By Money Mike
The Seattle Sounders needed a win last night to keep any hope of winning the Supporters Shield alive, or at least a point to officially secure 2nd place in the West. Neither of that happened. The Philadelphia Union who were unbeaten in their last 6 matches have come to Seattle and shut out the Sounders 2-0 at CenturyLink Field. With the Win, the Union have taken over the top spot in a very tight Eastern Conference. For Seattle, the loss means that they'll have no chance of taking over first place in the West and that LA has clinched their second straight Supporters Shield. But here's the problem though, in 14 MLS seasons, only four teams that have won the Supporters Shield have gone on and won the MLS Cup. Only four teams. Seattle still looks like the stronger side heading into the playoffs despite the loss last night.
The game started off slow, with sloppy passing from both sides of the midfield. The best chance in the first half from either side came in the 35th minute from Brad Evans when he latched onto a pull-back from Lamar Neagle, but he got under the ball and skied it over the top of the goal. The Sounders were without their leading goalscorer Fredy Montero who was serving a one game suspension after Yellow Card accumulations. Mauro Rosales was also out with a Sprained MCL that he suffered about three weeks ago in a 3-0 win over D.C. United, there's a chance however the Sounders will get him back next Saturday when the San Jose Earthquakes come to town. Alvaro Fernandez was on the bench after passing a late fitness test after suffering a concussion Tuesday night in the U.S. Open Cup final, but he didn't see any action at all in this one. Pat Noonan and Nate Jaqua both played like crap yet again. Sammy Ochoa barely even had possession of the ball since coming in as a sub in the
The Sounders were forced to make a change defensively. Jeff Parke was taken out at halftime after picking up a head injury and was replaced by Patrick Ianni.
In the 60th minute, the Union broke the deadlock. Gabriel Farfan somehow beat James Riley to the ball before it even crossed the endline. Farfan pulled it back to Freddy Adu who buried it into the top corner.
The Union doubled their lead in the 72nd minute. After the Sounders started to put pressure on the Union back line, they end up getting caught on a counter attack. Brian Carroll sent former Sounder Sebastien Le Toux loose and off to the races. Carroll got the return pass from Le Toux off the outside of his boot, through the retreating Seattle defense. Carroll made a good run toward the endline and tucked the ball away beautifully into the far corner. And that was just about the last highlight of this one.
Next Saturday, the Sounders will host the San Jose Earthquakes at 7:30pm. This will also be Kasey Keller's final regular season home match of his career. Over 55,000 tickets have been sold for the home finale in the 2011 regular season and there are still more available. So if you want to catch him in person at least one last time, I would suggest you get your tickets.
Following this match, the Sounders will close out Champions League group play at home on October 18 against Monterrey as they look to clinch the top spot in the Group which would assure them home field advantage in the second leg of the Champions League Quarterfinal.
Philadelphia Union - Freddy Adu 2 (Gabriel Farfan 2) 60'
Philadelphia Union - Brian Carroll 1 (Sebastien Le Toux 9) 72'
Seattle Sounders FC - Lamar Neagle (caution; Reckless foul) 63'
Philadelphia Union - Zac MacMath; Sheanon Williams, Carlos Valdes, Danny Califf, Gabriel Farfan; Michael Farfan, Brian Carroll, Justin Mapp (Jack McInerney 86'); Freddy Adu (Amobi Okugo 75'), Sebastien Le Toux, Veljko Paunovic (Stefani Miglioranzi 89')
Seattle Sounders FC - Kasey Keller; James Riley, Jeff Parke (Patrick Ianni 46'), Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Tyson Wahl; Brad Evans, Osvaldo Alonso, Erik Friberg, Lamar Neagle; Mike Fucito (Nate Jaqua 68'), Pat Noonan (Sammy Ochoa 62')