After the final whistle of tonight's 2-1 win over Chivas USA, a stage was assembled on the pitch, and the club applauded the fans on all four sides.
“We really appreciate you and how about this team,” owner Joe Roth told the crowd. “I know this is our last game in terms of our home season, but the season is really just beginning. The playoffs – there’s no team hotter in the league than us. And with a little bit of luck and a little bit of scheduling we’ll be back here for the Eastern finals. No pressure.”
Coach Sigi Schmid had his team applaud fans on the four sides of the stadium, and then he echoed those sentiments.
“I don’t want to be finished yet,” he said. “We want to go a little bit further.”
Seattle already is assured of at least two more appearances on its home pitch.
On Tuesday, the Sounders will conclude CONCACAF Champions League, when Saprissa of Costa Rica visits.
And regardless of final seeding, Seattle will open the MLS Cup playoffs at 5 p.m. Oct. 31 at Qwest against an opponent yet to be determined.Tickets go on sale Thursday.
Meanwhile, some other postgame reaction:
Steve ZakuaniOn the win: “Five wins in a row, one loss in the last 15 games or so. We didn’t play that well tonight. I think Chivas controlled the ball. But we got goals at good times and winning 2-1 is a good result.”
On his goal) “It was a great steal by Jeff Parke and he gave me the ball. It kind of opened up a little bit and like I always say when you’re one-on-one with the keeper the easiest way is to go around him. Zach [Thornton] kind of stood up a little bit so I took it around him and put the ball in the goal. Second goal was a good goal. Almost like the goal we got against Philadelphia in the first game of the year for Brad Evans – carbon copy. It was very good. Happy to score my tenth goal.”
On the crowd) “We said before the game it’s the last game before these fans. We won’t be back here until the playoff so we wanted go out with a bang. We did it against Dallas last year, I think it’s the same score line this year. So just trying to repay the fans and also beat our points total from last year. So we are happy with that.”
On second half of season) “You never want to give up. I think one thing we had going for us was the fans. They were with us in the trenches, they were there with us. We have repaid them, I think. ... It’s been different times, different guys stepping up. We have done well. But now the real season begins: the playoffs. We just have to keep going.”