After picking up only 4 points in their last three matches at Qwest Field, the Seattle Sounders headed to Rio Tinto Stadium and put their disappointing home swing behind and ended another teams long unbeaten run on their home ground. Last night, the Seattle Sounders handed Real Salt Lake their first home loss since May 16, 2009 when the Kansas City Wizards last won at Salt Lake. The Sounders with the win are now 5-4-5 on the year and are sitting at 20 points going into the month of June which is a lot better then last year when they only had 12 points going into June, and yet a lot of you fans are just not getting it because you just continue to make ridiculous statements about Sigi Schmid and Fredy Montero.
The Sounders had a few chances in the first half, with the rain in their face, to take the lead. In the 10th minute, off a corner, the cross from Tyson Wahl found Jeff Parke who got up and flicked it toward the far post but Kyle Beckerman got his own head on it to keep it from going into the net.
In the 18th minute, the Sounders had to make an early change when Alvaro Fernandez went down with a hamstring injury. Fernandez actually suffered it during warm-ups but told Sigi Schmid and the training staff that he was fine and ready to go, but his decision aggravated his injury while he was going after a loose ball with Robbie Russell. So Fernandez was subbed out and replaced by Lamar Neagle.
In the 20th minute, RSL tested Kasey Keller with a couple of long distance efforts from Will Johnson and Jean Alexandre. The most difficult one came from Alexandre when Kasey Keller got a pretty bad jump and had trouble getting to the ball, but he did pounce on it without any issues.
The substitute, Lamar Neagle nearly made an impact at the half-hour mark. Neagle got into space behind the defense and cracked one on frame from just outside the Box, but right into the chest of Nick Rimando. Nate Jaqua also had some good opportunities in the first half but came up short.
In the 48th minute, Salt Lake nearly put themselves in front, Erik Friberg's header landed in the direction of Fabian Espindola who took a couple of touches before cracking a left footed effort from point blank range which took a deflection and Keller parried it wide. Espindola, the majority of the time, has been on the wing taking on James Riley and I tell you what, Riley has had a lot of problems with Espindola in this match.
Keller would come up big again in the 51st minute. Seattle still couldn't get the ball out of danger and they nearly payed for it. After a shot deflected off Patrick Ianni, Jamison Olave pounced on the rebound and got a head on the ball, but Keller came out and got a hand to it to redirect it off the crossbar.
Seven minutes later, Olave turned from a near hero to a goat. Mike Fucito got behind Olave. who was the last defender on that play. Olave reached back through Fucito to get the ball and brought him down and if that wasn't a red card, then I don't know what is. Since he was the last man back there for RSL, the referee had to give a straight red card, which he did and RSL had to play the last half hour with 10 men.
In the 71st minute, the Sounders took advantage of the straight red and opened the scoring. Off a corner from Tyson Wahl, Nate Jaqua headed the ball down to Fredy Montero who managed to push it to Patrick Ianni at the doorstep for the tap in to put the Men in Rave Green up 1-0.
Real Salt Lake continued to pour pressure on the Sounders for an equalizer, but in the 84th minute, they end up conceding a 2nd goal. Lamar Neagle received a pass from Tyson Wahl and curled a right footed shot over Nick Rimando and into the far upper 90 for his first goal for the Seattle Sounders. Remember, the Sounders signed Neagle in 2009, but he never played for them that year. He signs with the Charleston Battery in 2010 and scores 12 goals in 19 matches for them. Then he moves to IFK Mariehamn and scores 2 goals in 5 matches. He returned to Seattle for a preseason trial and he just continued to score goals during the preseason so the Sounders had to sign him and now in his 6th appearance for the Sounders, he scores his first MLS goal and even better, he puts the Sounders up 2-0.
With two minutes to go, Salt Lake pulled one back. A throw in from 17-year old Luis Gil found Nelson Gonzalez in the box and the Argentine spun away from Patrick Ianni and slotted the ball past Kasey Keller into the far post. Keller was unhappy with Patrick Ianni after that one and why wouldn't he be unhappy? Looking at the replay, what the fuck was Ianni doing? Trying to trip Gonzalez and draw a penalty? Just being lazy? Either way, there is no excuse for letting him get by you for an easy goal. This is why you have defenders and luckily for Patrick Ianni, that was the only goal Real Salt Lake would get because they came close to coming away with an equalizer in stoppage time just like last year. If that were to happen, they would've been talking about that one play and Ianni would've been a goat for that one mistake. The Sounders now head to Chicago to take on the Fire. In the first meeting between the Sounders and the Fire, and of course I was at that one, the Sounders took all three points with a 2-1 win. The Fire are still looking for their first win since their 3-2 win at home against Sporting Kansas City on March 26th, and I'll talk more about the matchup when I preview the matchup next weekend.
Seattle Sounders FC - Patrick Ianni 1 (Fredy Montero 4, Nate Jaqua 1) 71'
Seattle Sounders FC - Lamar Neagle 1 (Tyson Wahl 2) 84'
Real Salt Lake - Nelson Gonzalez 1 (Luis Gil 1) 88'
Real Salt Lake - Will Johnson (caution; Reckless foul) 27'
Real Salt Lake - Jamison Olave (ejection; Denied Goal Scoring opportunity (foul)) 58'
Real Salt Lake - Chris Wingert (caution; Reckless foul) 65'
Seattle Sounders FC - James Riley (caution; Dissent) 81'
Seattle Sounders FC - Tyson Wahl (caution; Reckless foul) 90'
Seattle Sounders FC - Kasey Keller; James Riley, Jeff Parke, Patrick Ianni, Tyson Wahl; Erik Friberg (Roger Levesque 80'), Brad Evans, Osvaldo Alonso, Alvaro Fernandez (Lamar Neagle 18'); Mike Fucito (Fredy Montero 69'), Nate Jaqua
Real Salt Lake - Nick Rimando; Robbie Russell (Nelson Gonzalez 76'), Jamison Olave, Nat Borchers, Tony Beltran; Andy Williams (Luis Gil 86'), Kyle Beckerman, Will Johnson, Ned Grabavoy; Jean Alexandre (Chris Wingert 62'), Fabian Espindola