Thursday, May 09, 2013

Sounders Curse

For the fourth time since 2010, Sporting Kansas City has given up a late goal that has cost them a result of some kind against the Seattle Sounders.  A goal in the 94th minute by Djimi Traore gave the Sounders a 1-0 win at Sporting Park, keeping Seattle unbeaten in Kansas City since the Sounders came into the league.

Sporting KC made a few changes to their starting lineup from the last game, with Josh Gardner getting his first start of the season, CJ Sapong, Chance Myers and Benny Feilhaber returning to the starting lineup and Claudio Bieler found himself out of the starting 11 for the first time. Inside the first minute KC had a chance to grab the lead as Jacob Peterson grabbed a loose ball and fired a shot, but it was right at Michael Gspurning.  Chances were really hard to come by, but Kansas City was the one controlling the play in the first half.  In the 13th minute, Peterson Joseph curled a shot wide of the post after a short corner combination with Graham Zusi and Benny Feilhaber. In the 22nd Seattle arguably should have had a penalty called in their favor as a long throw from Zach Scott bounced on the ground and hit the outstretched arm of Ike Opara, no call was made though. The best chance of the first half probably fell to Seattle in the 28th minute as Mario Martinez curled a free kick around the wall but right at Jimmy Nielsen. KC's best chance fell to Myers in the 43rd as a header was knocked into his path just outside the box.  The defender fired a shot that curled around a defender, but again was right as Gspurning, who even though he saw it late, made the save comfortably.

The second half saw Seattle change their tactics and started to control the game.  Kansas City's possession and chances disappeared as Seattle controlled the play.  While possession switched, the chances for the Sounders didn't really improve.  The second half moved along slowly with each side creating their own half chances but neither really creating many clear cut chances. As stoppage time rolled around the Sounders were pushing the game keeping KC pinned in their own end.  A long throw back Scott deep in KC's end was flicked into the middle of the box.  Aurelien Collin completely whiffed on his attempted clearance and the ball fell to Traore who let the ball bounce off his stomach and fired the ball past Nielsen who was looking for a hand ball call that was never coming. And for the second time at Sporting Park in it's history the Sounders crushed KC's hopes late.

Wizards Man of the Match - Benny Feilhaber
- Not that Feilhaber played a great game, really no one did tonight, but of the performances tonight, he was one of the better ones.  In the first half he did well combining with Peterson Joseph.  And more so it was his absence and how much more the midfield seemed to get overrun after Feilhaber's exit in the 66th minute.

Player Ratings: Nielsen 4, Garnder 5, Collin 4, Opara 4, Myers 5, Rosell 4, Joseph 5, Feilhaber 5, Zusi 4, Sapong 4, Peterson 4. Subs Bieler 4, Kamara 4, Sinovic 4.

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