Seattle Sounders

John Froschauer / AP Photo

The year 2014 started with a Super Bowl victory by the Seattle Seahawks, and ended with them in the playoffs once again. In between those events, a lot happened with the Mariners, Sounders and two separate University of Washington teams.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel counts down his top five sports moments of 2014.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

The Seattle Sounders and LA Galaxy meet Sunday in California for the first of two games in Major League Soccer’s Western Conference Finals.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says this series is not the MLS Championship, but it might as well be.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

The No. 1 Seattle Sounders start their playoff run this weekend. KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says this could be the year the Sounders win it all and make history in the process.

Michael Perez / AP Photo

The Seattle Sounders won their fourth U.S. Open Cup championship this week. They also have the best record in Major League Soccer right now. KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says the Sounders’ success has come despite several distractions.

John Shearer / Invision/AP Photo

From Seattle Sounders players shining at the World Cup to four Mariners in the All-Star game, to the Seahawks winning best team in sports at the ESPY Awards, Seattle sports fans have lots of reasons to smile lately.

And come September, says KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel, those smiles may turn into tears of joy.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

The Seattle Sounders are on top of the Major League Soccer standings heading into Saturday’s game against the Fire in Chicago. Then they’re off for three weeks while the World Cup is played in Brazil.

Two Sounders players are on the men’s national team, which has taken them away from MLS play recently. But KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says the Sounders have sufficient depth on their team to handle it.

Don Ryan / AP Photo

Sounders star midfielder Clint Dempsey has made headlines recently. He scored his first-ever hat trick two weeks ago against Portland. Dempsey has scored a total of five goals in the past two games, earning back-to-back Player of The Week awards from Major League Soccer.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says things are finally coming together for Dempsey and the Sounders.

"Finally, it's happening. The investment is bearing fruit," Art said.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

The Seattle Sounders FC host Toronto FC Saturday at CenturyLink Field. KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says the team has undergone an “extreme makeover,” with new players making up half of its 2014 roster.

Top 5 Seattle Sports Stories Of 2013

Dec 27, 2013
John Froschauer / AP Photo

From a blockbuster baseball signing to talk of the Super Bowl, there was a lot for Seattle sports fans to smile about this year. KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel names his top five sports stories of the year.

Sounders' Season Over after 2nd Loss to Portland in Semifinals

Nov 8, 2013
Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

The Seattle Sounders’ season has come to an end after a second playoff loss to Portland Thursday night. The Timbers beat the Sounders 3-2 in Portland to win the two-game, aggregate-goal semifinal series 5-3.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says the game was an embarrassing end to the Sounders’ rocky season.  

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

The Seattle Sounders took a big step toward establishing themselves as a world-class team with this week's acquisition of Clint Dempsey, the captain of the U.S. Men's National Team.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says this is a big deal.  

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

The Seattle Sounders FC stunned Sporting Kansas City Wednesday by scoring late in stoppage time to win 1-0 in dramatic fashion. It was a thrill that fans haven't experienced that often this season.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel points to the team's recent roster change as a factor. 

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

The Seattle Sounders limp into Portland Sunday for a big rivalry match against the Timbers. They're experiencing their longest winless streak since their expansion year of 2009.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says the Sounders need an attitude adjustment if they hope to beat Portland and move one step closer to the coveted Cascadia Cup.

Ted S. Warren / AP

The Seattle Sounders are winless in their last six Major League Soccer matches, playing to a 1-1 draw Wednesday night against Sporting Kansas City at CenturyLink Field in Seattle.

That's not the best record to bring into a heated regional rivalry with the Portland Timbers on Sunday, as both team vie for the coveted Cascadia Cup.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel will have more on this tomorrow morning at 5:35 and 7:35 on 88.5 KPLU. Check back here for a blog of our conversation.

AP

The Seattle Sounders FC started the 2011 season this week with a record crowd and some unwelcome controversy.

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