SEATTLE - Right now, by definition, the Sounders FC are in the middle of a dynasty. But in order to convince the majority, they need to win another title this year.
I admit that this kind of debate is as subjective as they come. Unless you have a team like the Bulls in the 90s or the Patriots in the early 2000s, rarely will you have unanimous agreements among a vast and opinionated sports base. All Merriam-Webster will give us is that a sports dynasty is defined by "a franchise which has a prolonged run of successful seasons."
If that was truly the case, we’d be handing out dynasty ribbons as frequently as participation trophies. It has to be more than that.
You don’t hear national pundits calling the Pittsburgh Penguins a dynasty for reaching the playoffs 14 straight years – or the Sounders one for 12 straight postseason appearances.
But the Sounders have won two MLS titles in the last four years. They’ve reached the Western Conference Finals in four of the last five seasons. In my opinion, that qualifies. A string of close-to-unprecedented success in a condensed period of time that includes raising multiple trophies. It’s good enough for me.
Others, though, need more convincing. Just this week, FOX soccer analyst Alexi Lalas said that a dynasty should only refer to teams that win three championships in three years or three titles in four years – that the Sounders are a really good team that doesn’t qualify.
And that’s why I think it’s important for the Sounders to raise that cup again this year. They’re just one win away. Three titles in five years with four championship game appearances should convince the majority of people not named Alexi Lalas that this team deserves that lofty definition, reserved to this point for D.C. United at the start of the league and the L.A. Galaxy from 2011-2014.
Again, none of this overlooks the consistent excellence of this franchise. Either way, the entire existence of the Sounders can be defined as a “Golden Age.”
But to be recognized widely as having the most special definition, reserved for the best teams in sports history – a dynasty – they’d have a much stronger case by hoisting that trophy.