.m. (PT), FSC, Chivas USA v Real Salt Lake
Why Watch: Three years ago they combined for 10 wins, now a final four spot is at stake

6 a.m. (PT), FSC, Inter Milan v Udinese
Why Watch: Each with only one loss, they battle for second (or better) in early Serie A

Mon., Nov. 10
11:30 a.m. (PT), FSC, Wimbledon v Wycombe
Why Watch: 6th tier (2nd place) Wimbledon, founded 2002, hosts No. 2 side in 4th tier in FA Cup’s first round proper
Wed., Nov. 12
11:45 a.m. (PT), Tottenham v Liverpool
Why Watch: After last Saturday’s shocker, it’s a return to the scene of the crime in this Carling Cup tie

Thu., Nov. 13
ESPN2, Columbus v Chicago (4:30 PT) or Chicago v Kansas City (5:30 PT)
Why Watch: It will be for all the marbles in the East and advancement to the MLS Cup

According to FourFourTwo, the world’s top players are all under the age of 24. Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Fernando Torres head the list of the British magazine’s top 100… Preki, who first came ashore with the indoor Tacoma Stars, is one of 25 finalists for induction into the National Soccer Hall of Fame...Between now and Nov. 14, nominations are being accepted in five categories for the 2008 best of U.S. Soccer. Submit entries for such categories as Best Soccer Bar or Best Blog to…Perhaps no Sounders goalscorer has heard a bigger roar for scoring than Jocky Scott, and the mustachioed Scot is back in the news. Scott scored the winner before 56,000 in the 1977 NASL semifinal in the Kingdome. Now, at age 60, he’s been named manager of Dundee in the Scottish Premier League…Another ex-Seattle/Scotsman recently got the hook. Bruce Rioch was removed at Aalborg. Although a Champions League qualifier, the club had sunk to second from the bottom in Denmark… NCAA tournament berths will be announced for all division except Div. I men by Nov. 11. Washington, Western Washington, Seattle Pacific, Whitworth and Puget Sound women could all be involved in opening rounds beginning next week…State high school tournament play commences on Tuesday for girls in all classifications…Washington Youth Soccer is currently accepting nominations for several awards to be presented at its 2009 Annual Awards Dinner next April.