United 0-0 Sounders
The Seattle Sounders battled to a nil-nil draw on Saturday night at RFK Stadium against the DC United. Though this was a scoreless affair, it was one of the most exciting back and forth games I have seen in a long time.
Battles were won and lost at just about every portion of the pitch. Sounders had ten plus fouls on the game, and two yellows were issued to United players.
Michael Gspurning kept a clean sheet for the second time this season, ruling over his box with an iron fist on this occasion.
He must have punched away at least seven balls coming from corners, and one from a long distance shot.
Schmid juggles lineup
With the loss coming last week at home, coach Sigi Schmid took a different approach to Saturday nights game in Washington. Three different starters were named, Roger Levesque, Jeff Parke, and Leo Gonzalez.
Parke and Gonzalez were wonderful additions to the starting eleven, as the defense looked as sharp as they have all season. Gang tackles, awareness of each other on clearances, and having that ability to know when to leave the ball for Gspurning.
Levesque seemed more like he was just trying to be on the field, than trying to actually make a difference out there. He was in the box for a couple chances, but the ball just didn’t find him.
It is becoming apparent that the Sounders are having a more difficult time than they would like to admit replacing the injured Mauro Rosales.
The Sounders came out of the tunnel ready to play Saturday night. Long gone was the misery of last weeks defeat, as well as the four goal outing United had against FC Dallas last week.
The Sounders went about their business of attacking early, and often. They were just unlucky, hitting the crossbar, missing wide, or just not connecting inside the box.
But their ability to forget the loss last week and come out and play the style of game they did, especially against an opponent with an explosive offense like DC has was remarkable. Sigi Schmid knows how to pump these guys up, and forget about the past.
This game had the pace of a hockey game for many minutes of it. Back and forth, up and down the field. Trading shots at each end of the pitch. This kind of football is very exciting to watch. Yes there were no goals, but to see that kind of attack/counter attack play is awesome.
Use of the field
The Sounders seemed to enjoy attacking through the middle of the field tonight, as opposed to their normal style of getting the ball wide.
Maybe this was the game plan that they rehearsed all week on the practice field, but the middle was not working today. The Sounders are a team that uses the full width of the pitch on attack, and they abandoned that Saturday night.
Could be that Schmid doesn’t have the confidence in Levesque to supply crosses, or maybe this is just another trick up his sleeve to keep the MLS guessing on which Sounders team will show up each week.
Regardless, it looked as if Fredy Montero, and David Estrada were out of place. It’s hard enough to score in this game as it is, and by attacking through the middle, you are almost taking your offense out of the game.
No pull trigger, no score goal
There were a few chances in tonight’s game that could have been put in the back of the net, but two come to mind for me when the attackers opted for the perfect pass, instead of taking aim at the net.
The first one was Alvaro Fernandez rushing down the flank. He only had the keeper to beat, and had plenty of room to the keepers left to aim at. But instead he took a chance, a very poor one at that, at connecting with a wide open Estrada sprinting into the box. The ball came off of Fernadez’s left foot awkwardly, and the chance was lost.
The second one was very late in the game when Levesque had the ball right at the corner of the penalty area. Once again, instead of taking the shot, he opted for a weak cross for Montero. The ball was headed away, and the scoring chance lost.
As a whole, I was pretty happy with the teams performance.
The defense was really good for the most part, and the chances the Sounders did make, just took some unfortunate bounces.
The Sounders will try for the win next Saturday against the Colorado Rapids. Game time is 1:00 local time, and can be seen on KONG.