Wow, what a weekend! Thanks to the incredible support of our friends at MLS W.O.R.K.S., we were able to attend the fabulous events leading up to the astounding 2009 MLS Cup game held in Seattle. The weekend began with the Seattle Sounders welcome party held at the Seattle Aquarium. The venue was perfect – a great representation of the Emerald City where the Sounders FC are always greeted by a packed stadium of enthusiastic fans. My favorite was the scuba-diver dressed in Sounders FC gear playing soccer in the large aquarium, posing for photos, and having a great time dancing to his own music in the water.
The next evening held the Commissioner’s Celebration, a cocktail event hosted by Major League Soccer Commissioner and Nothing But Nets supporter, Don Garber. Don showed a highlight reel of the past season’s games and spoke of the amazing support and enthusiasm for soccer and how it continues to grow. To underscore this, he honored U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati, another malaria champion, with the Commissioner’s Award for his life-long commitment to the sport of soccer and the pivotal role he has had in its expansion within the U.S.
MLS Cup 2009 was full of energy and anticipation, packed with LA Galaxy, Real Salt Lake and Seattle Sounders fans alike. 41 minutes into the game, Mike Magee scored the first goal with the assist from David Beckham and our very own United Against Malaria Captain Landon Donovan – the crowd went wild, myself included. During the half-time show, the United Against Malaria 30-second Public Service Announcement featuring Landon and Charles Ssali ran on ESPN, thanks to the support of Commissioner Garber and MLS W.O.R.K.S! Later in the game, Real Salt Lake scored to tie it up and the game went into overtime, and even that wasn’t enough to determine the 2009 winner — so it went to penalty kicks. With great anticipation, we watched as Real Salt Lake squeaked through to win the MLS Cup!
Thanks JoAnn, Jan, and Katie at MLS W.O.R.K.S. for the exciting weekend!