TUKWILA, Wash. — The Seattle Sounders could be forgiven for having weary legs. After all, they are coming off a 9,000-mile road trip that stretched from Canada to Guatemala to New England.
But maybe not, considering the care the club have taken to make sure their players are comfortable.
“We had the chartered flight so everyone got their own row,” midfielder Brad Evans said. “Great food, great drinks, first-class hotels – no complaints on that front.”
And it seems to be paying off. Evans cited the club’s 6-0-1 record in their past seven road games, and the Sounders players believe the extra expenditures by the organization are giving them a better chance to win.
Charter flights in and out of Guatemala and New England certainly helped soften the impact of the air mileage, and in order to avoid Boston’s frantically busy Logan International Airport the Rave Green flew into Providence, R.I.
“The club was great in terms of being able to help us out with charter flights,” Schmid said. “The accommodations were good. I think us staying in Providence was really helpful as well because the hotel’s around more things so there were more things to do and the airport was easier to get in and out of than Boston.”
Seattle took to the training field Sunday afternoon, approximately 48 hours before their US Open Cup final showdown against the Chicago Fire, with the goal of knocking off whatever rust accumulated during their travels. To hear it from the players, the charters and accommodations represent the importance Seattle places on this competition.
With a chance to claim the franchise’s third consecutive US Open Cup just a couple days away, Evans is excited about a possible three-peat.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime sort of thing,” Evans said. “For us, we’re taking it extremely seriously. This is a tournament that we’ve taken seriously. From the top [of the organization] to the bottom, everybody has been involved at some point. For us it’s been a group effort and it will be special day.”
Andrew Winner covers the Seattle Sounders for MLSsoccer.com.