Michael Fucito one-touched in a Brad Evans throw-in in the 92nd minute, giving the Sounders a 1-0 win over Kansas City.
And in the locker room, Sounder after Sounder remarked on how happy they were for Fucito. And the win also put a smile back on the face of Evans, who lost his man on the decisive corner kick at Salt Lake last week and then lost his starting job to Peter Vagenas on Saturday.
“It has been a tough week for Brad,” Sig Schmid said. “He takes things pretty personal and pretty deep. He was still carrying a lot of responsibility in the early part of the week. … For sure, Brad is not out of our plans, and he showed that by contributing on the goal.”
Evans admitted that his week ended better than it began.
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“The first couple days were tough. I took things pretty hard,” he said. “Talking to other players on other teams and the coaches helped. … I thought I came on and made a good contribution. Whether it’s coming off the bench or starting, whatever I can do to help get three points is what I’m going to do.”
Of course, all that goodwill almost got flushed a few seconds after the goal when Kansas City caught the Sounders napping -- celebrating early, really -- and that left it to Kasey Keller to preserve the win with a one-on-one save of a Chance Myers shot.
“We almost fell asleep there for a second," Schmid said. "I actually wanted to get the sub on before the kickoff and the fourth official was dragging his feet. I think Mike was in a state of euphoria still and didn’t get back on the left side on defense. I think he’ll be in that state for the next 72 hours.”
Halftime: Scoreless. Fourth straight scoreless half for Sounders at Qwest.
KC four shots, none on goal, five fouls, six corners. Seattle three shots, one on goal, three fouls, two corners. Misconducts to Riley and Zakuani.
23rd minute: Montero back.
15th minute: Fredy Montero off after clanging heads with KC's Stephane Auvray. Auvray also went off briefly, but he's back and it's 10-v-11 for now.
In general, Sounders controlling play and looking very crisp. However -- stop me if you've heard this before -- they haven't finished either of two great chances. One a Noonan shot wide of a mostly open goal, the other a brilliant stop by KS's Jimmy Nielsen of a well-struck shot from Montero.
Kickoff: We've begun. Wizards in blue/blue, Sounders in rave/blue. It's on KONG.
Lineups: A couple of interesting lineup changes. Peter Vagenas gets his first start, in place of Brad Evans. And Ljungberg and Noonan have swapped forward/midfield duties.
Here's the look: GK Keller; D Riley, Hurtado, Marshall, Gonzalez; M Noonan, Alonso, Vagenas, Zakuani; F Ljungberg, Montero.
Reserves: Boss, Evans, Ianni, Sturgis, Wahl, Nyassi, Fucito.
For KC: GK Nielsen; D Harrington, Conrad, Escobar, Espinoza; M Arnaud, Ajvray, Jewsbury, Smith; F Kamara, Wolff.
10:30 a.m. Here's today's game preview from the TNT. Noon kickoff at Qwest and on KONG.
Granted, I'm here early, but the new traffic pattern outside seems to be working fine. A big upgrade.
Meanwhile, the Sounders' early bird today is Freddie Ljungberg, who is working on moves inside the penalty area.
Also, Nate Jaqua is jogging circles around the pitch. He said yesterday that his surgery went well, and he said he believes the problem has been identified and solved, and he's looking forward to returning healthy.