After a season of fighting MLS’s draconian Code of Conduct, Seattle Sounders fans can celebrate a berth in the MLS Cup. Following Seattle’s 3-1 victory over LAFC, the Iron Front flag will surely find its way into the league’s final match of the year, much to the chagrin of those who desired profits over protests.
LAFC jumped out to an early lead on Tuesday, as expected. Eduard Atuesta tallied up in the 17th minute, and it seemed like whatever deficiencies created the beautiful mess that was El Tráfico last week were papered up. But then Raúl Ruidíaz happened. The Peruvian striker scored a brace to send Seattle into the MLS Cup final, starting with a lovely bit of skill for his first...
...before he pushed his team’s lead to 3-1 (there was a goal by Nicolás Lodeiro in there as well) in the 64th minute.
The actual match, though, doesn’t matter as much as the fact that the victory validates the collective protests of the Seattle supporter groups, who used silence, walkouts, and strongly worded statements to get MLS to back down. These fans—and the many fans throughout the league who are all participants in the #AUnitedFront campaign—are truly an inspiration for anyone under untenable conditions, showing those in power that unified protest against greed works.
Though the Portland Timbers—the other vocal fanbase in the fight against MLS’s censorship—were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs, Seattle and its avid fans will live on to remind the league that racism, fascism, sexism, and other forms of bigotry should not be allowed in soccer. I, for one, commend them for sticking it to the man.