Sunday, May 24, 2015

KC Escape Seattle with a Point

It certainly wasn't pretty, and at times it was down right ugly, but for just the third time in the regular season, Sporting KC picked up points against the Seattle Sounders. With another undermanned line up that saw KC forced to scratch Dom Dwyer during warm ups due to a neck injury KC played an ugly, but walked out of Century Link Field with a point. Joining Dwyer on the bench from Wednesday's game was Paulo Nagamura who was replaced by Servando Carrasco, although Graham Zusi made the bench and came on as KC's third substitute of the game. It wasn't all good for KC though as they suffered another injury they didn't need as Jacob Peterson left with a hamstring injury in the second half.

Seattle came out and controlled the game from the start, but an issue that plagued them all game was an ability to get shots on goal with all that possession. KC really looked to be the more dangerous of the two sides against the run of play. In the 9th minute off a Matt Besler long throw, KC almost grabbed the lead as the ball made it all the way to Krisztian Nemeth at the back post, but Nemeth seemed a little surprised the ball made it all the way through and didn't get enough power on his shot and it was easily collected by Stefan Frei.

While Seattle wasn't creating a lot of shots on target, Sporting KC goalkeeper Tim Melia was busy having to come off his line to catch, punch and collect crosses by the Sounders. In the 32nd on a cross into the box Melia got just enough on a cross to knock it away from the head of Chad Marshall and away from the area. Seattle recollected the ball on the opposite side of the field and the ball was crossed back in for Lamar Neagle who put his header of the post. As the half wore on Seattle got more and more of the possession, but they still couldn't put a shot on goal in the 36th minute, Brad Evans picked off a pass and raced the opposite direction leading a 4 on 3, but as he got closer to goal Evans fired a shot from about 30 yards out that missed the frame keeping the game scoreless. As the first half ended Seattle had 70% of the possession, much of the early part of it no where near the goal, but near the end of the half they had started to push the game more. Some more possession in the second half was going to be needed for KC to hold off Seattle's attack.

The second half saw Kansas City come out and get forward a bit more, while they still played a more defensive approach, they did get forward at times. In the 51st minute KC had another good opportunity to score after Amadou Dia did a good job of getting space against his defender before playing a cross into the box for Jacob Peterson, but his shot was right at Frei. KC kept trying to hit on the counter, with Jimmy Medranda firing a shot wide of goal. Seattle controlled play, but it took until the 82nd minute for them to record a shot on goal. After a free kick was partially cleared, the all was bicycle-kicked towards goal by Brad Evans. On its way through, Chad Barrett redirected the shot, but Melia was well positioned to make the save and keep the game scoreless. In stoppage time in the second half, Sporting almost Seattle'd Seattle as Feilhaber received the ball about 25 yards from goal, took a touch and fired a shot that was curling towards the far post. Frei though made a great save, knocking the ball over the bar to preserve the tie late for Seattle.

Wizards Man of the Match - Tim Melia - While he only had to make one save all night, Melia did a great job of controlling his area. He was decisive when coming off his line, did well when knowing when to catch and punch the ball. Was well positioned all night.

Honorable Mention - Kevin Ellis - Matt Besler

Player Ratings - Melia 8, Anibaba 7, Ellis 8, Besler 8, Dia 7, Mustivar 7, Carrasco 5, Feilhaber 5, Peterson 5, Nemeth 4, Medranda 5. Subs Hallisey 5, Abdul-Salaam 5, Zusi 6.

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