– Seattle newcomer Chad Barrett scored a goal in the fourth minute of stoppage time Saturday to give the Sounders a 1-0 win over Sporting Kansas City in the Major League Soccer opener for both teams.
It marked the fifth time that Seattle has beaten SKC with a stoppage time goal.Homegrown Seattle rookie Sean Okoli began with Seattle designated player Clint Dempsey heading a shot onto the crossbar, but then Barrett beat the SKC defenders to the ball and fired past goalkeeper Eric Kronberg.
Barrett was acquired by Seattle over the off-season through the MLS re-entry process.Kronberg has taken over in goal this season after the retirement of longtime Kansas City keeper Jimmy Nielsen. Kronberg recorded four saves.
Both teams lost their previous starting goalkeepers over the off-season. Seattle’s Stefan Frei introduced himself with the shutout and the victory.
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Sporting was whistled for 25 fouls, the most suffered in Sounders history.
The lead official was Alan Kelley, a replacement referee as MLS plays its first weekend schedule while its regular referees are locked out in a labor dispute. Sounders coach Sigi Schmid said he had no problem with the way the game was called.
The game was played before an announced crowd of 39,240, the largest home-opening crowd of in the history of the five-time MLS attendance leader.
Seattle continues its homestand at 1:30 p.m. March 15 when Toronto FC visits. I'll be back with notes and quotes from both locker rooms.
Attendance: 39,240 ... largest yet for a Sounders' opener. Several hundred SKC supporters in upper deck add to total.
57' Clint Dempsey on for Sounders, replacing Marco Pappa.
Second half: ... is under way. No changes to either lineup.
Halftime: Sounders 0, SKC 0. New starting keepers obviously getting the job done. Some questionable stuff from ref, but not out of MLS norm.
Stats: shots, 8-7 SEA; on target 2-3 SKC; forners 4-5 SKC; fouls 11-16 SKC; duels won, 52% SEA; possession 55.9% SEA
First kick: ... has been struck. The new season is under way for the Sounders and the league.
Rain coming down hard.
Lineups: For Seattle: Frei; Yedlin, Marshall, Traore, Remick; Pappa, Alonso, Evans (C), Neagle; Cooper, Martins. Reserves: Hahnemann, Anibaba, Barrett, Dempsey, Okoli, Rose, Scott.
For SKC: Kronberg; Ellis, Collin, Besler (C), Gardner; Olum, Feilhaber, Zusi; Sapong, Dwyer, Peterson.
Pregame: It's a cloudy morning at CenturyLink Field about two hours before the first kick of the new MLS season: Sounders-Sporting Kansas City at noon. The game will be nationally televised on NBCSN and heard on the usual Sounders radio outlets.
We'll keep this blog active before, during and after the match. We'll also have comments and updates on Twitter @donruiztnt.I'll be back here as news breaks, including the Soudners' season-opening lineup, usually 60-30 minutes or so before the start of the match.