This was not the memory the Seattle Sounders wanted to take with them through the World Cup break.
Sounders FC ended a disappointing first potion of its season with its most disappointing performance of all, a 3-2 loss to D.C. United.
Seattle lost on its home pitch to struggling D.C. United, 3-2. While all three goals were credited to midfielder Chris Pontius, the Sounders had the added frustration of physically contributing to the first two.
The Sounders rallied with two goals after the 88th minute -- the first by Riley, the next by Montero in stoppage time -- but there was no miracle comeback to be had.
D.C. heads into the break with a 3-8-1 record, but is 2-0-1 over its last three matches.
Seattle, which had hoped for a win that would have brought its record even at the break, instead falls to 4-6-3.
The Sounders will get to live with that for more than two weeks, as the final whistle marked the start of a two-week pause in the MLS schedule to accommodate the World Cup, which starts Friday in South Africa.
The Sounders return to league play June 27 at Philadelphia. They hope that by then they will be strengthened by the return to health of defensive midfielder Osvaldo Alonso and big-target forward Nate Jaqua.
By the next time they see United – July 15 in D.C. – the Sounders may also be joined by forward Blaise Nkufo after his World Cup duties with Switzerland.
Here are the basics:
DC -- Chris Pontius 1 (unassisted) 39
DC -- Chris Pontius 2 (unassisted) 44
DC -- Chris Pontius 3 (Santino Quaranta 1) 79
SEA -- James Riley 1 (Nathan Sturgis 1) 90
SEA -- Fredy Montero 5 (Freddie Ljungberg 3) 91+
D.C. United -- Troy Perkins, Devon McTavish, Dejan Jakovic, Julius James, Jordan Graye (Barry Rice 49), Andy Najar, Stephen King, Clyde Simms, Chris Pontius (Jaime Moreno 81), Luciano Emilio (Adam Cristman 62), Santino Quaranta.
Substitutes Not Used: Thabiso Khumalo, Kurt Morsink, Danny Allsopp, Bill Hamid.
TOTAL SHOTS: 6 (Chris Pontius 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 5 (Chris Pontius 3); FOULS: 11 (Adam Cristman 2, Clyde Simms 2); OFFSIDES: 4 (Santino Quaranta 2); CORNER KICKS: 1 (Santino Quaranta 1); SAVES: 6 (Troy Perkins 6)
Seattle Sounders -- Kasey Keller, James Riley, Jeff Parke, Tyrone Marshall, Leo Gonzalez, Freddie Ljungberg, Brad Evans, Patrick Ianni (Nathan Sturgis 64), Steve Zakuani (Sanna Nyassi 66), Fredy Montero, Pat Noonan (Roger Levesque 75).
Substitutes Not Used: Tyson Wahl, Zach Scott, Mike Seamon, Terry Boss.
TOTAL SHOTS: 20 (Freddie Ljungberg 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 8 (Roger Levesque 2, Fredy Montero 2); FOULS: 11 (4 tied with 2); OFFSIDES: 3 (Sanna Nyassi 2); CORNER KICKS: 7 (Freddie Ljungberg 7); SAVES: 2 (Kasey Keller 2)
DC -- Chris Pontius (caution; Reckless Foul) 24
SEA -- Freddie Ljungberg (caution; Unsporting Behavior) 43
DC -- Andy Najar (caution; Dissent) 62
Referee: Michael Kennedy
Referee's Assistants: -Chris Strickland; Adam Garner
4th Official: Baldomero Toledo
Time of Game: 1:51
79th minute: D.C. ends any suspense by moving it to 3-0. All three goals by Pontius, this time assisted by Santino Quaranta.
As many fans headed the the exits as I've ever see before the end of a Sounders game.
78th minute: Marshall complaining that his shot off of a flick after a corner crossed the line before being saved. Ref says no, and replay seemed to as well.
70th minute: Sounders final substitution: Levesque for Noonan.
66th minute: A couple of recent subs for Seattle: Sturgis for Ianni and Nuassi and Zakuani.
Also an injury update: DC's Jordan Graye has left the game with a hip flexor strain.
Second half... has begun.
Halftime: DC up 2-0. Completely againt the run of play, but 2-0 is 2-0. (DC coach Curt Onalfo has words for Ljungberg on the way out, and Ljungberg has words for the officials.)
Seattle has seven shots and one on goal. DC has five shots, four on goal.
44th minute: Second goal of the season purely bothed by Kasey Keller. Pontius shot right at him, and through his hands. Keller hustled back to try to slap it away before it crossed the line, but failed ... and seemed to bang his head in the effort. DC, 2-0.
43rd minute: Yellow to Ljungberg in frustration push.
40th minute: D.C. moves ahead, 1-0, on an odd goal. Ball headed out of the box by Leo Gonzalez, but straight to Chris Pontius who juked two defenders to the turf, then fired from distance. However, the ball defected off Patrick Ianni and into the net.
37th minute: Sounders moving the ball well. Ljungberg just finished a nice build with a shot over the bar from about 25 yards.
34th minute: Wonderful move and run into the box by Zakuani, but Noonan couldn't redirect the pass in.
30th minute: Everything still running through Ljungberg. Still no score.
20th minute: What the Sounders are creating is all going through Ljungberg. But we're still at 0-0.
10th minute: The chances have been Seattle's. Ljungberg had a nice carry into the area. And then Jeff Parke was just wide with a head off a corner.
Kickoff: United in black/black. Sounders in rave/blue.
Here we go.
Pregame: Nice pregame ceremonies here at Qwest tonight, with nods to Africa and the World Cup.