The Seattle Sounders have a couple of nominations for the prestigious MTRWestern Sports Star of the Year awards, but what are their chances of winning on the night?
January 14 represents the first official day of training camp for the Seattle Sounders at the club’s Starfire Sports practice facility. In many respects, this means essentially turning the page on what was a glorious 2019 campaign with a new season now on the horizon.
However, if you think this means last year is now firmly in the rearview mirror, this is not quite the case. That’s because there’s the not so small matter of the 85th Annual MTRWestern Sports Star of the Year awards.
This prestigious awards ceremony has been going since 1936, celebrating the achievements of Washington sports. And this year, the Seattle Sounders have been nominated for two awards, both based on the success of 2019.
First up, the Sounders have been nominated for the Sports Story of the Year after winning another MLS cup. The Seattle Sports Commission writes:
"The Sounders won their second MLS Cup, beating Toronto 3-1 before a record crowd at CenturyLink Field. They made the postseason for a league-record 11th straight year and upset the league’s top team, Los Angeles FC, to reach the title match for the third time in the past four seasons."
"Forward Raúl Ruidíaz led the Sounders in scoring for the second straight season and this time helped them win the MLS Cup. He had a goal and/or assist in each of Seattle’s four playoff games, including two goals to beat the league’s top team and another one to nail down the league championship."
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Of the two nominations, Ruidiaz would appear to have the better chance of winning. He is the only one of the male sports star to have helped his team reach the pinnacle in their particular sport.
This is not the case in the Sports Story of the Year category with four of the five nominations achieving the ultimate glory in their sport. The favorite is Megan Rapinoe leading the USWNT to World Cup glory as Women’s World Player of the Year.
For what it’s worth, the Sounders were named Sports Story of the Year in 2016 when they won their first MLS Cup — Kelsey Keller also won Sports Story of the Year for 2011, in his final year playing as goalkeeper for Seattle before retiring. Whether history can repeat itself remains to be seen.
Regardless of how it all turns out, being nominated alone shows how important (and relevant) the Rave Green have become in the Washington sports scene. Of course, Seattle Sounders fans should still do their best to help them win by clicking here to vote, with the results being revealed at the ceremony on Feb. 6.
The Seattle Sounders being nominated for sport story of the year makes perfect sense. However, do you agree with Ruidiaz being the Rave Green’s selection for the male sports star of the year or would you have picked someone else? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.