Final: Seattle steals a point, getting outplayed through the first half, playing shorthanded through the second half, all on the road.
The TV guys picked Tyrone Marshall as the man of the match, and I'd second that.
Seattle moves to 4-2-1 on the season. Chicago remains undefeated, but draws for the fourth straight game and fifth of the season.
(Btw, I asked Sigi Schmid this week if there is anything in a team's personnel or style that might lead to that many draws. He didn't think so: "Sometimes it just happens. You get into games where you draw. Obviously they were disappointed when they had the draw with Kansas City, because they were leading two-nothing and they were ecstatic when they drew in Columbus because they were down two-nothing. So there's good draws. There's bad draws. We would've probably taken a draw out of the Kansas City game if we could've, but it didn't happen that way. So it's a situation that just happens sometimes in games. I wouldn't say that a team plays to try to get to a draw. I don't think that's Chicago's style.")
Here are the basics:
Seattle Sounders FC (4-2-1) vs. Chicago Fire (2-0-5)
May 02, 2009 – Bridgeview, Ill. (Toyota Park)
CHI -- Marco Pappa 3 (Cuauhtemoc Blanco 3) 68
SEA -- Tyrone Marshall 1 (Freddie Ljungberg 1) 74
Seattle Sounders FC -- Kasey Keller, James Riley, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Tyrone Marshall, Nathan Sturgis, Brad Evans, Osvaldo Alonso, Freddie Ljungberg (Stephen King 81), Steve Zakuani (Sebastien Le Toux 56), Fredy Montero, Nate Jaqua.
Substitutes Not Used: Chris Eylander, Taylor Graham, Patrick Ianni, Sanna Nyassi, Zach Scott
Chicago Fire -- Jon Busch, Tim Ward, Wilman Conde, Bakary Soumare, Gonzalo Segares (Brandon Prideaux 71), John Thorrington (Chris Rolfe 66), Cuauhtemoc Blanco, Logan Pause, Marco Pappa (Mike Banner 82), Brian McBride, Patrick Nyarko.
Substitutes Not Used: Andrew Dykstra, Baggio Husidic, Dasan Robinson, Austin Washington
Total Shots: SEA 4, CHI 15
Shots on Goal: SEA 1, CHI 5
Fouls: SEA 9, CHI 8
Corner kicks: SEA 3, CHI 7
Saves: SEA 4 (Kasey Keller 4), CHI 0 (Jon Busch 0)
SEA -- Tyrone Marshall (caution; Reckless Tackle) 1
SEA -- Fredy Montero (ejection; Serious Foul Play) 48
CHI -- Bakary Soumare (caution; Goalkeeper Interference) 55
SEA -- James Riley (caution; Unsporting Behavior) 95+
CHI -- Chris Rolfe (caution; Unsporting Behavior) 95+
Referee: Jasen Anno
Referee's Assistants: Sean Hurd; Peter Manikowski
4th official: Michael Kennedy time of game: 1:52
Weather: Clear -and- 60 degrees
Here's some reaction:
Seattle Head Coach Sigi Schmidt:
On playing against the Fire: In the first half they were the better team. We were having trouble matching up and we got drawn over into different spaces, but credit to them they did a good job.
On the game: We have to play them better next time we face them. We're fortunate to get a point, but we showed a lot of character, too. Going down 1-0, with a man down and getting a goal off our first corner kick goal of the year is huge for us.
Goalkeeper Kasey Keller:
On the game: I thought Chicago was the better team in the first half, and we rode our luck a little in the first half. At the half we sorted out our issues, but the red card changed everything.
On earning the point: Credit to everybody that they continued to battle, got the corner kick, scored on it and we just closed up shop. It's a great point for us and one we're very happy about. It's just nice that we fought back and got a point. You go a man down, you go a goal down and to come back and get something out of it is tremendous. Anytime you can do that you have to be proud.
On his first goal since 2007: "It was a long time coming. I knew coming over here I'd have the opportunity to be involved on set plays. We've scored every way, except a set piece so far this season. We really wanted to get goal and it came at the right time tonight."
On the game: I thought we played well with ten men and for the first 65 minutes. They scored on a good goal and hats off to them. After the last time we went a man down coach said, 'I don't want anyone quit out there, it doesn't matter if it's 1-0, 0-0 you just keep going until the whistle blows.' We kept plugging and we got the corner kick.
Chicago Fire Head Coach Denis Hamlett:
On the game: They had one chance on goal and they scored, it wasn't like we were on our heels we just need to stop giving up easy goals. Those easy goals are killing us. We're playing good soccer, we're attacking and now the onus is on us. We can't give up ten goals in seven games. We've played well, created chances, and have just given up too many goals.
Fire forward Brian McBride
On thefgame: "Everyone put in a lot of effort. We had a lot of possession; they got their goal on a corner kick, but they didn't have much other than that. [Marco] Pappa took his goal very well. We have to start winning games. We can't have these ties, especially in a game like that."
Fire midfielder Marco Pappa
On his goal: "Seattle lost concentration during the play and it was a nice pass from Cuauhtémoc. I'm glad that I could help my team with the goal but we have to continue to work hard through the week to get three points instead of one, especially at home in front of our fans."
How'd you see it?
74th minute: Sounders finally score on a set-piece: Ljungberg corner finished by Tyrone Marshall.
If Seattle can get a point out of this, I think they'd take it no questions asked.
68th minute: Blanco feeds Marco Pappa who finished from the top of the penalty area.
That gives Chicago the lead and also ends Kasey Keller's MLS scoreless streak at 457 minutes.
48th minute: Still scoreles. But Fredy Montero just picked up a red card for throwing an elbow on a play for a high ball. That means Seattle will plan a man down in a game in which they were already being wildly outplayed.
And it means Montero will be out next week when the LA Galaxy visits.
Haftime: Chicago dominated in just about every way, but there the Sounders are even at the break.
It's going to be fascinating to see if Sigi Schmid can turn this thing around with tactics, because the play was all Fire in the first half. They had the best goal chances, dominated possession and far more minutes were played on Seattle's end. Blanco and McBride have lived up to their billing.
And yet, for all that, Chicago must feel some frustration that 45 minutes have passed and they haven't yet made Seattle pay on the scoreboard.
Fourty-five minutes to go.
Pregame: The Sounders are using the same lineup they went with last week in their 2-0 win over San Jose: GK Kasey Keller; D James Riley, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Tyrone Marshall, Nathan Sturgis; M Brad Evans, Osvaldo Alonso, Freddie Ljungberg, Steve Zakuani; F Nate Jaqua, Fredy Montero.
I've opened this blog for comments anytime. I'll be back at halftime.