No Sounder is going to fill welcomed in the land Kansas City tonight as the Rave Green and Djimi Traore find a late, late goal. As a throw in finds it’s way through the box on past the swinging boot of Aurélien Collin to the lap of Traore who banged it home for an easy go-ahead score.
Tonight’s game was fought and dug through the middle third of the pitch, far more than what it was on Saturday. The tenacity and swarming defense of Sporting was not only felt but show through their 60 recoveries and 30 interceptions.
Nearly double what the Sounders had. However after getting out of the first half the The Blues teetered off their attack and didn’t find another real threat in the second half until Golden Boot seeker Claudio Bieler was subbed on at about the 67th minute and it wasn’t until the 79th minute that they fully engaged Michael Gspurning goal.
The narrative of the game will most likely go on to be some of physicality, mixed with a confusing array of fouls and non-calls by the referees. Both clubs were exhaustive with their attempts to win the ball and control possession, and each club showed some wonderful skill.
They produced wonderful elements to a game that showed danger while not conceding opportunities for counter attacks. Proving the game to be an utter mess and at the same time to be exciting and interesting.
The Sounders duo of David Estrada and Eddie Johnson did what comes natural to both. EJ used his physical abilities, attempting to take on Collin a couple of times and not successing.
While Estrada had his usual game of intense on the ball coverage dropping back inside the Sounders defensive half and providing effort to win the ball back and helping with linking play with Johnson up top. Neither was very successful unfortunately. Eddie seemed apt to be dispossessed, littered with poor touches and intense defensive help from defensive midfielder Peterson Joseph.
Mario Martinez, who finally started, had himself a nice quiet game. Unfortunately the Sounders needed him to do more than have a nice quiet game. They needed loud and boisterous and even cunning.
While Martinez wasn’t bad and showed a bit of his creative side and even supplied an exciting free kick that nearly scooted by an unsuspecting Jimmy Nielson, one of the top Keepers in MLS. While that’s a moment that will stick in quiet a few minds, what will also stick in our minds is the lack of successful crosses. While the fault doesn’t necessarily fall at his feet, there is an possible chemistry issue between him and the Grown-Ass Man, Eddie Johnson.
But the thing that stands out to me is the defense supplied but not just Kansas City but the Seattle Sounders FC. I heard from more than just one source the underwhelming opinion of the Sounders backline.
Which is unfair considering the form of not just Djimi Traore this season but also Leo Gonzalez and Zach Scott.Both have filled in marvelously. Even, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, who has displayed some frightful mental lapses this season, was very solid tonight.
There are a lot of things to take away from this victory, but more than anything this is 7 points now in 3 straight road games. There is a lot of time left in the season there is no way to know where this might lead at this point. But it’s all very exciting.