With much of the Sounders FC offensive watching from Qwest Field suites, Seattle made a lone stoppage-time goal stand up tonight in a 1-0 win over Sporting Kansas City.
"It seems like every time we play these guys we get a late goal here at home," coach Sigi Schmid said. "So we’ll take it: one goal, one minute, one moment like that changes everybody’s mood in a hurry."
The visitors had arrived at Qwest Field leading Major League Soccer in goals per game and goals allowed per game. However, any anticipated offensive explosion went unfulfilled as the teams played through 92 minutes without a goal.
Then, in the third minute of stoppage time, defender Jeff Parke headed in a Tyson Wahl corner kick.It was the second goal of Parke’s career, and his first since his rookie season in 2004.
"I kind of looked over, I was watching it and it kind of skipped and I was like, ‘Come on, get in there,’" Parke said. "Finally, it was definitely a little bit of an out of body experience, because I don’t score that often. When it hit the net I was like, ‘Pshew. Now what do I do?’"
Until Saturday, four goals had been scored in a typical SKC game as SKC came in averaging 1.57 goals per game while allowing 2.43. Over its first seven games, had recorded no shutouts while being shutout twice. Over their previous three games they had allowed a total of eight goals – four in the previous game at Los Angeles.
However, the Sounders offense played through two long halves of offensive frustration. And much of the reason sat watching the game instead of playing in it. Injured Sounders Steve Zakauni (leg) and O’Brian White (blood clot), returned to Qwest Field for the first times since their potentially season-ending injuries.
In their continuing absence, Sounders coach Sigi Schmid continued to juggle his lineup. For this one, he began with three forwards: Fredy Montero, Roger Levesque and Mauro Rosales – himself just back from missing two games due to a hamstring strain.
In the end, it was a pair of defenders who combined for the only goal.
Seattle moved its record to 4-3-5. Kansas City’s fifth straight loss dropped its record to 1-6-1 – all on the road.
The Sounders are off today, in advance of a busy week with a home game against FC Dallas on Wednesday and at Real Salt Lake on Saturday.
SEA -- Jeff Parke 1 (Tyson Wahl 1) 93+
Sporting KC-- Jimmy Nielsen, Michael Harrington, Aurelien Collin, Matt Besler, Roger Espinoza, Craig Rocastle, Ryan Smith (Chance Myers 86), Kei Kamara, Davy Arnaud, Omar Bravo (Graham Zusi 76), Teal Bunbury (C.J. Sapong 73).
Substitutes Not Used: Birahim Diop, Julio Cesar, Luke Sassano, Eric Kronberg.
TOTAL SHOTS: 7 (Davy Arnaud 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (3 tied with 1); FOULS: 15 (Teal Bunbury 3, Craig Rocastle 3); OFFSIDES: 0; CORNER KICKS: 4 (Omar Bravo 2, Graham Zusi 2); SAVES: 1 (Jimmy Nielsen 1)
Seattle Sounders -- Kasey Keller, James Riley, Jeff Parke, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Tyson Wahl, Servando Carrasco (Nate Jaqua 55), Osvaldo Alonso, Alvaro Fernandez, Mauro Rosales (Mike Fucito 69), Fredy Montero (Patrick Ianni 89), Roger Levesque.
Substitutes Not Used: Erik Friberg, Lamar Neagle, Zach Scott, Terry Boss.
TOTAL SHOTS: 12 (Mike Fucito 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 2 (Alvaro Fernandez 1, Jeff Parke 1); FOULS: 14 (4 tied with 2); OFFSIDES: 1 (Fredy Montero 1); CORNER KICKS: 8 (Mauro Rosales 3, Tyson Wahl 3); SAVES: 3 (Kasey Keller 3)
Misconduct Summary:SEA -- Alvaro Fernandez (caution; Delaying a Restart) 44KC -- Ryan Smith (caution; Dissent) 49SEA -- Servando Carrasco (caution; Tactical Foul) 51SEA -- Mauro Rosales (caution; Reckless Tackle) 64SEA -- Osvaldo Alonso (caution; Tactical Foul) 84
Referee: Geoff GambleReferee's Assistants:-Corey Rockwell; Eric Proctor4th Official: Drew FischerAttendance: 36,098Time of Game: 1:53Weather: Cloudy-and-53-degrees
90 plus 3: Wahl corner headed in by Parke. Sounders, 1-0.
69th minute: Rosales out, KC-killer Mike Fucito in.
67th minute: Still scoreless. Rain has begun.
55th minute: Jaqua in for Carrasco
Second half: ... has begun. No substitutions.
Both teams took five shots; three of Sporting's were on goal, but none of Seattle's. Unfortunately, shots near goal is not an official statistic.
Through 30 minutes: Game opening up considerably. But still nil-nil.
First 15 minutes: Scoreless. Possession probably to Seattle, but far better chances to Kansas City.
Kickoff: We're under way. Sounders in green/blue; SKC in deep blue/blue.
Key stat: Sporting leads MLS in goals per game AND goals allowed per game.
In the house: O'Brian White and Steve Zakuani confirmed in the stadium tonight. White was in the locker room pregame.
Lineups: For Sounders: GK, Keller; D Riley, Parke, Hurtado, Wahl; M Carrasco, Alonso, Fernandez; F Rosales, Montero, Levesque. Reserves: Boss, Friberg, Fucito, Ianni, Jaqua, Neagle, Scott.
For Kansas City: GK Nielsen; D Harrington, Collin, Besler, Espinoza; M Rocastle, Smith, Kamara, Arnaud, Bravo; F Bunbury. Reserves: Kronberg, Diop, Myers, Cesar, Sapong, Sassano, Zusi.
Pregame: We're about an hour till kickoff of Sporting Kansas City at Sounders. Given Sporting's 1-5-1 record, the pressure on on Seattle to pick up the full three points at home.
We'll keep this post open all evening for pregame, in-game and postgame news. With additional reports on Twitter. And, as always, we're hoping for lots of your comments.
I'll be back soon with lineups.