Tonight Leo Gonzalez went home while wearing the Sounders Electricity Yellow. Unfortunately, he went home early when he puts his studs into the groin of the opposition. His high follow-through on a routine pass was unnecessary and risky, and the Red was deserved. Not surprisingly, the Sounders went from looking like a competitive team that could snag a road goal and win, to a team that was being dominated. That one poor choice by Leo took a likely draw and made it a loss. It was good for -.44 points.
Later, a solid play by Fredy Montero gave the Sounders a chance to score again. His footwork just inside the 18 gave the Saprissa defense enough troubles that a player raised his leg and Montero earned a penalty kick. Despite having players with better track records from the spot, Osvaldo Alonso was the one to take the shot. It was blocked. Yes, the keeper left his line early. Sure, it could have been retaken. In the end though it was another missed opportunity, as Ozzie joined Steve Zakuani in wasting great opportunities.
As the match continued to develop it was clear that the Sounders couldn't deal with the pressure and the man advantage. Yellow cards were piling up, and Seattle's CCL run, basically ended.
There were a few good plays that gave us hope, but none that gave us joy.
Alvaro Fernandez looked good in the middle, as long as we ignore his slapping an opponent off ball. Like Brad Evans, he went both ways. Pressuring defensively and acting as a conduit for the attack. His ball skills are solid, and his vision was under-utilized as one of his passing lanes was empty.
Mike Fucito provided energy, but the game was essentially out of hand. Just as Sanna interfered with a Montero shot, he stepped into a pass that was to Fucito's feet. Sanna would also take out Zach Scott at one point. Sanna continues to hurry, but not play quickly. The loss can not be laid at his feet, but if I were the type to do player ratings, his would be the second lowest.
The only bright light from this performance is that the Sounders are essentially done in this tournament, and so the "A" team can instead be used in League play while Sigi pushes for the Playoffs. It also means that those of us who have a favorite Sounder who isn't starting (Taylor Graham, Roger Levesque, Fucito) should be able to see them for 180 minutes at Qwest Field in the glowing yellows.
Stats and Quotes as we get them. What were your thoughts on the game? Who else thought that Taylor Graham needs to be moved up that depth chart?