Johnathan Davis has been cheering soccer in Seattle for the better part of 25 years. He was cheering again in Los Angeles this week during a huge victory for his hometown Sounders FC. The internet, and the Sounders, took notice.
Born and raised in Maple Valley, Wash., as a kid Davis would go with his family to the Sounders’ North American Soccer League matches at Memorial Stadium.
He has a love for traveling for big sporting events to support the teams he roots for — the Sounders, Seahawks, Mariners, Villanova University where he got his Masters, and Eastern Washington University where he did his undergrad.
Davis works at Central Garden & Pet in Seattle on an e-commerce analytics and strategy team aligned with Amazon. The company is a “Bark at the Park” sponsor, where Mariners fans can bring their dogs to a game.
Last Thursday, when it became clear that the Sounders would be traveling to play LAFC in Tuesday’s MLS Western Conference Championship match, Davis quickly booked a flight to Los Angeles. And then got himself a match ticket.
“I bought the cheapest ticket I could find without much research because I was just pumped to be going,” Davis told GeekWire during a Twitter chat Friday.
That ticket turned out to be in the main LAFC supporter section, and Davis said visiting fans are not allowed in those seats. So he grabbed another cheap seat on SeatGeek, where his rave green Sounders jersey still stood out among a sea of black and gold.
“I told my LAFC neighbors that I wouldn’t brag too much if we won, and the guy in front of me goes, ‘You totally should, ’cause we will,'” Davis said. After L.A. took an early 1-0 lead, “man, were they chatty,” he added.
But when Seattle evened the score, Davis was loud himself and the L.A. smiles “faded quickly,” he said. Seattle went on to score two more times for a decisive 3-1 road win against the best team in the league during the regular season. The Sounders were on their way to their third MLS Cup appearance in four years.
Television cameras and still images caught Davis in the crowd, dancing gleefully around LAFC fans at Banc of California Stadium. On Wednesday, the Sounders sent a “good morning” tweet to Davis and all fans. And by Friday afternoon, the team was crediting the internet with helping them identify the traveling super fan.
— Sounders Scandinavia ⚓️ (@SNDRNVIA) October 30, 2019
Good morning to everyone, especially this guy pic.twitter.com/j1iAbwsMBi
— Seattle Sounders FC (@SoundersFC) October 31, 2019
The internet did its thing. @Jadmantweets, thank you for repping the Rave Green in LA. Now let's put you in the middle of one of the biggest parties Seattle has ever seen.
Check your messages! 💚 https://t.co/132Em96iLt
— Seattle Sounders FC (@SoundersFC) November 1, 2019
Davis learned that cameras had focused on him when he got a text during his dance, from his buddy Jason.
“My phone started blowing up,” Davis said. “I almost couldn’t order a Lyft because my phone was at 1 percent.”
The Sounders reached out to see what they could do for Davis at the MLS Cup when it is hosted by Seattle on Nov. 10 at CenturyLink Field. He already had his ticket, but match day might just get a little better.
“The experience was amazing,” Davis said of catching the L.A. win in person and getting a shout-out from the Sounders. “I just love my team. Sports bring the community together.”