Zach Scott's Game Winning Goal (photo by Jane Gershovich)
Zach Scott doesn't score often, but when he does they are game winners. Or at least today's was a game winner. It's hard to know if his other goals are game winners because they did not happen in MLS play. Nor in US Open Cup play as an MLS team. Nor in CONCACAF Champions League play. But today, earning the Seattle Sounders three points in their 1-nil win over the Colorado Rapids he scored. Post match Scott rushed to get his family on the field to celebrate the win.
Seattle dominated the game. If there was easy access to passing efficiency stats by third the Sounders would dominate. Instead, via the eye test the victory was "deserved." The Sounders outshot the Rapids 18 to 4 and while passing and possession weren't the name of the game for Seattle, duels won and second half dominance were.
Scott's glancing header off of Alex Caskey's service is his first goal in "at least five years." Scott in postgame interviews pointed out that it is the defense that he's proud of, though his family has wanted a goal for some time. The Sounders earned their third shutout on the year from a team defense that keeps supporting each other no matter who starts.
Everybody's working hard. Everyone knows if you make a mistake there's going to be someone there to cover you. Communication has been good. Obviously, when we break down, Mike [Gspurning] is there to clean it up. I think it's exciting to solidify the defense.
Sigi Schmid showed ride in the former USL Sounder grabbing his first goal.
It’s great. His first MLS goal and one of the original Sounders guys. Sometimes people say this or that, but the thing is he gives everything he has every time he steps on the field and his energy level is great. He competes for everything and he makes the guys around him compete.
Assistant Coach and Chief Storyteller Brian Schmetzer talked about why he signed Scott back in 2002.
We're at Memorial Stadium, just scrimmaging 11 v 11 in open tryouts and Zach won every single header in that entire game. Chance Fry whispers to me 'you've got to sign that guy. He's not the greatest on the ball, but he wins every single header that he goes for.' We signed him. True story. Today it was great because he missed that header in the first half, which I'll give him abuse for, but it was a great way to score the winning goal.
In a match that could be noted for the return of Brian Mullan or a gameday lineup change that saw Eddie Johnson paired with Fredy Montero, Scott earned the attention. He helped earn another shutout and scored the winner.
The lineup showed the role flexibility of Caskey and David Estrada. Caskey's late addition also led to a demonstration of his strong service from dead balls. Estrada passing and defensive pressure helped limit the Rapids from significant opportunities on goal.
While Fredy Montero is still searching for his first goal, he was potent. Shots threatened regularly and his passing opened several opportunities that could have resulted in two to four more goals for the Sounders. Eddie Johnson's best game as a Sounder ended in the 66th minute, but on at least one late breakaway the difference between Sammy Ochoa and Johnson was clear. In all Johnson had a game that was not spectacular, but instead solid. He abandoned the stepovers and played within himself and with the team.
Seattle heads into their bye week on a win and with Brad Evans' hoped for momentum.
Oh, Brian Mullan was booed and earned a yellow - whatever.