It was an exceptionally enjoyable weekend for a couple of Seattle Sounders.
On Saturday, coach Sigi Schmid was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame.
On Sunday, forward Chad Barrett became an unlikely hero as the Sounders got a crucial goal and a potentially crucial point in their 1-1 draw with the Los Angeles Galaxy.
Actually, Barrett wasn’t so much an unlikely hero as an unlikely participant. He wasn’t originally on the game-day roster, but was added to it just minutes before the match when Nelson Valdez was scratched with a calf injury.
Barrett was subbed on in the 85th minute, with the Sounders a goal down. In stoppage time, he was the last link in an equalizing chain that began with a corner kick from Marco Pappa, continued with a touch from Brad Evans, and was capped with a close-range finish from Barrett.
“I was just trying to run into the ball, because I didn’t want to bring my foot up to it because I didn’t want it to go up; and I didn’t want to bring my head down to it because it was moving pretty fast,” he said. “I just wanted to get some part of my leg on it and make sure I don’t try and change my angle too much.”
The angle proved just fine. And with his fifth goal of the season in the back of the net, Barrett hung a quick left and sprinted to the southeast corner of CenturyLink Field, where he leapt onto the railing and received hugs, back pats and even butt pats from celebrating Sounders supporters.
“As soon as I heard the crowd, I just went crazy in my head and I started running over,” he said. “I saw two people in the same section kind of (wave me over). Everybody was just so hyped up and hugging each other: It was a pretty good moment.”
Schmid enjoyed it, too. But the fact is, he has coached 221 wins and 110 draws in Major League Soccer, while a Hall of Fame induction is a once-in-a-lifetime moment.
Schmid had basked in that the night before at the Museum of History and Industry, where he was enshrined along with goalkeeper Kasey Keller of Olympia, and the late player/coach “Mooch” Myernick.
Wearing his new red Hall of Fame jacket, Schmid addressed the invitation-only gathering that included U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati and some previous inductees, including Galaxy coach Bruce Arena and retired national team player Brian McBride.
A regular storyteller, Schmid had more stories to tell — from taking over the UCLA soccer program at age 27, to his days with the Galaxy, Columbus and on to Seattle. He choked up only when he mentioned his late mother.
Schmid’s main regret, he said Tuesday after training, was neglecting to thank Sounders sporting director Chris Henderson, who has been influential in Schmid’s career from their days at UCLA to now. But otherwise, Schmid seemed to have enjoyed his evening.
“It was just fantastic,” he said. “One of my players got like 14 guys together from the first team I head-coached at UCLA. … I feel very privileged and very honored that they would take that time to do that — and tell some stories and drink some beer.”
This is a bye week for the Sounders, ahead of their Oct. 18 match at Houston. The team trained Tuesday at Starfire Sports Complex and will train again Wednesday and Thursday before taking the weekend off. … Schmid said defender Chad Marshall did not suffer a concussion in a fall during training last week. Marshall is progressing, and his return will depend on his neck pain subsiding. Valdez also was kept inside Tuesday, but Schmid said nothing serious turned up on the magnetic resonance imaging test. Defender Oniel Fisher (hamstring) has begun running. … With their USL season over, Sounders 2 players will continue training with the MLS team at least through midmonth, and some will stick around longer.
OCT. 18: Seattle at Houston,
2 p.m., ESPN2, 97.3-FM