Sounders coach Sigi Schmid said today that he had assigned veteran midfielder Peter Vagenas to take the penalty kick that could have given Seattle a 2-1 lead in what eventually became a 3-1 loss at Philadelphia on Sunday.
However, when the time came, Vagenas believed he was too tired to take the shot with confidence. Pat Noonan took the shot instead, and it was saved. After the game, Schmid and several Sounders said they thought that was where the game turned.
Here's Schmid's explanation of what happened:
It was written up on the board before the game. Peter Vagenas was supposed to take the PK. He passed it on to Noonan. Peter knows how I feel about that. It’s something after we (went 0-for-2 on PKs last season that) I said I wanted no uncertainties. Certain guys that I usually have for us to hit the PKs weren’t on the field, so obviously they couldn’t hit them. Peter was on the field, but he felt he was extremely tied at that stage and didn’t have the legs to do it. That’s something that he now has to live with.
There's more of an overview look on the topic in my Sounders-Timbers preview in the Wednesday TNT.