For all of the success the Seattle Sounders have had in the MLS since arriving on the big stage in 2009, they had never advanced past the first round of the playoffs.
The Sounders had gone 740 playoff minutes without holding a lead and it was Mario Martinez's goal in the 81st minute that gave the rave green their first taste of playoff success.
It was also a fitting end for the battle between two teams that hadn't scored a goal on each other in over 450 minutes dating back to last year's playoffs. Sounders coach Sigi Schmid had nothing but praise for the two goalkeepers Michael Gspurning of the Sounders and Nick Rimando for Real Salt Lake. Sounder at Heart has all of the chatter plus more.
[Gspurning] has been a tremendous addition for our team; his height obviously makes it difficult for other teams on corners, but he is just a great keeper. Rimando is a great keeper but Gspurning is right there; you saw two of the best goalkeepers in the league tonight.
Sounders forward Fredy Montero is excited to bring his team to the next round of the playoffs, calling the team hungry to get to the final.
We have never had this chance before, to play in the finals of the conference. We are very excited to play against the Galaxy.
Although Martinez scored the goal and Gspurning came up with nine saves to keep up the blank sheet, Schmid had some kind words for his under spoken leader Brad Evans.
When Brad steps on the field you might not think to yourself that Brad is the smoothest guy or the best player, but what Brad is a warrior.
The Sounders have a quick turnaround in the playoffs. They head to Los Angeles to take on the Galaxy on Sunday at 6 p.m. PT.