For Kray and Alysia Blanding, there are three major hobbies they share together as a couple: Dungeons and Dragons, motorcycles and their passion for the Sounders. So, when they received the news they were expecting their first child in Spring 2017, they tossed around creative ideas to make a memorable baby announcement.
One of Kray’s co-workers amusingly suggested doing it at a Sounders match. He jumped on the idea.
“Everyone who knows us, know we go regularly [to matches],” Kray said. “Announcing the way we did was a no brainer. A lot of the things we do as a couple have overlapping interests, luckily supporting the Sounders is one of them.”
The Sounders have played a huge role in the Blandings’ relationship since the very beginning. Back in 2010, the two were in the same English 101 class at Bellevue College. Kray asked Alysia to join him at a Sounders-LA Galaxy U.S. Open Cup match. She went, the Sounders won 2-0 and the rest is history.
“Kray was the first person to teach me about the game,” Alysia said. “It was one of our first dates.”
When the Sounders hosted the Houston Dynamo at CenturyLink Field last June, the Blandings did their big reveal. In matching Pacific Blue kits with their corresponding birth years, Kray and Alysia held up a third jersey – the one for their future daughter, No. 17.
Very fittingly, the Sounders’ own No. 17, Will Bruin, scored the lone goal of the match. Six months later, Allison Blanding was born on December 13.
“Good thing she wasn’t born on December 9, it would have been a tough decision [to be at the hospital],” joked Kray, referring to the date of MLS Cup 2017 in Toronto.
Last weekend against Minnesota United, baby Allison attended her first match in the same jersey as the one from the announcement. According to her father, she enjoyed making faces at the opposing Minnesota United fans seated behind her before falling asleep midway through the second half.
And, of course, Will Bruin scored once again in the 3-1 win.
“She’s got her own scarf and jersey,” Kray said. “We’re going to keep going and hopefully she will be Sounders fan for life."