The tifo that spawled across the south end before tonight’s match clearly meant a lot to Sounders coach Sigi Schmid, who had this to say, with his voice cracking with emotion:
“I was glad that I had a royal flush. I felt good about that going into the game. I felt like that was important. I felt very honored that the fans did that. It was a little bit emotional for me. I was really proud of that. This club has been the best thing that has happened to me in soccer and I’m thankful every day that I’m here.”
Schmid was asked to expand a bit more on why it was so meaningful to him.
“What’s happening here is just phenomenal,” he said. “Everybody thought it was going to disappear, it was going to go away. It hasn’t gone away, if anything it’s grown. When you looked and you walked out there you said, ‘This isn’t the Seahawks playing today, this is the Sounders, and we’re sold out…We have those amount of fans, and this is something that we thought wasn’t necessarily going to happen in US Soccer. For a guy who used to coach at UCLA when we were struggling trying to get people to come to games, and slowly got more, having been involved in different games around the league where sometimes it was almost easier to introduce the people in the stands than the players because it would have been fewer and easier to get done…This is just absolutely phenomenal. It’s a reflection of the community, it’s a reflection of the sports interest for the city of Seattle—just what the people are all about here. Our fans are the best. No offense to the Portland fans, I think they’re great and they support their team to the hill, but there’s nothing better than the Seattle Sounders fans.”