Photos: Jane Gershovich, courtesy of Sounders FC Communications.
Sounders coach Brian Schmetzer was one of those young fans who followed the 1974 Sounders with players like Jimmy Gabriel and Dave Gillett, who stayed in the community and supported soccer during the lean years between the NASL's demise, through the A-League and USL years and into the Sounders' arrival in MLS in 2009.
"Lots of people have stayed in the community," said Schmetzer, "and they're part of the fabric of the community, so that's very important."
Schmetzer, who played for the NASL Sounders, said it was natural for him to jump off the trolley and mingle with the fans.
"I'm a friendly guy," he said. "I like conversation."
Thirty-six years after Schmetzer made his pro debut, another local product, Jordan Morris, was the MLS Rookie of the Year and helped the Sounders win their first MLS title.
Morris, who grew up in nearby Mercer Island, said the support was more than he could have ever imagined.
''Our fans continue to surprise me,'' he said. ''We couldn't have done this without them this whole season. There were a lot of downs in a tough season and they stuck by us through it all and that ended with a championship.''