Sporting 1 – 1 Sounders
Well the Sounders got back into the point column Wednesday night against Sporting Kansas City at the XBOX pitch, but the winless streak continues. It is now at six games.
The best news of the match came prior to the opening kick, as the Sounders placed fan favorite Steve Zakuani back onto the first team squad for the first time in 18 months.
Though he didn’t see any time, it was still great to see him with that fabulous smile on his face on the bench.
This was game was the definition of wide open. Scoring chances were to be had at both ends of the pitch, by both teams throughout the entire game.
The Sounders were trying their best to catch the Sporting defense asleep the entire match with long passes to Eddie Johnson, but they just couldn’t keep themselves synced up and onside.
A beautiful volley by Patrick Ianni brought the game level after the Sounders went down early on a deflected ball in on net in the 7th minute.
The use of Ianni
With the one game match ban being served by Jhon Kennedy Hurtado Wednesday for his red card against Montreal on Saturday, Sigi Schmid went to his old standby Patrick Ianni for the start.
Ianni didn’t disappoint either. With a ball coming in off of a free kick right outside the box off the foot of Mauro Rosales, Ianni knocked home the equalizer on a sliding volley that he had to reposition himself for mid flight.
This ball was a laser too! There was no getting to it by the keeper, or any of the Sporting defenders. What a way to tie up the match.
Mauro in the middle
A little shakeup of things was in order after the embarrassing loss in Montreal over the weekend. One of the moves Sigi Schmid made was swapping Mauro Rosales with Brad Evans on the field.
Evans got to go wide, and Rosales played center attacking mid, a place that he looked extremely comfortable at too.
Could be that with the illness of Alvaro Fernandez, Sigi wanted to try Evans out wide for a change, while keeping the ever dangerous Alex Caskey on the pitch at the same time.
The move seemed to work great, as the chances were piling up for the Sounders for the first 45.
The great American Hero
Oh say can you see? The Magnificent Osvaldo Alonso was back in mid tonight for the Sounders, and boy did it make a difference. Alonso was ruthless out there, making up for the last two games missed.
During his time off, he did manage to make himself legal, becoming a full blown American citizen now, instead of a Cuban defector. Regardless of his nationality, Sounders fans were elated to see him back in the Rave Green on Wednesday night!
Set piece defending
Once again it was the defending that was the downfall of the Sounders. Especially on the set pieces.
Whether it was from corners, long throws, or free kicks, the Sounders defense looked more like a Foosball defense, than the well oiled defensive unit they are supposed to be.
Goal keeper Andrew Weber bailed us out a time or two with some truly special saves, one coming off of the head of his own player Eddie Johson.
I think that Weber showed what Sigi was wanting to see out of him though, I expect him to be in net Saturday night against the Timbers.
Flacco with the take down
After coming into the game finally with about 10 minutes to go, Alvaro Fernandez was the winner of the bone head play of the game for the Sounders.
Two weeks in a row the Sounders were awarded straight red cards. Tonight’s incident was actually deserved though.
Fernandez was retaliating from a non call on him, and as soon as he was on his feet, he took off for the Sporting player and went right for his ankles. A poor challenge from a great player.
So Portland upcoming this Saturday. Game is nationally televised on ESPN.
It is nice to see the rivalry get some love, but you know the commentators are going to be talking about how great the Portland crowd is, so we need a win!!!
I’m sure the ECS has us covered with their traveling crew going to the game. I know we will be well supported as always.