The Seattle Sounders are back to their winning ways as they give D.C. United an ass beating in front of 36,242 fans in attendance at CenturyLink Field. The Sounders defeated D.C. United by a score of 3-0 and remain in second place, now three points ahead of Real Salt Lake, but here's the problem, RSL have two games in hand so they're going to need lots of help to secure home field advantage in the quarterfinals. The Sounders could've clinched a playoff birth had both the Portland Timbers and the Houston Dynamo lost this week, but the Dynamo drew 2-2 at Columbus and defeated the San Jose Earthquakes 2-1 and the Timbers blinked the New England Revolution 3-0. A lot of folks are starting to get nervous in the closing stages of the season, teams fighting for the Wild Card spot, the first round bye and also for Home Field advantage in the playoffs.
The Sounders nearly broke through in the 30th minute. Tyson Wahl's inswinger from the corner found the head of Alvaro Fernandez at the near post, who flicked it back to the far post for Fredy Montero but it was just out of his reach.
The Sounders would find the breakthrough in the 35th minute. Mike Fucito took a pass from Mauro Rosales and immediately turned past Brandon McDonald to break free of rookie keeper Joe Willis. Fucito took a couple of touches and calmly found the left side of the goal with his right foot to put the Sounders up 1-0.
In the 43rd minute, D.C. United tried to answer back when Andy Najar was clean through after getting past Ozzie Alonso and Tyson Wahl, but Zach Scott was in the way of his shot that was goal bound.
In first half stoppage time, the Sounders doubled their lead to 2-0. Mauro Rosales found Alvaro Fernandez making a run behind Daniel Woolard with a sublime pass and "El Flacco" tapped it home beautifully with his right foot. Fernandez would get another in the 60th minute. Rosales was the set up man again. A majestic from the right side found Fredy Montero in stride. Joe Willis made the initial save, but Fernandez was there to pound in the Rebound for his 8th goal of the season. D.C. United were without Chris Pontius who suffered a broken leg last week at Chivas USA. In replace, head coach Ben Olsen decided to give Austin da Luz his first start in a D.C. United uniform since he was acquired in a midseason trade with the New York Red Bulls. The funny thing is, his last appearance with the Red Bulls was here in Seattle.
Well this is the last thing you want to see late in the game, just as your team is playing well. In about the 89th minute, D.C. United defender Daniel Woolard stepped on Mauro Rosales's foot and Rosales awkwardly turned something in his knee. He had to leave the game after suffering what was confirmed to be an MCL Sprain. Rosales will have an MRI on Monday to determine whether the injury is mild or moderate. And not is it referee Kevin Stott's job to ref a match, it's his job to keep the god damn players under control. If you're letting players make a bunch of dangerous challenges that could the opposing players season/career at risk, then you're doing a terrible job. Seattle keeps getting victimized by the players and the refs don't do anything but kick the Sounders players out of a game for no reason. That's pretty much the reason for the majority of their losses because Major League Soccer has so many Crappy refs and we already added last weeks referee to that list and Kevin Stott has been on that list for god only knows how long.
After the game, head coach Sigi Schmid said, "The league's got to start protecting him. The last two games teams have gone out there and kicked him, and I don't think the referees have done a good job protecting him. Today was a case in point. We're up on top of the game 3-0 and he's got the ball at his feet and it's a tackle that's just meant to get a little kick in. And who knows how long he's out now? We have a talented player in this league, a player who's a good player, who fans want to come and watch play, then we let thugs hit him and we don't protect him enough. I think that's something that's got to happen with the referees. I'm very disappointed with the last two games. The last game before this one, the first three times he touched the ball he got fouled and nothing got called. Today early on he got dumped and quite a few times he's not getting calls. I'd like to see the referee Kevin Stott stand there and let Brandon McDonald run into his back and see if he could stay on his feet. I'm very disappointed in that."
The Sounders have 5 games remaining in the regular season before the MLS Cup playoffs. They step aside MLS play on Tuesday for matchday 4 of the CONCACAF Champions League at home against C.S. Herediano. A win will surely put them through to the Champions League Quarterfinal which will take place sometime in February. After that they head North of the Border to Empire Field in Vancouver, B.C. to take on the Vancouver Whitecaps, and I believe that'll be the Whitecaps last game at Empire Field before they make BC Place (which was the host of both the Opening/Closing ceremonies of the 2010 Winter Olympics) their new home.
The Sounders won't be back at home until October 4th when they take on the Chicago Fire in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup final at CenturyLink Field. I will be attending that match as Seattle look to become the first team since Greek American Atlas Astoria to win their third straight U.S. Open Cup title.
Seattle Sounders FC - Mike Fucito 2 (Mauro Rosales 11, Brad Evans 2) 35'
Seattle Sounders FC - Alvaro Fernandez 7 (Mauro Rosales 12, Fredy Montero 8) 47'+
Seattle Sounders FC - Alvaro Fernandez 8 (unassisted) 60'
D.C. United - Joseph Ngwenya (caution; Reckless tackle) 16'
Seattle Sounders FC - Tyson Wahl (caution; Reckless foul) 41'
D.C. United - Austin da Luz (caution; Reckless foul) 63'
D.C. United - Joe Willis; Perry Kitchen, Ethan White (Marc Burch 78'), Brandon McDonald, Daniel Woolard; Andy Najar, Clyde Simms, Dwayne De Rosario (Josh Wolff 62'), Austin da Luz; Charlie Davies (Stephen King 64'), Joseph Ngwenya
Seattle Sounders FC - Kasey Keller; James Riley, Jeff Parke, Zach Scott, Tyson Wahl; Mauro Rosales, Osvaldo Alonso, Brad Evans (Amadou Sanyang 82'), Alvaro Fernandez; Mike Fucito (Nate Jaqua 68'), Fredy Montero (Lamar Neagle 78')