The Sounders are playoff bound. Few style points, but two goals, and that was enough for a 2-1 win.
Here's was Sigi Schmid's overview:
"On this field it’s always a difficult game because there’s a lot of turnovers, it’s difficult to string together passes. We dropped in a little bit, so that invited them to play long balls into our box. So it wasn’t the most pretty or the most artistic game. But at the end of the day we finished a couple of goals well and coming off a big game on Tuesday, where you could expect a letdown maybe from the team, we showed character to stick with it and somehow find a way to do that job."
That moves the Sounders to 13-9-6 on the season, and those 45 points make a return to the playoffs a certainty.
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Playoff tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. on Oct. 21.
SEA - Sanna Nyassi (Nate Jaqua) 66
SEA - Alvaro Fernandez 78
KC - Davy Arnaud (penalty kick) 84
Kansas City Wizards - Jimmy Nielson, Michael Harrington, Jimmy Conrad, Matt Besler, Roger Espinoza, Davy Arnaud, Jack Jewsbury (Graham Zusi 73), Craig Rocastle (Birahim Diop 85), Kei Kamara, Ryan Smith (Josh Wolff 68), Teal Bunbury.
Substitutes Not Used: Eric Kronberg, Korede Aiyegbusi, Stephane Auvray, Jonathan Leathers.
TOTAL SHOTS: 18; SHOTS ON GOAL: 3; FOULS: 16; OFFSIDES: 1; CORNER KICKS: 3; SAVES: 1.
Seattle Sounders FC - Kasey Keller, James Riley, Patrick Ianni, Jeff Parke, Leo Gonzalez, Sanna Nyassi (Tyrone Marshall 89), Osvaldo Alonso, Nathan Sturgis, Steve Zakuani (Alvaro Fernandez 75), Fredy Montero (Nate Jaqua 65), Blaise Nkufo.
Substitutes Not Used: Terry Boss, Tyrone Marshall, Zach Scott, Mike Seamon, Mike Fucito.
TOTAL SHOTS: 8; SHOTS ON GOAL: 3; FOULS: 16; OFFSIDES: 1; CORNER KICKS: 2; SAVES: 2.
SEA - Osvaldo Alonso (caution; Persistent Infringement) 28
SEA - Fredy Montero (caution; Delaying a Restart) 61
KC - Teal Bunbury (caution; Reckless Foul) 63
KC - Davy Arnaud (caution; Reckless Tackle) 81
SEA - Nate Jaqua (caution; Reckless Foul) 81
Referee: Kevin Stott
Referee's Assistants: Bill Dittmar; Brian Poeschel
4th Official: Mark Kadlecik
Time of Game: 1:51
Weather: Partly Cloudy and 75-degrees
88th minute: Parke clips Bunsbury in the area. Arnaud covnerts PK. Seattle, 2-1.
78th minute: Alvaro Fernandez plays the ball to himself through traffic in the area and threads the needle into the back of the net. Sounders up, 2-0.
Attendance: 11,522 ... which is more than capacity.
74th minute: Fernandez in for Zakuani.
66th minute: Just seconds after Jaqua subbed in for Montero, he sent a pass to Nyassi who shot from the left side of the box. Neilsen made the save, but Nyassi got to the rebound and put it into the net for his second MLS goal but fourth in the last three competitions.
A one-goal lead, of course, practically counts double in a game where even a draw will send the Sounders through to the playoffs.
63rd minute: Alonzo and Montero are both now one caution from a one-game suspension for yellow-card accumulation.
60th minute: In another stretch of KC domination, Davy Arnaud sweeps a loose ball over the bar from around the penalty dot.
Second half: Has begun. Apparently no lineup changes.
Halftime: 0-0. Sounders dominated in many ways, but they're halfway to the draw that will get them into the playoffs.
Kansas City has five shots to Seattle's three; KC put two on goal to Seattle's none. Both teams took one corner.
37th minute: Besler fires another threatening shot. I can't tell whether the Sounders are playing for the draw or just not playing well, but they're in near-constant danger and it's hard to imagine them surviving this way to the end.
35th minute: Bunbury header goes off the crossbar.
28th minute: Yellow card to Alonso.
11th minute: Keller bails Sounders out with diving save of Besler shot.
First 10 minutes: Very slow start for the Sounders. It feels like the ball has hardly been on their attacking side.
Sigi Schmid had noted during the week that it can take a little while to adjust to this pitch ... or to come down off the Open Cup cloud. In any case, weak start.
Kickoff: The game has begun. Wizards in blue/white, Sounders in green/blue.
There's a nice little cluster of Sounders fans in the area that would be right behind home plate... therefore probably out of TV view, but would be to the lower-right part of the screen.
Kind of a cool pregame ritual here, as fans for a line on the field for the teams to walk through.
Lineups: The Sounders are going with the same starting lineup they used in their last few MLS regular season games. And really, hot as they've been in league, what is their incentive to change? Anyway: G Keller; D Riley, Ianni, Parke, Gonzalez; M Nyassi, Alonso, Sturgis, Zakuani; F Montero, Nkufo. Reserves: Boss, Scott, Jaqua, Seamon, Fernandez, Fucito, Marshall.
For KC: GK, Neilsen; D Espinoza, Besler, Conrad, Harringont; M Kamara, Rocastle, Jewsbury, Arnaud, Smith; F Bunbury. Reserves: Kronberg, Zusi, Diop, Aiyegbusi, Wolff, Auvray, Leathers.
We should be getting the official lineup, reserves and Wizards lineups soon.
Pregame: I've arrived at CommunityAmerica Ballpark, site of tonight's 5:30 p.m. match between the Sounders and Kansas City Wizards. This is my first time hear, and, yep, it's a minor league baseball park. As you can see, the field runs from the third base line out across to right and right-center field with the nearest touchline just outside the pitchers mound. Thankfully, the players won't have to contend with infield dirt, but Sounders coach Sigi Schmid implied earlier this week that the field is shorter than any other in the league and therefore that keepers need to be constantly alert, as a larger portion of the game is played with the ball in shooting range.
In any case, big game for both teams: Sounders clinch a playoff spot with a win or draw. Wizards' hopes can't really afford anything less than three points at home.
Game is on KONG.
We'll keep a blog post open all evening for pregame, in-game, and postgame news.