Thousands of Sounders fans showed up for the rally and parade following the team's 3-1 MLS Cup victory at home against Toronto.
Thousands of Sounders fans showed up for the rally and parade following the team's 3-1 MLS Cup victory at home against Toronto.

For Dennis and Barbara Crisman, watching the Seattle Sounders win the MLS Cup over Toronto by three goals to one became more than just going to a sporting event. It was a memorial.

“My son was the one who bought our season tickets back in 2009, and he passed away in 2011, so we kept the tickets for the family in honor of him,” Dennis Crisman said. “So, them winning means a lot.”

Barbara Crisman said her son, Zach, was an Amazon employee who got everyone enthused to go to Sounders games. He was part the membership drive chairman for the Emerald City Supporters (ECS), and one of the famous fan group’s founders.

Giving their season tickets to their daughter, the couple opted to watch the championship game from the nosebleed section. Tickets sold out in just 20 minutes.

“It was pretty hectic up there,” Dennis Crisman said. “Most hectic was the first goal. When the first goal was scored, I got a beer shower from the guys behind me. A lot of high-fives though.”

The Crismans joined thousands of Sounders fans in packing the streets around Westlake Park for a MSL Cup victory parade, which was followed by a rally at Seattle Center on Tuesday, Nov. 12. Ramping up to the parade, Sounders coach Brian Schmetzer signed autographs for people in the crowd, and star goalie Stefan Frei hoisted both the 2016 and 2019 MSL cups into the air for applauding fans.

Flag-bearing fans led the way to Seattle Center and buses embossed with the word “Champions” on them carted the VIPs to the rally.

Barbara Crisman said she and her husband were proud to not only take part in watching the game, but also in the victory parade and rally.

“We’re not going to miss this,” she said, ahead of the parade. “It’s a lifetime experience.”

Sounders games are also a family affair for Ron Yeager and his two sons, Dylan, 6, and Logan, 9.

Ron Yeager has played soccer since he was 4, and he has been teaching his sons to play since they were 2. He currently coaches their peewee teams.

“The Sounders, to me, is all about community, the love of soccer,” Yeager said. “We’re a soccer family, so, especially with the boys, watching the pros play is kind of something to look up to. They’re leaders in the community. A lot of hard work and dedication goes into that. It’s pretty cool to see them come out with the championship.”

Logan Yeager agreed with his father, adding the Sounders players “are just really good people to look up to.”

Dylan Yeager said he likes soccer because “it’s really fun to score goals.”

Yeager said he and his sons came out to the parade and rally because it was the right thing to do.

“We’ve got to support them,” he said. “They put in a lot of hard work. It’s a great experience for us to be able to go the the parade and support them, so it all kind of ties back to that community aspect.”

Catherine Knowles, another season ticket-holder, could hardly hold back tears as she described her experience at the game, ahead of the parade.

“I have season tickets in the Section 120. It’s right next to ECS. It was pretty loud, but that is usual,” Knowles said. “Sitting next to ECS is never quiet. It was amazing. Amazing. Having gone to games for the last 10 years, seeing the stadium completely full was amazing.”

Knowles said going to soccer games is one of her favorite things to do, and she loves to watch the Sounders dig in deep. They just don’t give up, she said, adding that though they aren’t always the best team, they have heart, and you can’t count them out.

Parade attendee Jonhehon Riley said that he’s held season tickets since 2001 and is glad he didn’t give them up, despite their sometimes slow performance.

“They always start so slow and don’t really do anything, but then they pick up near the end,” Riley said. “I was really happy with their season. They could have started off a little quicker during the championship match — I was kind of biting my fingertips for a while until they finally did something.”

Riley noted that no goal was scored in the championship game until the second half, and that first goal was caused by a deflection off a Toronto player into the Toronto goal, scoring the first point for Seattle.

He said the energy in the stadium was electric, that people everywhere were kissing and hugging; not unlike the energy at the parade and rally.

Bob Metz and Tammy Comery went to the the parade together. Comery has been watching the Sounders for about seven and a half years. Metz has been going much longer.

“I went to the first game when I was a young guy, in ’74, so it’s been a lifelong thing for me,” Metz said. “It’s just a normal part of my life. We wouldn’t miss the parade. We’re season ticket-holders, and we go to a lot of away games, so we are big-time fans. This is a no-brainer.”

Comery agreed, saying she has grown attached to the players since she began watching them.

“You kind of get to know the personalities of the guys,” she said. “I kind of look at Morris as my son, and Torres as my party friend.”

Metz said his experience at the game — and with everything the win produced for the fans at the parade and rally — was unbeatable.

“It was overwhelming — unbelievable,” he said. “There is nothing that I’ve seen like it. I’ve been to lots of stuff. I’ve been to world cups, but I really thought this was the best.”