Friday, June 14, 2013

USA gets the W in front of a packed CenturyLink Field

By Money Mike

Over the past couple of years, all the U.S. soccer fans in Seattle have been asking hundreds of times when the U.S. men's national team will come to Seattle? Let alone for a match that actually counts, like the World Cup Qualifier. We didn't have to wait any longer as the U.S. made a stop in the Emerald City for their first World Cup Qualifying match in Seattle since 1976, and it was one to remember. On Tuesday, the United States defeated Panama 2-0 in front of a crowd of 40,847 at CenturyLink Field, the seventh largest crowd for a home World Cup Qualifier and the second largest crowd for a U.S. men's soccer match in the Pacific Northwest. Everyone inside the stadium (including myself) came in full voice all the way through the final whistle and the home field advantage paid off for the Americans as they now climb on top of the hexagonal group and their unbeaten streak at home in World Cup Qualifying play lives on. Just a memorable night all around for U.S. soccer.

The Americans had the first crack at goal in the third minute. Brad Evans, who more than likely appears to be a regular now for the USMNT, took the long throw in from the far side. His throw in was aimed towards fellow Seattle Sounder Eddie Johnson, but it was over his head and the ball bounced to Fabian Johnson for a left foot volley which sailed over the bar but not by much.

A couple minutes later, DaMarcus Beasley sent in a high lofted ball in the penalty area for EJ who whiffed on his attempted volley. Clint Dempsey stepped up and struck it first time but this one was high and wide by a mile but it was good to see the U.S. pouring pressure on early in the match.

The officiating in this match, as far as I'm concerned, was very poor. A lot of soft challenges have been called against us. Clint Dempsey's been getting clipped a lot in this game and the referee hasn't been calling them. I mean, for years we've been having to deal with shitty referees in MLS and none of them (except for maybe one and no I'm not talking about Ricardo Salazar) should be called in to officiate the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. As a matter of fact I don't know how one of the MLS officials were called in last year by FIFA to officiate the 2012 Men's Olympic Tournament in Great Britain. Of course everybody around the World knows that the officiating in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa was godawful. There was also some crappy officiating in the 2011 Women's World Cup in Germany, most notably the Quarterfinal between the U.S. and Brazil. And with the officiating we're getting in the qualifying stage, I'm starting to have a bad feeling that we're gonna have shitty referees in the 2014 World Cup.

In the 22nd minute, the U.S. probably would've been up had one of the players not gotten in the way. Fabian Johnson picked up the ball on the near side, cut to his right foot and curled the ball to the far post over the head of Clint Dempsey and it was poorly cleared by Carlos Rodriguez right to Michael Bradley to volleyed low and hard, but it hit Dempsey on the way and Panama dodge another bullet.

Speaking of poor officiating, in the 34th minute, the USA should've been awarded a PK. DaMarcus Beasley found Jozy Altidore, who spun around Ramon Torres and was clipped from behind and it looked like the referee pointed to the spot, but he said Torres got the ball and then a second later Altidore was whistled for a handball. Torres won the ball? Not from what I saw. Jozy Altidore spun around Torres, had him beat. Torres clipped him from behind, did not get the ball and the referee was in perfect position to see that. How is that not a penalty?

Enough talk about the refereeing in this game. Moving on to the 36th minute of play, the Stadium erupted as the U.S. drew first blood......

Panama thought they had an equalizer on the stroke of halftime. Marcos Sanchez, who was released by D.C. United not too long ago, slid the ball to the top of the box for Anibal Godoy who poked the ball into the box for Luis Tejada to tap it in, but the offside flag was up, which means the goal did not count. Correct decision as well, Tejada was definitely offside.

In the 53rd minute, Geoff Cameron got Eddie Johnson in behind with a good long ball and the Sounders striker did the rest......

In the 65th minute, USA had a chance to make it 3-0 and put this match in bed. Jozy Altidore worked a nice give-and-go with Clint Dempsey and gave it a crack from about 30 yards out (don't know exactly, I don't have a measuring stick) which was saved by the goalkeeper Jamie Penedo. Clint Dempsey tried to follow up with the rebound, but his chance skipped off the grass, over Penedo's head and off the crossbar.

In the 79th minute, the Americans were once again denied by the woodwork. Jozy Altidore slid the ball for DaMarcus Beasley who sprinted all the way from his left back position. Beasley took a touch and then just when everyone thought it was gonna go it, the ball instead hit the outside of the post.

Panama's only threat in the match came a minute and a half into second half stoppage time when Luis Tejada played a nice through ball to Rolando Blackburn, but U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard came out and cut down the angle. Other than that, Howard wasn't really tested much in this game as the U.S. climb to the top of the hexagonal group with a 2-0 win.


DaMarcus Beasley has started the last six matches at left back (including friendlies), but after picking up that yellow card late in the match, he will not be seen on the pitch next Tuesday for USA's match with Honduras at Rio Tinto Stadium in Salt Lake City. Now Jurgen Klinsmann has some tough decisions to make with that spot. He's got Graham Zusi returning from his suspension and he should get the start at right midfield for the match. But does he start Edgar Castillo at left back? Does he move Fabian Johnson to left back and move Eddie Johnson to left mid or even give Brad Davis the start at left midfield? Those are tough decisions for a coach to make, but Klinsmann knows what he's doing and he's the only one who has the answer to that question.

Again, a great turnout at CenturyLink Field by the fans. The seventh largest attendance in U.S. soccer history for a home qualifier. It was loud all night long and just great to be a part of it. My first ever international soccer match in person and it's one to remember. 100 years and counting for U.S. soccer and I just wonder what it's gonna look like in 2113? Of course that another 100 years from now, which is a long time.

Cobi Jones (right) is the all-time caps leader
in U.S. soccer history with 164.
You know, time was a little slow during the day. Probably the reason for that is because we've had to wait in line for about 40-45 minutes at FX McCrurys to get a table. This was before the game, so we didn't miss any action. And during that time, my mom went to the bar a couple of times to look for a table. In the first attempt, she wanted me go with her to help find a table (I'm allowed to go in the bar now since I am 21), and no surprise, we didn't find a table. So I told her that "we're never gonna find a table." Then she responded by saying, "it's about luck." And to be honest, that was the dumbest thing I ever heard. Because the truth was, we were never gonna find a table in the bar because the entire restaurant was packed with a lot of USA fans. So that killed a bit of our time, then a few minutes later I see Cobi Jones, one of the greatest if not the greatest U.S. soccer player of all-time, entering the building. For those of you that have never heard of Cobi Jones is, he has the most caps out of any U.S. soccer player in history (as said on my photo), he's won two MLS Cup titles with the Los Angeles Galaxy in 2002 and 2005, he's the all-time leader for the Galaxy in games played for them as well, he's been on three World Cup squads including 1994 when the U.S. were the host nation and he also led the Americans to a Gold Cup title in 2002. He was one of my favorite players growing up and I was just glad that I got a chance to meet him.

Overall, it was a great night. Again this was my first U.S. soccer match that I got to see in person and surely won't be my last and I hope that the USMNT will be back in Seattle soon. More importantly, they got a big World Cup Qualifying win which puts them a step closer to booking their ticket to Brazil.

Scoring summary:

United States - Jozy Altidore (Fabian Johnson) 36'

United States - Eddie Johnson (Geoff Cameron) 53'

Misconduct summary:

United States - Jozy Altidore (caution; foul) 56'

United States - Geoff Cameron (caution; foul) 69'

Panama - Marcos Sanchez (caution; dive)* 69'

United States - DaMarcus Beasley (caution; foul)^ 92'+

United States - Tim Howard (caution; time wasting) 93'+

* - Will miss Panama's next match on June 18th against Jamaica

^ - Will miss USA's next match on June 18th against Honduras


Panama - Jamie Penedo; Lionel Parris, Ramon Torres, Felipe Baloy, Carlos Rodriguez; Marcos Sanchez, Armando Cooper (Nelson Barahona 59'), Amilcar Henriquez (Gabriel Torres 78'), Alberto Quintero; Anibal Goboy (Rolando Blackburn 59'); Luis Tejada

United States - Tim Howard; Brad Evans, Omar Gonzalez, Matt Besler, DaMarcus Beasley; Eddie Johnson (Joe Corona 87'), Geoff Cameron, Michael Bradley, Fabian Johnson (Brad Davis 87'); Clint Dempsey; Jozy Altidore (Stuart Holden 91'+)

Hexagonal table:

1. United States; 3-1-1 (10 points), GF 6 GA 3 GD +3
2. Costa Rica; 2-1-2 (8 points), GF 5 GA 3 GD +2
3. Mexico; 1-0-5 (8 points), GF 3 GA 2 GD +1
4. Honduras; 2-2-1 (7 points), GF 6 GA 6 GD 0
5. Panama; 1-1-3 (6 points), GF 5 GA 5 GD 0
6. Jamaica; 0-4-2 (2 points), GF 2 GA 8 GD -6

Monday, June 10, 2013

Sounders comeback from a 2-1 deficit to defeat the Whitecaps 3-2 in front of over 53,000+

By Money Mike

The Seattle Sounders just continue to find ways to win. Last night, they came back from 2-1 to defeat their Cascadia rivals Vancouver Whitecaps 3-2 in front of a crowd of 53,679 at CenturyLink Field, including Alex Morgan, but I'll get to that part later. The Sounders with the win have gone from 0-3-2 (2 points) all the way up to 6-4-3 (21 points) and have moved up to fourth place in the standings. One point ahead of the LA Galaxy and the Colorado Rapids who are in a tie for fifth place, two points behind the Portland Timbers for third, six behind RSL for second and seven behind FC Dallas for first place. Everything has started to click for the Men in Rave Green and they will look to make sure it continues through the rest of the year as they make a run for the MLS Cup.

The Sounders started the match off brightly and in the 9th minute, the home side opened the scoring. Lamar Neagle saw that Whitecaps defender Johnny Leveron overcommitted and he played a perfectly timed through ball to Andy Rose. Rose had plenty of time to settle and slide the ball past goalkeeper Brad Knighton and into the far corner to put the Sounders ahead 1-0.

The lead last for just over a minute because in the 10th minute, Vancouver pulled one back. Lee Young-Pyo played a very good ball up over the top for Russell Teibert, who got in behind Leo Gonzalez and whipped in a very good cross to the far post and getting up and directing his header in the back of the net was Camilo for his fourth of the season and his third in his career against the Sounders. That's what happens when you celebrate a goal for too long. There's nothing that ticks me off more than the Sounders scoring and then a minute later, they get pegged back. I remember the first two Sounder games I've attended, the Sounders scored early in those two games and then they gave one up a minute later. But of course the Sounders went on to win both those games. And let's not forget the first meeting between the Sounders and the Whitecaps in MLS. You guys remember that game? The Sounders we're down 1-0 until the 81st minute when Mauro Rosales equalized with his first Sounders goal. Then two minutes later, Ozzie Alonso put the Rave Green ahead with a low drive from outside the area. But then a minute later Eric Hassli, who now plays for FC Dallas, pulled the Caps back on level terms with a stunning volley.

Seattle came close to retaking the lead a minute later. Lamar Neagle was found with a good long ball from Servando Carrasco. Neagle sprinted around Y.P. Lee to the byline and tried to sneak one into the far corner, but he just missed wide and as a matter of fact it nearly found the head of Obafemi Martins whose momentum sent him crashing into the goal, which is dangerous because your hands or your feet can get caught into the net. And speaking of that, Martins' right boot got tangled with the net for a few seconds.

In the 26th minute, Teibert and Camilo linked up again. This time off a set piece after some poor communication by the Sounders defense. Russell Teibert curled the ball to the far post and the Brazilian got on the end of it with a diving header and there was no way Michael Gspurning was gonna make the save on this one. When it came off the head of Camilo, I knew from that moment that we were down. This was all on the Sounders defense. Leonardo Gonzalez urged his team to step away, but then they drop so deep, Neagle didn't challenge for the ball and Camilo made them pay with his second of the game to make it 2-1 to the Whitecaps. Awful communication on the part of the Sounders. And I think this is the first home match I've seen where the Sounders strike first and then find themselves on the wrong end of the scoreboard later in the match.

Now on to the 53rd minute of the match where Vancouver more than likely should've made it 3-1. Camilo who was sitting on a hat-trick drove his free kick around the wall. Michael Gspurning got his hands to it and the ball fell nicely to Nigel Reo-Coker for him to put away the rebound but Gspurning somehow made the save with his right boot to keep the Sounders in this match. Probably one of the best saves I've ever seen from the Austrian, but at the same time, I don't know how Reo-Coker wasn't able to score.

Vancouver started to play with 9-10 players back behind the ball trying to defend their lead and they would lose it in the 70th minute after a stupid ass challenge in the box. Marc Burch, who came on in the 61st minute, curled the ball to the far post where Lamar Neagle and Whitecaps defender Greg Klazura were battling for possession. There was some pushing and shoving from both players, but Neagle brought the ball down and Klazura slid in from behind, a blatant foul in the box and referee Hilario Grajeda wasted no time blowing his whistle and pointing to the penalty spot. Just a clumsy challenge by Klazura, who was making his second MLS appearance in as many weeks (he made his pro debut last week) and so far he's been sucking. Last week, he scored in own goal against the Red Bulls and then in this match, he commits a foul in the box. Servando Carrasco stepped to take the penalty for the Sounders and powered it in the top left corner to level things up at two goals a piece. Now as I said, Alex Morgan was in attendance to see her boyfriend play. Allie Long, who is Morgan's club teammate with the Portland Thorns in the new NWSL (I don't really follow that to be honest with you people), was at the match as well and she actually video taped Morgan's reaction to her boyfriend's PK. Check it out right here. It's pretty freakin' hilarious.

Great shot of Lamar Neagle's game-winning goal
In the 81st minute, the Sounders climb back ahead. Andy Rose fed Obafemi Martins with a nice through ball. Martins let the ball roll in front of him before sliding the ball across to Lamar Neagle who taps it in for his fourth goal of the season, and that goal also turned out to be the game winner. I'm starting to love that EJ trade that they made back on February of 2012 even more. He spends the 2012 season with the Montreal Impact. He comes back in 2013, head coach Sigi Schmid starts playing him up top and all Neagle has done was show his home town crowd and all of MLS what he's really made of. He said he came back a better player and a lot smarter. He's proved that so far, four goals and three assists. It's gonna be interesting to see what Sigi will do when Johnson re-joins the club in Salt Lake, but the attack looks 10 times better than before with Eddie Johnson, Obafemi Martins and of course Lamar Neagle.

Scoring summary:

Seattle Sounders FC - Andy Rose 1 (Lamar Neagle 3) 9'

Vancouver Whitecaps FC - Camilo Sanvezzo 4 (Russell Teibert 2, Lee Young-Pyo 2) 10'

Vancouver Whitecaps FC - Camilo Sanvezzo 5 (Russell Teibert 3) 26'

Seattle Sounders FC - Servando Carrasco 1 (penalty kick) 70'

Seattle Sounders FC - Lamar Neagle 4 (Obafemi Martins 1, Andy Rose 1) 81'

Misconduct summary:

Seattle Sounders FC - Andy Rose (caution; foul) 56'

Vancouver Whitecaps FC - Jordan Harvey (caution; foul) 86'


Vancouver Whitecaps FC - Brad Knighton; Lee Young-Pyo, Andy O'Brien (Greg Klazura 62'), Johnny Leveron, Jordan Harvey; Nigel Reo-Coker, Jun Marques Davidson (Kekuta Manneh 83'), Matt Watson (Daigo Kobayashi 89'); Russell Teibert, Camilo, Kenny Miller

Seattle Sounders FC - Michael Gspurning; DeAndre Yedlin, Zach Scott, Djimi Traore, Leonardo Gonzalez; Mauro Rosales (David Estrada 89'), Andy Rose, Servando Carrasco, Alex Caskey (Marc Burch 61'); Lamar Neagle, Obafemi Martins

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Brad Evans' late winner rescues all three points for the United States

By Money Mike

With just under two minutes to go plus stoppage time, it appeared that Jamaica was on route to its third straight World Cup Qualifying defeat and the U.S. were on its way to its first ever World Cup Qualifying win in Kingston (believe it or not). But after the Reggae Boyz equalized late in the match, it appeared the Americans were gonna walk away with a disappointing result going into the match against Panama on June 11th, which of course will take place here in Seattle. But an unlikely hero stepped up in stoppage time. Brad Evans, who was making his second straight start at Right Back for the U.S., came through with one of the biggest goals of his career as he scored the game winner to salvage all three points for the U.S. in a 2-1 victory of Jamaica. The American are now sitting in a three way tie for first place with Mexico and Costa in the Hexagonal table with seven points. Costa Rica is currently sitting on top of the group with a +2 goal difference while the U.S. sits in second by virtue of goals scored. Again the top three teams will automatically qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. While the fourth-placed team will face New Zealand (winner of the Oceania qualifier) in a home and away playoff for one of the final spots in the World Cup.

USA came out attacking right from the start and they should've been 1-nil up in the 2nd minute. Graham Zusi's cross sailed over the head of Clint Dempsey, but it was cleared poorly by Alvas Powell. Jermaine Jones stepped up and hit it first time and it hit his own teammate and fell to Michael Bradley who his it on the half volley, right on the sweet spot, had goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts beat but it comes off the post and Jamaica dodge an early bullet.

Two minutes later, Jermaine Jones played a good long diagonal ball to Fabian Johnson on the near side. Johnson cut inside of Power and got the shot away before one of the Reggae Boyz had any chance to slide in and break up the play, but Donovan Ricketts got down and made the save.

Now we're gonna fast forward to the 30th minute, when the United States continued to press and this time would make it count. Graham Zusi got around O'Brian Woodbine and whipped in a very good driven ball into the six-yard area where he had two blue shirts and getting on the end of it, unmarked was Jozy Altidore with a snap header to put the U.S. ahead 1-0 in Kingston. It was Jozy's 15th international goal and his second in as many caps after only recording one goal in the Klinsmann era, which of course came from the penalty spot in USA's 3-2 win over Slovenia back on November 15, 2011.

In the 38th minute, USA nearly got pegged back. Ryan Johnson lifted the ball over the head of Omar Gonzalez and found Rodolph Austin, who brought it down and tried to slot it inside the far corner with the outside of his foot, but the post saves the Americans. Shortly after, Jermaine Johnson had a go but he missed well wide of goal.

In the 49th minute, Jamaica continued to push for the equalizer. Jermaine Johnson cut inside of Fabian Johnson and drove one low and hard, but wide as well. Johnson's been causing a lot of havoc on the right hand side for Jamaica and made life really difficult for the U.S. even though they've dodged a lot of bullets from him. I think one of the big mistakes that Jamican coach Theodore Whitmore made was replacing 'Jermaine' Johnson with Theo Robinson in the 68th minute because they lost some creativity on the right hand side since that move.

In the 50th minute, nearly got burned with a long distance effort. Garath McCleary played the ball back to Rodolph Austin, who was given so much room to take a touch and crank from well outside and he didn't miss by much. Michael Bradley tried to close him down, but he was too late. That's why you can not give the opposition that much room, especially Austin because he really can hit em' from outside with a lot of power.

Moving on to the 89th minute, the Reggae Boyz came through with the equalizer. After Graham Zusi committed a foul in his own half, which also resulted in a yellow card, Rodolph Austin curled his free kick to the six yard area and found an unmarked Jermaine Beckford and all he needed to do was get a head to it and that's exactly what he did as he snapped it inside Tim Howard's left hand post and the U.S. appeared to have let two points slip away with a minute to go plus stoppage time. I don't know how the linesman didn't see it and obviously none of the U.S. players had their hands raised, protesting to the officials, but it looked like when the ball was chipped into the box, Beckford was in an offside position. But the linesman didn't see it, the goal stood and Jamaica leveled things up at 1-1. By the way, that yellow card on Zusi will keep him out of USA's next qualifying match on Tuesday against Panama.

In the second minute of stoppage time, just when you thought all was lost, Brad Evans stepped up and came through with a late winner. Michael Bradley played a short corner and got the return pass from Graham Zusi. Bradley cut to his left foot, slid the ball into the area for Evans and here's what happened.....

Big win for the U.S. in Kingston in the first of three qualifying matches in June. Many people believe the U.S. need to get seven points out of these three matches. So far they have three, now it's time to get ready for the Panama match on June 11th here in Seattle. And of course, I'm gonna be there....

Scoring summary:

United States - Jozy Altidore (Graham Zusi) 30'

Jamaica - Jermaine Beckford (Rodolph Austin) 89'

United States - Brad Evans (Michael Bradley) 92'+

Misconduct summary:

United States - Graham Zusi (caution; foul)* 89'

United States - Brad Evans (caution; excessive celebration) 91'+

* - Will miss USA's next match on June 11th against Panama


United States - Tim Howard; Brad Evans, Omar Gonzalez, Matt Besler, DaMarcus Beasley; Graham Zusi, Jermaine Jones (Geoff Cameron 59'), Michael Bradley, Fabian Johnson (Edgar Castillo 14'); Clint Dempsey, Jozy Altidore (Eddie Johnson 83')

Jamaica - Donovan Ricketts; Alvas Powell, Daniel Gordon, Adrian Mariappa, O'Brian Woodbine; Jermaine Johnson (Theo Robinson 68'), Rodolph Austin, Marvin Elliot, Jermaine Hue (Jermaine Beckford 70'), Garath McCleary (Omar Daley 75'); Ryan Johnson

Hexagonal table:

1. Costa Rica; 2-1-1 (7 points), GF 5 GA 3 GD +2
2. United States; 2-1-1 (7 points), GF 4 GA 3 GD +1
3. Mexico; 1-0-4 (7 points), GF 3 GA 2 GD +1
4. Panama; 1-0-3 (6 points), GF 5 GA 3 GD +2
5. Honduras; 1-2-1 (4 points), GF 4 GA 6 GD -2
6. Jamaica; 0-3-2 (2 points), GF 2 GA 6 GD -4

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

2013 NBA Finals preview + predictions

By Kshell

This NBA Finals is probably the most anticipated NBA Finals we have seen since Magic Johnson and his Los Angeles Lakers took on Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls in the 1991 NBA Finals. This match up is so intriguing because it appears to be two eras clashing against each other. You have the San Antonio Spurs who are going to their fifth NBA finals who represent the old dynasty. Their face of the franchise is Tim Duncan who was the #1 pick in the NBA back in 1997. The Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich is 64 years old. The Miami Heat on the other hand are the team that is seen as the next dynasty led by their face Lebron James who is only 28 years and just won his fourth MVP in five seasons. Their head coach is Erik Spoelstra who is only 42 years old. In fact the age difference in the coaches is the largest in NBA finals history. This series is intriguing also because these are the two best teams in the NBA and demonstrated all season long they were the best teams. This series also features four NBA Finals MVP's in Lebron James, Dwyane Wade, Tim Duncan and Tony Parker. This finals also has future hall of famers Chris Bosh, Manu Ginobili and Ray Allen. This series has the star power element to it. In this following post I'll preview this finals and offer up my prediction.

1. Which star player is going to increase his legacy this series with a championship performance?

The last time we saw Tim Duncan in the NBA Finals was in 2007 when he swept the 22 year old rising star Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Tim Duncan after that sweep told James after the game this league will be his and thanked him for letting him get one last championship. For Duncan it took him six more years to go back to the NBA Finals. For James he had to wait five more years before winning his first title. Both players if they retired today would be in the top 10 all-time in NBA history for greatest players to have ever lived. If Duncan can win his fifth NBA title in a span of 14 years he could rise in the top 5. Duncan also saves his best for the NBA Finals as he is a three-time NBA Finals MVP. In 22 career NBA Finals games Duncan is 16-6 and has been a monster in those finals. He is averaging 22.7 PPG, 14.4 RPG, 3.4 APG and 3.04 blocks per game. In the 2003 NBA Finals win over the New Jersey Nets Duncan in six games averaged 24.1 PPG, 17.0 RPG, 5.3 APG and 5.3 blocks per game. That might be the greatest performance in NBA Finals History.

Lebron James has had a mixed bag for the NBA Finals so far in his career. In 2007 when he was swept by Duncan and the Spurs he only averaged 22.0 PPG, 7.0 RPG and 6.8 APG. He also shot 35.6% from the field which was very un Lebron like. In 2011 against Dallas was Lebron's low point of his career where only averaged 17.8 PPG, 7.2 RPG and 6.8 APG as he was only the teams' third leading scorer. That all changed for James last year when he was NBA Finals MVP against the Zombie Sonics. He averaged 28.6 PPG, 10.2 RPG and 7.4 APG which were all NBA Finals career highs. This postseason James is playing great once again averaging 26.2 PPG, 7.3 RPG and 6.4 APG. His stats don't tell the whole story as he rested a lot in the first round sweep of the Milwaukee Bucks. At the end of this series one of these two guys are going to greatly improve their legacy. I expect both players to have huge series as I don't see either team stopping Duncan who made NBA First Team at the age of 37 years old or Lebron James who is in his prime.

2. Whichever struggling star rises up this series their team wins the title:

I'm sure everyone has heard about the struggles of Miami Heat superstar Dwyane Wade by now but the Spurs are waiting for their key player Manu Ginobili to step up this series. For Ginobili and Wade this will be their fourth NBA Finals trip and neither team will win the title if they continue to struggle. Ginobili this postseason has been pretty bad averaging only 11.5 PPG, 4.5 RPG and 5.4 APG while shooting only 38.3% from the field.

For Wade he has also been dreadful this postseason averaging only 14.1 PPG, 4.9 RPG and 4.9 APG while shooting only 44.7% from the field. He was especially bad against the Indiana Pacers until game 7 when he scored 21 points his first 20 point outing since game two of the first round. Wade does tend to play his best in the NBA Finals though. In 17 career Finals games Wade is averaging 28.2 PPG, 7.0 RPG, 4.7 APG, 1.88 steals and 1.23 blocks which is pretty impressive. In the 2006 NBA Finals he was Finals MVP as he averaged 34.7 PPG, 7.8 RPG, 3.8 APG, 2.7 steals per game and 1.0 blocks per game. If Wade plays like he is capable the Heat should win the series. However given he is 31 years old and breaking down who knows what the Heat will get from Wade?

The same could be said for Ginobili who hasn't scored in double figures in four of his last five postseason games. Ginobili is going be 36 this summer and a big part of the reason why the Spurs haven't reached the NBA Finals since 2007. He hasn't been healthy since then. In the Finals he has played well in the past in 2007 he averaged 17.8 PPG, 5.8 RPG and 2.5 APG. In 2005 he averaged 18.7 PPG, 5.9 RPG and 4.0 APG. In 2003 he was more of a role player back then but he was a huge part of the last two championship teams. If the Spurs can get Ginobili to return to what he's capable of they'll win the title.

I feel like this is the series right here. I know James, Parker and Duncan will play well. If Wade can play like Wade the Heat have the advantage but if Wade struggles the Spurs have the slight edge. If Ginobili can give the Spurs something they've been missing from him this whole postseason they could very well win the title.

3. Will Tony Parker claim title of NBA's best point and have a similar performance like his NBA Finals MVP performance in 2007? 

I remember when Parker was in his first NBA Finals in 2003 the sub plot was the Spurs were going to get rid of him and sign the man he was going up against Jason Kidd. Now Parker might be the NBA's best point guard(It's him or Chris Paul). Parker is having a great playoffs so far as this has been his team since 2011 when the Spurs went from being an old aging dynasty to rejuvenated. Parker this postseason is averaging 23.0 PPG, 7.2 APG and 3.9 RPG. In the Western Conference Finals sweep vs the Memphis Grizzlies Parker averaged 24.5 PPG, 9.5 APG and 3.5 RPG. He shot a ridiculous 26-43(60.4%) from the field in the games final two games.

This is nothing new for Parker on the big stage as he has 17 NBA Finals starts under his belt. He was the NBA Finals MVP against Lebron James in the 2007 NBA Finals. He averaged 24.5 PPG, 5.0 RPG and 3.3 APG while shooting 56.8% from the field and 57.1% from three pointers that series. Parker is a five-time all-star and has made second team all-NBA the last two seasons. Another strong Finals this year for Parker would put him as the best point guard in the game right now. Also historically he would be the starting point guard on four title teams. Three of those teams he'd been the best player or second best player on the team. Parker has to come up huge for the Spurs to have a chance and most likely will be having Lebron James cover him in the fourth quarter.

4. Will Chris Bosh make an appearance this Finals after no showing in the ECF? 

Chris Bosh has struggled this postseason and especially in the last four games. These playoffs he is only averaging 12.3 PPG and 6.6 RPG. In the last four games Bosh is averaging only 7.0 PPG and 5.0 RPG. He is shooting 8-34(23.5%) in that four game stretch as well. Roy Hibbert completely took Bosh out of the series with his height and physicality. Bosh was over matched and lost his confidence. However, he is facing a team that he's done well against this year in their two meetings. Bosh averaged 20.5 PPG and 10.5 RPG against the Spurs while shooting 58.6% from the field. Bosh also had a memorable moment this year against the Spurs. The Heat were playing without Lebron James, Dwyane Wade and Mario Chalmers at San Antonio in late March. The Heat somehow were only trailing by one point when Chris Bosh hit the game winning three pointer . I don't think the Spurs are as physical as the Pacers are so Bosh should be in his comfort zone.

Bosh has played well in the last two NBA Finals as well. In the 2011 NBA Finals loss Bosh actually out scored Lebron as he averaged 18.5 PPG and led the team in rebounds with 7.3 per game. Last year in the Finals he was coming off an injury and played well again averaging 14.6 PPG and 9.4 RPG. In the clinching game Bosh scored 24 points and had 7 rebounds as he shot 9-14(64.3%) from the field. The Heat obviously can't win the title if Bosh provides them nothing. Bosh has to step up and I think in this match up he should do much better.

Prediction: Heat win in six games

The Miami Heat are the best team in the NBA, have home court advantage, have the best player in the game while in his prime and also haven't lost back to back games since January. This postseason when the Heat do lose a game they respond by beating their opponent by an average of 22.6 points per game. I think they have been playing around with their opponents like last years postseason saw. Last year the aging Boston Celtics pushed the Heat to elimination before the Heat won in seven. Then everyone doubted them against the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Heat won in five games in what was their easiest series of the playoffs since the first round.

I expect the Spurs to get a split in Miami and I think this series will be tied at two games a piece. Unlike in 2011 I think the Heat win the pivotal game five on the road then come back home to celebrate. The Heat are in the Finals despite Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and Ray Allen all underachieving. Those players are all due to break out and if they just break out even slightly you see what can happen . This is James league now and Duncan prophecy will come true. This is now James league and Duncan was fortunate to go up against James when he was 22 years old. Like James said recently he is 50 times better than he was then. He's won two gold medals, four NBA MVP's and a championship since that time. Teams who have reached the NBA Finals for the third straight year have won the last five times(1990 Detroit Pistons, 1993 Chicago Bulls, 1998 Chicago Bulls, 2002 Los Angeles Lakers, and 2010 Los Angeles Lakers). Just like in 1991 the new up and coming dynasty is going to take out the old dynasty.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Sounders defeat FC Dallas 4-2; Extend unbeaten streak to six

By Money Mike

The Seattle Sounders hot streak continues. On Saturday night, the Rave Green came way with their third straight win as they defeated the Western Conference leaders FC Dallas 4-2 to extend their unbeaten streak to six games. The Sounders had a 2-0 lead at halftime, but Dallas came back with two quick goals early in the second half to level the match up at two goals a piece only for the Sounders to come away with two more unanswered goals and the three points. The Sounders will have a chance at extending their unbeaten run to seven games as they travel to the Home Depot Center for a Western Conference Finals rematch against the two-time MLS Cup Champion Los Angeles Galaxy. LA is coming off a 1-0 road loss to the New York Red Bulls and have struggled a bit as of late, losing three out of their last four games. The game will take place this Sunday at 8pm on ESPN2.

With just over a quarter of an hour gone by in the match, the Sounders opened the scoring. After FC Dallas keeper Raul Fernandez cleared the ball to midfield, Ozzie Alonso headed it back into the Dallas area where Eddie Johnson was in a race with defender London Woodberry. The rookie makes a mistake by trying to reach out with his right foot for the ball and EJ makes him pay as he brings it down with his chest and puts it away with the outside of his right foot and the Sounders pick up where they left off against the Earthquakes. Scoring goals. It was Johnson's third MLS goal of the season (fourth in all competitions) and first against his former club. Woodberry had a torrid evening as the Sounders offense took him to school.

EJ nearly had a second five minutes later. Mario Martinez's outswinger from the far touchline found Johnson who outjumped Matt Hedges but couldn't direct his header on target.

In the 27th minute, Seattle had another big chance to double their lead. Mario Martinez found Brad Evans in behind the defense and as he approached the 6 yard area, he hesitated at the last second, deciding whether or not to slide the ball across to Lamar Neagle and that gave Raul Fernandez time to position himself and make the save. Evans appeared to have been offside on the pass from Martinez, but at the same time, Evans was in position to slot the ball inside the far corner with his left foot.

Evans was involved in another scoring chance for the Sounders in the 30th minute. This time, a through ball to Lamar Neagle did the trick. Neagle was fed with a perfectly timed through ball as he beat the offside trap, only had the keeper to beat, dribbles the ball around him and puts the ball inside the empty net before London Woodberry could have any chance of sliding in and breaking up the play. There was no doubt in this play, Neagle was definitely onside. Zach Loyd, the last defender, kept him on. But the question is, why the hell is Dallas trying to push all the way up and trying to play the offside trap? This time the Sounders made them pay. That was Neagle's third goal in two games and the Sounders doubled their lead.

Just shortly after, the Sounders suffered a big blow as Ozzie Alonso was forced to leave the game with in injury. Last I heard, it was a left adductor strain, but no further information as of right now. I just hope he'll be back soon.

Just over 10 minutes later, the Sounders came real close to making it three. Michael Gpsurning gathered the ball quickly threw the ball out to Mario Martinez to set Seattle on the counter. Martinez cut inside and slid the ball trough to Brad Evans for a first timed shot, but it hit the side of the net. Many thought it was in. As a matter of fact, I've seen those plays result in goals more times than not.

Seconds later, Dallas had a golden opportunity to cut the lead in half. Zach Loyd made an overlapping run and was found by Jackson. Loyd had plenty of time to take a touch and whip the ball to the near post for Blas Perez who looked to direct his header inside Michael Gpsurning's right hand post and ends up hitting the post, then off Gspurning's left hand and the rebound by Eric Hassli was saved off Gspurning's left thigh. Had Gpsurning not got a left hand to the ball, I think Kenny Cooper would've had an easy rebound.

In the 54th minute, Dallas this time were able to pull one back. The visitors look more dangerous on set pieces this year then they did last year. Mainly because of the quality that Brazilian midfielder Michel on his delivery and he showed that in this game as he curled the ball into the area for a free header from former Portland Timber forward Kenny Cooper who didn't even need to jump. All he needed to do was direct the ball on target and that's what he did and Dallas cut the Sounders lead to one.

Seattle continued to attack though and in the 59th minute, they were an inch away from making it 3-1. Mario Martinez played in another great through ball in the box, this time to Eddie Johnson who was denied a second goal by Raul Fernandez. Lamar Neagle came crashing in looking to head in the rebound but was denied with a heroic goaline stop by London Woodberry to keep it a 2-1 game. That was pretty much the only highlight of this match for Woodberry who as I mentioned earlier, had a rough night in the office.

Two minutes later, the Hoops level the match up on what is a rare feat in soccer. They call it an Olimpico Goal. I did mention the quality that Michel has on set pieces and his inswinger from the near hashmark goes directly into the far corner without touching anybody and the Sounders quickly see their two goal lead slip away with just under a half an hour to go in the match. This isn't the first time Michael Gspurning was on the back end of a Gol Olimpico. Marco Pappa scored one direct off a corner in Seattle's visit to Chicago last season. Again, Olimpico Goals are very rare, although we've seen quite a few in MLS these last couple of years. David Beckham did it a couple years ago when he was still playing for the LA Galaxy. Thierry Henry scored one direct off a corner kick last year. I already mentioned Marco Pappa. And now Michel against the Seattle Sounders.

Now I'm actually going to show you the goal...... mainly because a lot of you don't know what an Olimpico Goal is, so this video should give you an idea.

However, the match was level for only a minute because in the 62nd minute, the Men in Rave Green came right back and got their third. FC Dallas have been sloppy all night in their passing game, struggling to get the ball out of their area and once again they paid the price. Shalrie Joseph fed Lamar Neagle who turned and slid the ball through to Eddie Johnson and EJ made no mistake this time as he dribbled around Raul Fernandez and went Upper-V (which means he struck it inside the top corner of the net) for his second of the game and the Sounders just like that climb back ahead and take a 3-2 lead. This looked like a similar play where Brad Evans missed wide off a through ball from Martinez back in the first half and EJ getting denied in the second half. But this time EJ see that Fernandez is coming off his line to cut down the angle and he dribbles around him and puts it away.

In the 72nd minute, blood was drawn and the outcome was a controversial red card decision. Blas Perez and Leo Gonzalez were both going up for the ball and Perez ends up catching Gonzalez with an elbow, unintentionally though. When they showed the replay, it looked like a dangerous play and that MLS was going to review it during midweek and see if it worthy of a suspension, but when it got back to live action, referee Mark Geiger (who we've have problems with the last few times he officiated matches involving the Sounders) reached for his back pocket and pulled out the red card after a discussion with the fourth official. You see plays like this every time where players accidentally get elbowed while going up in the air for the ball and no red cards were handed out on those plays, so I think the only reason a red card was given is because Gonzalez's face was covered in blood.

In the 83rd the Sounders would get another goal to cap off another big victory. Lamar Neagle whipped in a brilliant left footed cross for Eddie Johnson to headed the ball straight at Raul Fernandez. The ball fell to Brad Evans who slid the ball to the middle for Obafemi Martins to slide it home for his third goal of the season and more importantly, to seal the Sounders third straight win as they defeat FC Dallas 4-2. The Sounders are unbeaten in their last six matches since starting the year 0-3-1 and most people would begin to think that they're a force to be force to be reckoned with up front with Eddie Johnson, Lamar Neagle and now Obafemi Martins.

Scoring summary:

Seattle Sounders FC - Eddie Johnson 3 (Osvaldo Alonso 1) 16'

Seattle Sounders FC - Lamar Neagle 3 (Brad Evans 1) 30'

FC Dallas - Kenny Cooper 3 (Michel 4) 54'

FC Dallas - Michel 1 (Unassisted) 61'

Seattle Sounders FC - Eddie Johnson 4 (Lamar Neagle 1) 62'

Seattle Sounders FC - Obafemi Martins 3 (Brad Evans 2) 83'

Misconduct summary:

FC Dallas - London Woodberry (caution; foul) 43'

FC Dallas - Blas Perez (ejection; violent conduct) 73'

Seattle Sounders FC - DeAndre Yedlin (caution; time wasting) 87'


FC Dallas - Raul Fernandez; Zach Loyd, Matt Hedges, London Woodberry (Walker Zimmerman 85'), Jair Benitez; Jackson, Michel, Je-Vaughn Watson; Eric Hassli, Blas Perez, Kenny Cooper (Fabian Castillo 64')

Seattle Sounders FC - Michael Gspurning; DeAndre Yedlin, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Djimi Traore, Leonardo Gonzalez (Zach Scott 78'); Brad Evans, Osvaldo Alonso (Shalrie Joseph 31'), Servando Carrasco, Mario Martinez (Obafemi Martins 63'); Eddie Johnson, Lamar Neagle

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Sounders crush the San Jose Earthquakes 4-0

By Money Mike

After a 2-0-1 road trip, the Seattle Sounders returned home looking to snatch a four game losing skid against the San Jose Earthquakes. And that's exactly what they did. Goals have been tough to come by for the Sounders in the early part of the season but on Saturday, the Men in Rave Green rediscovered their goalscoring touch as they put a four spot on the San Jose Earthquakes for their third win in their last four matches and also to extend their unbeaten run to five games. The Sounders remain at home next Saturday when they host the Western Conference leaders FC Dallas. Kickoff time for that match is at 7:30.

Sounders began testing the San Jose backline early on in the game. In the 9th minute, Lamar Neagle let the ball run through to Eddie Johnson who played it back to the Federal Way boy. Neagle took one touch and ripped one from a long way out, but the ball was always going wide.

Sounders should've had a goal in the 24th minute. Eddie Johnson found Brad Evans on the near side. Evans had Lamar Neagle making a run in the box as well as Mauro Rosales and whipped in a low left foot cross to the far post for Rosales who should've headed the ball in, but it looked like he timed his header a little to early and the ball came off the side of his head and didn't find the target.

In the 28th minute, the Sounders opened the scoring as they would catch the Quakes on the break. After some sloppy passing from Sam Cronin and Ramiro Corrales, Mauro Rosales poked the ball to Brad Evans who quickly played the ball out wide for Eddie Johnson. EJ slowed up for a second as he waited for support before taking on Justin Morrow. Johnson then chipped the ball into the box to Rosales who chested the ball to the top of the box for Lamar Neagle who catches it off the half volley and Jon Busch could do nothing but get a piece of the ball as it finds the back of the net for Neagle's first league goal in his third stint with the Sounders.

In the 37th minute, San Jose nearly pulled one back and probably should've pulled one back. Sam Cronin curled the ball to the far post for Ramiro Corrales who headed the ball back across to Alan Gordon for a free header and how he missed that opportunity, I don't know. Gordon was making his first start after missing the last four games. He was suspended three games for his homophobic slur which was directed at Portland Timbers midfielder Will Johnson during their match in Portland. He's the third player in the last two seasons to cross the line in that area. Colin Clark remember was suspended for his homophobic slur directed at one of the Sounders ball boys during the second match of the 2012 season between the Sounders and the Houston Dynamo and Marc Burch of course was also penalized for the same reason also believed to be directed at Will Johnson in the second leg of last years Western Conference semifinal between the Sounders and Real Salt Lake, and you can read more about that here. Anyway, missing games is no excuse for missing that opportunity. Gordon should've scored.

Just seconds into first half stoppage time, the Sounders doubled their lead. After a foul was conceded about 25 yards away from goal, now the question was who was going to take this one because this was Fredy Montero territory, but he's on loan in Colombia, you also have Mario Martinez who can take these, but he was on the bench to start the game. So it came down to, "is Mauro Rosales going to touch it for Ozzie Alonso?", "is he gonna look for one of the green shirts in the box?", "is he gonna go for goal himself?". Well, he went for goal himself and curled it in off the left post to put the Sounders up 2-0.

Moving on to the 54th minute, it was Lamar Neagle for the second time in this match. Servando Carrasco, who has really improved these past couple of week, fed Neagle with a high lofted ball. Neagle used his strength to bring the ball down in front of him, turn away from Justin Morrow and strike it low and hard in off the near post for his second of the game and the Sounders third.

And then in the final seconds of the game, Obafemi Martins comes on and gets in on the goal parade.....

The Sounders have quickly turned things around since their 0-3-1 start. They have won three of their last four matches, they're unbeaten in five and they're only a couple points out of playoff position with a couple games in hand. The Men in Rave Green have shown once again that they can comeback in a heartbeat.

Scoring summary:

Seattle Sounders FC - Lamar Neagle 1 (Mauro Rosales 3, Eddie Johnson 1) 28'

Seattle Sounders FC - Mauro Rosales 2 (Unassisted) 46'+

Seattle Sounders FC - Lamar Neagle 2 (Servando Carrasco 1) 54'

Seattle Sounders FC - Obafemi Martins 2 (Unassisted) 93'+

Misconduct summary:

San Jose Earthquakes - Rafael Baca (caution; foul) 45'

San Jose Earthquakes - Chris Wondolowski (caution; argument) 88'

Seattle Sounders FC - Eddie Johnson (caution; argument) 88'


San Jose Earthquakes - Jon Busch; Steven Beitashour, Victor Bernardez, Justin Morrow, Dan Gargan; Rafael Baca, Sam Cronin, Ramiro Corrales (Shea Salinas 64'), Walter Martinez; Alan Gordon (Marcus Tracy 65'), Chris Wondolowski

Seattle Sounders FC - Michael Gspurning; DeAndre Yedlin, Zach Scott, Djimi Traore, Leonardo Gonzalez; Mauro Rosales (Mario Martinez 62'), Osvaldo Alonso, Servando Carrasco, Brad Evans (Obafemi Martins 55'); Lamar Neagle (David Estrada 86'), Eddie Johnson

Friday, May 10, 2013

"NOT AGAIN": Yes again..... Sounders snatch one late against Sporting Kansas City

SKC left standing with their heads in their hands
after conceding yet another late goal to the Sounders.
By Money Mike

Coming off a 2-2 draw in Philly, the Seattle Sounders closed out their three game road trip in Kansas City. Many exports expected SKC to come away with an easy victory. The Sounders had other plans like eh, I don't know........ scoring another late goal. That's exactly what happened. It looked like the match was going to end scoreless, but deep into stoppage time, Sporting whiffed on an attempted clearance and Djimi Traore made them pay as he scored the winning goal to give the Sounders a 1-0 victory. After an 0-3-2 start, the Sounders have picked up 7 points during this road stretch and are starting to turn things around in this early part of the season. The Sounders return home for a Saturday afternoon match against the San Jose Earthquakes. The Rave Green have a major score to settle with them, having lost the last four meetings between the two.

In the opening seconds of the game, Michael Gspurning was immediately put to the test. Zach Scott failed to clear the ball out of his own half and Jacob Peterson looked to take advantage by hitting one inside the far post, but Gspurning got down, made the save and held on before C.J. Sapong had any chance at a rebound.

In the 13th minute, Sporting tried to catch the Sounders off guard. Peterson Joseph took the corner and rather than swinging the ball into the box, he elected to play it short to Josh Gardner who slid the ball through to Graham Zusi. The idea was right, but Zusi took a heavy touch which allowed Brad Evans to get a foot to it, but Peterson Joseph stepped up and tried a curling shot to the far corner, but he didn't quite get enough bend on it.

In the 22nd minute, Seattle Sounders should've had a penalty. Zach Scott took a long throw in from the near side. His throw in just missed the head of Brad Evans and bounced off the arm of Ike Opara right in front of the goal, but nothing was given. And why not? Opara raised his arm up, the ball bounced off his arm....... Can somebody explain to me how that is not a penalty? Seconds later, play was stopped after some yelling from the Sounders bench. Referee Geoff Gamble ran over to the bench and I thought he ejected one of the Sounders assistant coaches because one of them got up immediately and argued, but it just so happened that it was backup goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann who was dismissed. Now I've never seen anything like that before. Normally if a referee goes over to eject somebody, it would be one of the coaches, but a bench player? I've never seen that. Now for those of you who are confused with the rules regarding somebody getting sent off from the bench, it's just like a player getting a red card. They're ejected from the game and are suspended for the next game. The only difference here is that Seattle doesn't have to play with 10 men because the player sent off of course, was on the bench. Another thing to add to this is now Seattle doesn't have a backup goalkeeper for the match this Saturday against the Earthquakes. So it looks like they're gonna bring in Doug Herrick who's currently contracted by the MLS League-Wide Reserve Goalkeeper Pool, which means any team can bring him up for a game if needed. Some of you remember him from last season with the Sounders U23. There's also a guy by the name of Brad Stuver who is also contracted by the MLS reserve pool, but it's likely to be Doug Herrick who will be called into the squad as an emergency backup to Michael Gspurning for this Saturday. I think this is the third time that the Sounders have had to bring in a keeper from the reserve pool. First couple weeks of the 09' season, they had to bring in Ben Dragavon to the fold when Chris Eylander was banged up and he actually came on in a match against Kansas City after Kasey Keller was sent off. The other guy they brought in was Alex Horwath in 2010. That guy didn't make an appearance however.

Alright enough talk about the goalkeeper situation, let's move to the 26 minute. The Sounders hadn't created many opportunities in this game, but they had one here. Mario Martinez chipped the ball to Brad Evans from about 20 yards out. Evans chested the ball down and tried to volley it with his left foot, but it was a weak attempt and didn't look like it was gonna test Jimmy Nielsen had it been on target.

A minute later, Nielsen nearly got caught wrong footed. Mario Martinez took the free kick from outside the penalty area, well within his shooting range. He curled the ball low and around the wall and I thought it was going in but the ball wasn't hit far enough from the goalkeeper and Nielsen got down and made the save.

Now we're gonna fast forward all the way to the 80th minute. The Seattle backline has been put under a lot of pressure all game long. Graham Zusi tried to work a give and go with Claudio Bieler, but the pass was to far for him. However, the Sounders had some trouble clearing the ball away and the attack wasn't over. Chance Myers let the ball bounce to him before he can settle and whip in a long ball into the area looking for Kei Kamara (yes, he's back from his loan stint with Norwich City). Djimi Traore got a head to it, but right to Claudio Bieler who volleyed it well wide. I think that was their first shot attempt of the second half despite all the pressure they put on the Sounders back line.

A couple minutes later, Kei Kamara took on Leo Gonzalez from the near side and sent a low driven ball into the area where he had C.J. Sapong lurking, but his cross was too close to Michael Gspurning.

Now lets fast forward deep into stoppage time. Remember the stoppage time goal by Mike Fucito in 2010? Or the one by Jeff Parke in 2011? Hell, what about the two stoppage time goals by Mauro Rosales and Lamar Neagle later on in 2011 at Sporting Park? Well, in the final seconds of stoppage time (more time was added because of an injury delay), the Sounders burn them again. Zach Scott rather than throwing it long towards goal, he purposefully threw it short to Brad Evans who flicked the ball across and after Aurelien Collin whiffed on his attempted clearance which would've ended the game there, the ball bounced to Djimi Traore who turned and smashed it home and the Sounders steal one from Sporting Kansas City yet again. There were a few appeals that Traore touched it with his hand, but if the referee called handball on that play, then he should've called handball on Opara. Also, Traore didn't touch the ball with his hand, it bounced off his knee. So if any of you think that was a handball, you better go back and watch it over and over again. Nothing was called anyway, the goal stood and the Sounders win 1-0.

Scoring summary:

Seattle Sounders FC - Djimi Traore 1 (Unassisted) 94'+

Misconduct summary:

Seattle Sounders FC - Marcus Hahnemann (dismissed; dissent) 24'

Sporting Kansas City - Ike Opara (caution; foul) 45'

Sporting Kansas City - Aurelien Collin (caution; foul) 91'+


Seattle Sounders FC - Michael Gspurning; Zach Scott, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Djimi Traore, Leonardo Gonzalez; Brad Evans, Osvaldo Alonso, Servando Carrasco, Mario Martinez (Alex Caskey 93'+); Eddie Johnson, David Estrada (Mauro Rosales 85')

Sporting Kansas City - Jimmy Nielsen; Chance Myers, Aurelien Collin, Ike Opara, Josh Gardner (Seth Sinovic 75'); Benny Feilhaber (Claudio Bieler 66'), Oriol Rosell, Peterson Joseph; Graham Zusi, C.J. Sapong, Jacob Peterson (Kei Kamara 73')