Jay and Carl took Anne and I to our first Major League Soccer (MLS) game today. We took the bus downtown to Pioneer Square and instead of being full of homeless people; it was full of soccer fans. The Seattle Sounders were holding their pregame pep rally there. Leading the rally was their pep band, the Sound Wave. After the rally, all of the fans made the traditional soccer March to the Match, with Sound Wave bringing up the rear. Last Saturday, Jay and Carl went to the Sounder’s home opener, which they won. During that game’s march blue and green flares were set off and a great photo from that event made the national news. The Sounders are the biggest draw in the league. Before today’s march we were admonished not to do that again, because “The Seattle police certainly have a twist tie with your name on it.” Even so, one blue and one green flare could be seen smoking ahead of us during today’s march. Last Saturday’s match was played in a steady downpour, but except for a few sprinkles it was pretty dry today. The sun even peeked out for a little bit during the game.

Today’s match was against Toronto. The Sounders play in the same stadium as the Seahawks do the other football team in town. It was still pretty much decked out in Seahawks paraphernalia. The upper deck was not seated, so we were not treated to the deafening roar of a Seattle Seahawks game, but the Sounders still drew over 38K. Toronto scored two goals in the first half and it wasn’t until the second half that Seattle answered with a goal of their own. The Sounders ended up losing 2-1. As the clock ticked off the minutes, the Seattle fans grew ever increasingly exacerbated with the refs, for not calling what was judged by them to be obvious penalties on Toronto. I don’t know this game very well, but I’m pretty sure that holding is not allowed. The goalie is the only player that is allowed to use his hands and that is only with the ball. It was only after the game that I learned that these were scab refs that were officiating the game. After the game Jay and Carl treated us to dinner by the stadium. This allowed us to avoid the rush of the maddening crowd on our bus ride back home.

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