Sounders FC coach Sigi Schmid has stressed that one day, when Eddie Johnson and Fredy Montero and Mauro Rosales are all healthy and clicking, the Sounders’ attack will become something special.
One quick and decisive sequence on Saturday may have provided a glimpse.
Two minutes after subbing onto the pitch, Johnson chested a throw-in to Montero, who made a brief run before sending the ball across the penalty area to Rosales. Rosales finished to the far side for what became the winner as Seattle defeated Philadelphia, 1-0, before a CenturyLink Field crowd of 38,399.
“I think that everyone who has seen us the last couple of years knows how important Mauro is to our creative side of the game,” Schmid said. “Eddie gives us a different dimension up front. And Fredy, although he was unlucky today not to get a goal, still is a guy who gets around the goal and gets those opportunities. Those three, and then when we can add (Alvaro Fernandez) into the group, (they) will be four really fun guys to watch.”
While Seattle’s big three had their moments in the spotlight, several lower-profile players also filled crucial roles.
With the Sounders (6-1-1) playing their third game in eight days – all victories – Schmid reached deep in his roster. Three of the four defenders were different from the back line that shut out Los Angeles on Wednesday. Midfielder Andy Rose made his MLS debut. Goalkeeper Bryan Meredith made his first start. And midfielder Alex Caskey made his second start.
“Meredith did great in goal: dealt with the things he needed to deal with,” Schmid said. “I thought our defense did a good job of keeping things away from him. Andy Rose got a little excited (with early tackles) and then Andy settled down and I thought was much better in the second half. And then Caksey, I thought had a very good game.”
Rose was involved in the game’s biggest controversy. After receiving a yellow card in the 18th minute, he made what seemed to be a more serious tackle in the 28th minute. However, referee Ricardo Salazar let Caskey off with a warning rather than raise the second yellow card, which would have forced the Sounders to play a man down the rest of the way.
“I can’t really comment on why Rose didn’t get the second yellow,” said John Hackworth, who was filling in as Union coach while Peter Nowak is serving a disciplinary suspension. “It’s a tough thing to swallow. Probably the game should have been 10 versus 11.”
The Union’s struggling offense could use the edge.
The Union (2-5-1) hasn’t scored more than one goal in its past 12 MLS games, including the 2011 playoffs. The team has totaled five goals in eight games this season. And on Saturday, the Union attempted six shots and put one on target.
Seattle’s offense was more active and dangerous – 19 attempts and six shots on goal. But it wasn’t any more productive at reaching the back of the net until the 63rd minute when the stars aligned for what was Montero’s first assist of the season, and Rosales’ first goal.
“It was a great pass from Fredy,” Rosales said. “I tried to score on my chance in the game, and tried to finish it the best way. I got lucky it was a good ball, and we got the three points.”
The Sounders’ busy May continues with two more games this week. First up is a 5:30 p.m. Wednesday visit to FC Dallas.firstname.lastname@example.org 253-597-8808 blog.thenewstribune.com/soccer Twitter: @donruiztnt