With a combination of wildfires and smoke clouds inundating much of the West Coast, including Washington state, not even the Seattle Sounders' emphatic 7-1 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes could completely draw attention away from the catastrophe.
While there were no hydration breaks required in the match at CenturyLink Field as officials monitored the air quality there in light of the warning issued in the region, Sounders coach Brian Schmetzer was asked after the game whether the conditions had impacted his team's practice regimen.
He took the opportunity to make a bigger point.
"It didn't affect the way we train," Schmetzer said. "Because look, with the games coming so close, the training has been very light. But as a human being, and as someone who lives on this Planet Earth, people better take notice that climate change is happening. And if people can't see it, well then I think they need to .... they're crazy. Because it's happening."
Wildfires are tearing through our beautiful state.— Portland Timbers (@TimbersFC) September 10, 2020
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A shift in wind is expected to bring smoke from fires currently burning to the south in Oregon to the Seattle region over the weekend, though there are also active fires throughout the state of Washington and indeed all across the Western United States.
"It's a sad story you can have a massive fire on the west side of the state of Washington that affects the air quality in our town," Schmetzer continued. "Normally you would think about California or Eastern Washington or something like that, but it's happening closer and closer, it's happening more and more. And people need to be aware of climate change."