Sounders 1-0 Rapids
Back home, and ready to get back on their winning ways, the Seattle Sounders FC took on the Colorado Rapids at the XBOX Pitch at Centruy Link Field on Saturday afternoon, in a game that welcomed back the Sounders fiercest villain Brian Mullan.
It was in this fixture last year, that Brian Mullan had the dirty tackle on Steve Zakuani that broke his leg clear in half. I still get grossed out thinking of that slo-mo replay.
Zakuani still hasn’t returned to action, and this gave the Seattle faithful their first chance to pay their respects to Mr. Mullen personally.
Though Brian Mullen was on his best behavior for much of the match, (he did receive a yellow late in the game) the boo birds were still out in full effect.
But enough about the past, let’s focus on the present, and the Sounders win!
After a tough draw last week in D.C. against United, the Sounders came out fired up for the first twenty or so minutes. They cooled before half time, and it wasn’t till a little after the hour mark that they were finally able to push the ball across the line.
Johnson gets the go
Even though he was pretty much held to a role player out there, it was nice to see Eddie Johnson get his first start for the Rave Green. Johnson will be a force to be reckoned with at some point this season, but until he gets his fitness back up to 100%, he will just have to bide his time till he gets some lucky bounces.
Maybe the Sounders have too much talent up front this year. Who is the odd man out? Last week it was David Estrada coming out for the substitution of Johnson.
This week both Johnson and Estrada got starts, along with Fredy Montero. In this game, egos rule the pitch, and Saturday in particular, Fredy Montero seemed to be the player with the biggest ego. Thus leaving Johnson irrelevant for much of his time on the field.
Mullan gets denied by the flag
I love this for the sheer fact that Brian Mullan does not deserve to score a goal in our building. To me, this is a personal vendetta, and should be for all of us fans. If that goal gets scored, the game would have had a totally different feel for the second half, and possibly knocked the Sounders out of it before halftime.
Twice defender Zach Scott got wide open on set pieces for an attempt on net. The first one he missed just wide, the second one, he buried in the back of the net.
On both plays, Scott somehow eluded his marker, got space, and delivered two perfect headers without a single defender on him. The first time was a fluke I thought, but on the second, I was beginning to question how he was able to do it.
It’s one thing to rise above your defender to nail a cross with your head, but on two separate occasions, to be able to completely slip your mark to get wide open in the box is unseen in today’s game.
Kudos to you Zach Scott, and thanks for the game winner as well!
Flacco’s services were missed
With the game time decision of Alvaro Fernandez not going the way Sigi Schmid had wanted, he was forced to go with Alex Caskey in his place.
This substitution took Seattle out of their game early, leaving them in a sporadic mess for much of the game. But the biggest downfall of this substitution was Caskey’s inability to match Fernandez’s corner taking abilities.
This isn’t Caskey’s fault, I’m sure that in training Fernandez gets most of the reps, but to get the start at this level, you have to be able to pull off your job on a regular basis. Caskey did supply the corner that led to the goal, so I guess he redeemed himself a little.
Really until the goal came in the 65th minute, the Sounders were having a rough time getting bodies into the box. It seemed like every scoring chance they had leading up to the goal was a one man job.
There were plenty of opportunities to score, with Montero leading the way, but they were one and done scoring chances. No one else was up on the play to receive a pass, or even a rebound.
Overall this was probably the sloppiest I’ve seen the Sounders play all season. Yes we got the win, and yes I’m happy about the three points earned, but at the same time, I’m looking forward to the players returning from injury so I can watch my team play at the level I know they can play at.
Next up for the Sounders is the Chicago Fire on the 28th in Chicago, at 5:30 P.M. local time on KONG TV.
Full Match Highlights