From the earliest moments of the game it was obvious what Frank Yallop's side wanted to do to slow down Seattle Sounders FC. They would foul and foul hard. They would count on Harrison Shipp. In many ways that tactic worked. They slowed down the Rave Green and Harrison scored twice.
In a very important way that failed. Slow Seattle scored three goals.
Obafemi Martins missed a relatively easy goal early, but he made up for it just moments later. With a first touch like glue he captured the ball and turned. His off-foot goal was as strong as you can see.
That was the last time the game made any sense.
Former Sounder Jhon Kennedy Hurtado already had a yellow card. He then took Oba down in the box. That was a straight red and a penalty. Martins slotted it home for his eighth goal. Up 2-nil and a man every Sounders fan had to be confident.
Harrison Shipp scored a great goal to pull Chicago Fire SC back. Down only a goal they tried to rush the restart.
Then something happened
If you are looking for clarity, stop. No one knows what happened. Oba got a red card for something. He'd already had a yellow, but MLSSoccer.com, as it did for Hurtado's play, indicates that it was a straight red. As a reminder Martins has earned only one straight red in his career it was rescinded.
Neither broadcast had video of the event.
That's just the first half. Two reds. Three goals (two were awesome).
Half the second was just as fun (?) with goals and cards.
Lamar Neagle scored Seattle's third. It was a cross pinged off a central player that Neagle chose not to volley and instead let settle. As the world moved in slow motion Sean Johnson chose to hit his pause button. Neagle looked right where the goal would goal. The Fire defense looked right where the goal would go. Johnson was as close to immobile as a keeper can be.
Neagle scored his fifth goal and Hahnemann shined Lamar's boot.
Shipp responded. Of course he did. False hope is the Fire way.
With Seattle up 3-2 and an odd 10 v 10 situation there were more cards. Several more cards. Stupid cards for trying to hurt people (Amarikwa). Stupid cards for embellishment (Pineda). Stupid fouls for trying to hurt the keeeper (Amarikwa). Stupid cards for time wasting (Frei).
People are going to remember the official. They should not.
They should remember this instead.
32 points in 15 played. The best offense in the league.
You can't stop the Seattle Sounders. You can only hope to contain them. - Dan Patrick, before the Sounders were awesome, but he thought it.