By Money Mike
The Seattle Sounders win yet another one. The Sounders could've scored three, four or maybe even five goals but in the end, one goal was enough to walk away with three points as they defeat the Philadelphia Union by a score of 1-0. With the win, the Sounders improve to 6-1-1 (19 points) on the year and are three points back of San Jose and Real Salt Lake who are each tied for first place in the West with 22 points. The Sounders will be back in action on Wednesday as they head to Frisco to take on FC Dallas and then come back home on Saturday to take on Real Salt Lake in what could be a battle for first place in the Western Conference depending on the outcome during the midweek.
In the seventh minute, Ozzie Alonso sent Fredy Montero away (sort of). The ball held up on the field turf for a couple of seconds and Montero was dispossesed by Raymon Gaddis, but stepping in was Andy Rose for a first time shot that was deflected by Danny Califf and Zac MacMath couldn't keep it in play. Off the corner kick, Jeff Parke nodded the ball down for Fredy Montero who turned and tried to slide it in, but he didn't get enough power of the shot and it was cleared off the line by Raymon Gaddis.
In the 19th minute, Patrick Ianni played a very good long ball down the field for Mauro Rosales. Rosales then made a cut inside of Gaddis, played it back to Adam Johansson who whipped in a curler to the back post for Fredy Montero who directed his header towards goal but he had to reach back to get his head on it and therefore Zac MacMath had no trouble making the save.
Seconds later, Andy Rose tried to work a give and go with Alex Caskey, but Caskey's return ball was a poor one and Rose came in late on the challenge with Kai Herdling and referee Ricardo Salazar wasted no time pulling out the yellow card for the 22-year old rookie. 10 minutes later, Rose lost possession again, this time to Freddy Adu and despite already sitting on a yellow card, Rose came in and took out Adu from behind and this looked more of a yellow card than the challenge on Herdling, but Salazar didn't pull out a yellow this time which would've been the second yellow for Rose which would also have brought out the Red Card.
In the 26th minute, Alex Caskey gave the Union a scare. After some sloppy passing, the ball bounced to Mauro Rosales who then played a diagonal ball to the far side for Caskey. He had Marc Burch making an overlapping run, but Caskey instead dribbled his way around Freddy Adu and hit one from 25-yards out, but it drifted wide of Zac MacMath's left hand side, but not by much. 15 minutes later, Sheanon Williams was lost out by Marc Burch. Alex Caskey took possession and fired another shot from outside the area just within 25-yards this time and was parried away by Zac MacMath.
A minute into the second half, the Sounders nearly broke through. Mauro Rosales took the corner kick from the far hash mark and curled it out for Andy Rose who outjumped Keon Daniel and headed it off the crossbar. Zac MacMath was beaten, but the crossbar save the Union because that was bound for the roof of the net which would've capped off a memorable professional debut for Andy Rose despite nearly being sent off in the first half.
In the 63rd minute, Raymon Gaddis got caught again and this time, the Sounders made him pay. Fredy Montero played an excellent ball out wide to the captain Mauro Rosales. Gaddis tried to catch back up, but it was too late as Rosales slotted the ball home for his first of the season to give the Sounders a 1-0 lead. You guys need to understand what difference Mauro Rosales makes for the Sounders when he's on the pitch. So far this season, in four matches with Rosales the Sounders have scored eight goals and in four matches without Rosales the Sounders have scored only three times. Last year, the Sounders signed him to a one-year deal after a successful trial and nobody knew what we were going to get out of him, but he came in and really made an impact as he led the team in assists with 13 and now he is one of our Designated Players. No matter how long Rosales will be in Seattle, the Sounder fans will remember him for his commitment and his leadership on and off the pitch.
With five minutes remaining, Eddie Johnson fed Fredy Montero at the top of the box. Montero turned and tried to chip Zac MacMatch, but once again, the crossbar denied the Sounders. That was the last opportunity for either side as the Sounders pick up their fourth straight win including nine points in eight days.
Seattle Sounders FC - Mauro Rosales 1 (Fredy Montero 1) 63'
Seattle Sounders FC - Andy Rose (caution; foul) 18'
Philadelphia Union - Gabriel Gomez (caution; foul) 78'
Philadelphia Union - Zac MacMath; Sheanon Williams, Danny Califf, Carlos Valdes, Raymon Gaddis; Freddy Adu, Michael Farfan (Danny Mwanga 76'), Gabriel Gomez (Josue Martinez 83'), Keon Daniel; Kai Herdling (Brian Carroll 61'), Lionard Pajoy
Seattle Sounders FC - Bryan Meredith; Adam Johansson, Jeff Parke, Patrick Ianni, Marc Burch; Mauro Rosales (Leo Gonzalez 82'), Osvaldo Alonso, Andy Rose (Eddie Johnson 61'), Alex Caskey (Servando Carrasco 92'+); Fredy Montero, David Estrada