I had this great post written up about this weekend. Then with their Thursday afternoon facebook announcement about Sunday's game, the Sounders had to fuck it up.
Let me start at the beginning of this catastrophe: Forget Iran and Michael Jackson, the biggest international event this week was the US Men's National Soccer team and their collossal upset of #1 ranked Spain in the Confederations Cup semi-finals. For the first time in world history, the men's team is about to play in the final of a FIFA tournament ... on Sunday.
Now, here's why we're getting excited about Confederation Cup finals. The Confederations Cup is essentially a warm-up for next year's World Cup, a face-off between the winners of FIFA's six confederation championships (North America, South America, Africa, Asia, Europe, and Oceania) along with the defending World Cup champs and hosts.
Our 2-0 victory against Spain this week, thanks to some phenomenal saves by keeper Tim Howard, was merely the third miracle of this tournament. After falling apart to Italy 3-1 and a humiliating crush to Brazil 3-0, the US needed not one but two miracles to advance out of the groups stages: Defeat African Champions Egypt by 3, with Brazil beating Italy also by 3. Check. Check. (Evens those puzzled and bored by soccer's 1-0 scores realize the probablity of TWO 3-0 simultaneous games). With FIFA's convoluted point system, this meant that the US advanced to the semi-finals against Euro Champs Spain.
Wednesday morning, the US pulled off another miracle by defeating the number 1 ranked team in the world, ending Spain's 32 game unbeaten streak, last defeated by a non-European team in 1999. It's possibly the greatest victory ever pulled off by the US (made even sweeter by the fact that 19-year-old Jozy Altidore, who put us over the top in the 27th minute, was bought last year from NY Red Bulls for $10 million by Spanish powerhouse Villarreal, who then sidelined him for half the season before demoting him to a 2nd division team, where he never played either. I think he was saying "por tus madres, putos")
I can only hyperventalate Holy Fucking Shit so many times.
We—the US—play Brazil in the final Sunday morning. For those of you thinking, "Hey, didn't Brazil stomp us last week 3-0?" don't worry. They barely squeezed by South Africa—who until that game were considered the "weakest hosts of the Confederations Cup ever." Brazil was absolutely impotent, lacking any of the domination displayed in the first round, scoring only in the 89th minute. Brazil is known for being tempermental, so pray that they continue to unravel while the US picks up stride.
Which brings us to my main point: So, I was set for a euphoric Sunday morning's Confed Cup Final at 11:30, Sounders at 1-ish in a big match against 4th place Colorado, who come fresh off destroying DC 3-0 last Saturday. Surely the Sounders will wait until the Most Important Game the US HAS EVER PLAYED IS OVER before starting theirs, right?
Well, that logic was quickly ruptured Thursday: Trying to spin it as a good thing, the Sounders announced they'll open Qwest early and show the final on the big screen until 1pm, when they'll interrupt it for their game and will show the US-Brazil match afterwards.
I popped several arteries reading this. This is wrong for many, many reasons, lest of which interrupting the biggest match the US has ever played—probably in the last 20 minutes. Does that need to be explained?
So, this week's preview: Screw the Sounders. I'm starting a grassroots campaign to get them to delay the game until the end of the Confederation Cup.
If ESPN can get them to start 30 minutes early (and then reneg on their end of the deal), we can get them to delay until after the US makes soccer history.