Seattle’s Beautiful Goal

By: Joel Marino

Apparently, there’s nothing Sounders FC can’t do.

Seattle’s young soccer team has been on a roll since its 2009 inaugural game, winning matches and setting records left and right. Qualifying for the MLS Cup’s playoffs in all of its first four seasons? Check. Constantly logging the league’s best attendance averages? Check. Oh, and how about inspiring a radio personality to leave his cushy gig in order to pen a rollicking chronicle of the team? Been there, done that.

Sounders FC: Authentic Masterpiece is a labor of love by Mike Gastineau, a former sports talk radio DJ known to Emerald City locals as “The Gasman.” It seems the guy is such a smitten Sounders fan that he quit his job after 21 years in the business to write and self-publish this tome. 

This isn’t a surprise—despite its short history, Sounders FC is already known for its ardent following. Gastineau explores the reasons for this phenomenon, which he traces back to the unheard-of control given to the team’s fans (for example, a council made up of dues-paying supporters has the power to fire or retain the general manager).

But the main narrative here is the team’s unlikely launch. Gastineau’s research follows the disparate men who came up with the idea for the team and brought it to life, from comedian Drew Carey to super-billionaire Paul Allen. It’s a tale of people with a passion for both the beautiful game and the Pacific Northwest, and their quest to bring those two together makes for an inspiring read.

All in all, we’re lucky the Gasman decided not to keep his day job.

Joel Marino is a NYC-based freelance writer and editor who enjoys traveling and saying “I told you so” as much as possible. When not writing, he spends his time on a never-ending quest to find the perfect empanada.