I didn't give KC much chance going into last night's game in Seattle against the expansion Sounders, I just thought that Seattle on paper was too good. Seattle was good, but some mistakes by them allowed KC to take advantage and get a 1-0 away win against the previously undefeated and unscored on Sounders. From the start of the game, the Wizards surprisingly had the better of possession and were able to control the tempo of the game. KC didn't really test Kasey Keller that much in net, but they looked threatening. The best early chance fell to Claudio Lopez, who got in behind the Sounders defense but his shot was right at Keller.
The game took a big turn in the 29th minute. Herculez Gomez was sprung behind Seattle's defense. Keller came off his line to challenge Gomez. Keller slide on the turf like you see a keeper slide out in the box to stop a shot. The one problem was that Keller was not in the box. Gomez tried to chip Keller, but Keller blocked the chip with his hands. There little that Abby Okulaja could do about the call, giving Keller a straight red. Into the game came Ben Dragavon, technically the Sounders third string keeper. KC was unable to really truly test the inexperienced Dragavon through the rest of the first half.
In the second half, Sounders coach Sigi Schmid was able to get his players playing better with a man disadvantage. For long stretches of the second half KC was out played and at times looked like they were the man down instead of Seattle. Seattle pushed and had some good chances, with Matt Besler clearing a goal bound shot away after a crazy sequence. Kevin Hartman also played his part, controlling his box and anything in the air that came near him. As the half wore on, KC started to control the game a bit more and finally truly tested Dragavon. In the 80th minute, though, Dragavon could do little to stop Davy Arnaud's shot. Arnaud from about 28 yards out let fly with another rocket that Dragavon got a hand to, but it bounced into the net giving KC a 1-0 win. After the goal, KC defended well to hold the lead and became the first team to take points off of Seattle.
Wizards Man of the Match - Kevin Hartman - It was a tough choice for me between Hartman and Arnaud, but I'm going with Hartman. He was strong and controlling in his box, claimed or punched every ball he came to get. A strong performance from the KC number 1.
Player Ratings - Hartman 8, Watson 6, Conrad 7, Hohlbein 6, Besler 7, Jewsbury 6, Gomez 6, Hirsig 6, Wolff 4, Lopez 6, Arnaud 8 SUBS: Kraus 5, Harrington 6, Espinoza NR