CELEBRATING 10 YEARS
IN MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER

Ten years. Eight trophies. Countless memories.

It's hard to believe it's already been a decade since the Seattle Sounders joined Major League Soccer. To celebrate 10 years in MLS, join us as we look back at some of the best moments throughout the years and reflect on what an amazing run it has been.

Here's to the next 10 years and more.

once a sounder

Follow along for an all-access series presented by adidas where Sounders broadcaster Steve Zakuani catches up with former Sounders around the globe.

march 19, 2009

A sellout crowd of 32,523 witnessed the match that started it all.

On March 19, 2009, the Seattle Sounders welcomed the New York Red Bulls to a crowd of 32,523 fans, storming onto the MLS scene with a 3-0 victory over the previous year’s MLS Cup runner-up. Fredy Montero bagged a brace and Brad Evans added another to start Seattle’s MLS tenure on the right foot.

A resounding win that catapulted the team to a 3-0 start to its inaugural season, and later its first Open Cup title and MLS Cup playoffs berth.

2009:
Montero makes history

The Seattle Sounders’ start to Major League Soccer could not have been any more promising. In their inaugural season, the Rave Green finished third in the Western Conference and just one point off first place. Young Colombian forward Fredy Montero stormed onto the scene, finishing third in the Golden Boot race en route to being named MLS Newcomer of the Year.

He also scored the first goal in the club’s MLS history just 11 minutes into a convincing 3-0 win over the New York Red Bulls in the season-opener, a match that announced Seattle’s arrival in a resounding manner. The Sounders rode that momentum to their first of three consecutive U.S. Open Cup titles, establishing a championship-winning mentality that has become engrained in the club’s identity.

Record: 12-7-11 (47 points, 3rd West)
Finish: Western Conference Semifinals
Top Scorer: Fredy Montero (12 goals)

2010:
second U.S. Open Cup title

The Sounders capped a successful sophomore campaign with yet another trophy when they defeated Columbus Crew SC to win back-to-back U.S. Open Cup titles. The Sounders became the first MLS team and the first overall team in 27 years to repeat as champions.

Forward Nate Jaqua was tied for the tournament’s Golden Boot with five goals, but it was Sanna Nyassi who stole the show. After falling behind in the 24th minute, Nyassi struck twice on either side of halftime to secure the championship in front of a record crowd in Seattle.

Record: 14-10-6 (48 points, 4th West)
Finish: Western Conference Semifinals
Top Scorer: Fredy Montero (10 goals)

2011:
Seattle says goodbye to a legend

Goalkeeper Kasey Keller went out with a bang in the final regular season match of his illustrious career. In the last home game of the 2011 season, in which Keller was named MLS Goalkeeper of the Year, the Sounders honored him in front of 64,000 fans, and he did not disappoint. With Seattle trailing 1-0, Keller made a now-legendary quadruple save in the 65th minute, a barrage of stops that was only fitting for the long-time United States national team No. 1.

In a matter of seconds, Keller stopped Khari Stephenson, Chris Wondolowski, Simon Dawkins and then Wondolowski again. Keller’s effort won 2011 MLS Save of the Year, but also kept the Sounders within striking distance to complete an epic late-game comeback. Sammy Ochoa equalized in the 82nd minute before Fredy Montero buried the game-winner in the 87th winner to cap the storybook ending.

Record: 18-7-9 (63 points, 2nd West)
Finish: Western Conference Semifinals
Top Scorer: Fredy Montero (12 goals)

2012:
The Return of Zakuani

It wasn’t a trophy raise, a goal or even an epic save, but a late substitution against the Colorado Rapids on July 7, 2012, remains one of the most iconic moments in Sounders history.

Five hundred days after a gruesome tackle resulted in a broken leg, 24-year-old winger Steve Zakuni returned to the pitch. The club’s first MLS SuperDraft selection in 2009, Zakuani burst onto the scene as one of the most promising players in the league and a fan favorite. Known at first for his game-changing speed, it was his heart, determination and unwavering smile through his recovery that makes him a cherished character in club lore.

Record: 15-8-11 (56 points, 3rd West)
Finish: Western Conference Championship
Top Scorer: Eddie Johnson (15 goals)

2013: Welcome home, deuce

Prior to the 2013 campaign, the Sounders’ all-time leading goalscorer Fredy Montero left for Millonarios in Colombia. The year ushered in a new era of attacking players, with Nigerian speedster Obafemi Martins signing in March and United States soccer legend Clint Dempsey joining in August.

Before a match against FC Dallas, the Sounders introduced Dempsey in front of a sellout crowd at CenturyLink Field. One of the most notable American soccer players ever, Dempsey previously suited up for Fulham and Tottenham of the English Premier League and would eventually captain the U.S. national team at the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Dempsey would become a face of the franchise and go on to tie Montero’s regular-season goalscoring record.

Record: 15-12-7 (52 points, 4th West)
Finish: Western Conference Semifinals
Top Scorer: Eddie Johnson (9 goals)

2014:
First Supporters' Shield

Highlighted by the Clint Dempsey-Obafemi Martins duo up top, the 2014 season was one of the most memorable campaigns in Sounders history. Including a hat trick at Portland in April, Dempsey recorded 15 goals and 10 assists, while Martins registered 17 goals and 13 assists en route to being named an MLS MVP finalist.

Martins’ otherworldly touch-line chip against San Jose earned MLS Goal of the Year honors and the Sounders cruised to their fourth U.S. Open Cup title that September. On Decision Day, it was midfielder Marco Pappa, though, who sent CenturyLink Field into a frenzy when he scored two goals in the final minutes to beat the LA Galaxy and give Seattle its first Supporters’ Shield. With 20 wins, the Sounders set a then-record for most single-season MLS victories in the post-shootout era.

Record: 20-10-4 (64 points, 1st West)
Finish: Western Conference Championship
Top Scorer: Obafemi Martins (17 goals)

2015:
Playoffs Revenge

Sounders FC midfielder Erik Friberg had been waiting all season for a moment like this, and he picked the perfect time to deliver. Following a frantic opening 22 minutes of the 2015 Western Conference Knockout Round in which the Sounders and LA Galaxy traded two goals apiece, Friberg unleashed a sensational left-footed volley from 20 yards out in the 73rd minute that found the back of the net.

The Swede’s strike soared past Galaxy goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts and sent CenturyLink Field into a frenzy. Seattle held on and avenged the previous year’s Western Conference Championship loss to LA, knocking out its California rivals to advance to the 2015 Western Conference Semifinals.

Record: 15-13-6 (51 points, 4th West)
Finish: Western Conference Semifinals
Top Scorer: Obafemi Martins (15 goals)

2016:
MLS Cup Glory

After eight seasons in Major League Soccer, the wait was finally over: The Seattle Sounders were MLS Cup champions. A season marked with change — Brian Schmetzer took over as head coach, Nicolás Lodeiro signed and Román Torres returned from injury — culminated in an end-of-season run for the ages. The Sounders snuck into the playoffs on Decision Day, then valiantly took down Sporting Kansas City, FC Dallas and the Colorado Rapids en route to a massive clash north of the border against Toronto FC on a frigid Canadian evening.

With the match still scoreless in extra time, Sounders goalkeeper Stefan Frei made arguably the best save in MLS Cup history to deny a sure Jozy Altidore goal before Torres stepped up in the sixth round of the penalty-kick shootout and delivered the Sounders’ first league title. The city of Seattle celebrated three days later with a parade down 4th Avenue and a celebration rally at the Seattle Center.

Record: 14-14-6 (48 points, 4th West)
Finish: MLS Cup Champions
Top Scorer: Jordan Morris (12 goals)

2017:
best in the west

The Seattle Sounders followed their 2016 MLS Cup win with another strong season, finishing second in the Western Conference regular season and even on points with first place Portland. Seattle enjoyed a Knockout Round bye before taking down the rival Vancouver Whitecaps in the Western Conference Semifinals behind two goals from Clint Dempsey in the second leg in Seattle.

Sounders FC then steamrolled the Houston Dynamo in the Western Conference Championship by a 5-0 aggregate score to return to MLS Cup. Head Coach Brian Schmetzer lifted his second consecutive Western Conference trophy, and the first at home, celebrating yet another trophy with the CenturyLink Field faithful before returning to Toronto for an MLS Cup rematch against TFC.

Record: 14-9-11 (53 points, 2nd West)
Finish: MLS Cup Runners-Up
Top Scorer: Clint Dempsey (12 goals)

2018:
el nuevo nueve

Just when it looked like the Seattle Sounders’ consecutive playoff appearances streak was in jeopardy, the club rattled off a 14-2-1 record in the second half of the season, the best half-season in Major League Soccer history. The Sounders signed Peruvian forward Raúl Ruidíaz as a Designated Player over the summer, and all he did was score 10 goals in 13 starts.

Two of his biggest tallies came on Decision Day against the San Jose Earthquakes when, with the Sounders trailing 1-0, he scored a 79th-minute equalizer before netting the match-winner in stoppage time to secure the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference and a Knockout Round bye.

Record: 18-11-5 (59 points, 2nd West)
Finish: Western Conference Semifinals
Top Scorer: Raúl Ruidíaz (10 goals)

2019:
celebrating 10 years in major league soccer

On March 2, we kicked off our 10 Years in MLS season during our 2019 MLS season opener against FC Cincinnati with a resounding 4-1 win.

Prior to kickoff, the 2009 team was honored with an on-field ceremony, recognizing fourteen players in attendance and their contributions to starting Sounders FC’s MLS launch.

The team then helped honor the life of former Head Coach Sigi Schmid, who passed away in December 2018. Schmid’s family accepted a Golden Scarf on his behalf.

Roger Levesque

Patrick Ianni

Steve Zakuani

Sebastien Le Toux

Kasey Keller

Tyson Wahl

Taylor Graham

James Riley

Brad Evans

Sigi Schmid's family with the 2009 squad.

Roger Levesque

Patrick Ianni

Steve Zakuani

Sebastien Le Toux

Kasey Keller

Tyson Wahl

Taylor Graham

James Riley

Brad Evans

Sigi Schmid's family with the 2009 squad.

Illustrations: Matthew Shipley

Photo Credits: Mike Fiechtner, Jane Gershovich, Lindsey Wasson, Charis Wilson, Corky Trewin, Steve Schmidt, Rod Mar, Dan Poss.