May was an extremely busy month in the soccer world with the preparations for the World Cup in full swing and the Sounders were a big part of that story. The month started with two Sounders presumably on the 23 man short list to go with the USMNT to Brazil. In the end two went, but one was a surprise. There were six matches and thirteen points earned. The tweet of the year, Sounders Player Edition, was authored and a certain Nigerian born forward initiated the Oba Cup.
In chronological descending order, here is May 2014 from a Sounder (at Heart) point of view.
- May 1st opened with Sounder at Heart's Major Link Soccer, via a link to the Seattle Times, assuaging fan concerns that the Sounders were going to lose Obafemi Martins to Nigeria's World Cup squad. That was not the case. Thus, the Oba Cup was born.
- Also on May 1st, a story that is going to become more and more prevalent in two summers, the long rumored Copa Americas was confirmed.
Sounders 2 Philadelphia Union 1, Saturday May 3rd
Chad Marshall with the 84th minute winner. This game solidified that this might be a special year with yet another late winner from an unlikely source. It was Marshall's only goal of the year.
Sounders 2 FC Dallas 1, Wednesday May 7th
If anyone was not convinced on the potential for a special season after the Marshall winner on Saturday then Wednesday sealed it. Down 0-1 at halftime Lamar Neagle tied it up and then Kenny Cooper, on for Neagle in the 86th minute, scored the winner in the 88th minute. It was the Sounders 5th win in a row.
New England Revolution 5 Sounders 0, Sunday May 11th
This was not a good game, sometimes these things happen. The idea was floated around US Soccer circles that Andrew Farrell is a better prospect than DeAndre Yedlin. This was always a suspect opinion, but there are dark corners of the internet that will believe anything. Hopefully they watched Farrell in the MLS Cup. This game got ugly early and then snowballed, let's move on.
- May 12, US Soccer World Cup Preliminary 30 Man Roster is officially announced. The roster included three Sounders, two of which were very expected in Captain Clint Dempsey and the starting Right Back from qualifying Brad Evans. DeAndre Yedlin was a surprise to many and it was widely assumed he was just in camp for the "experience" and to learn Jurgen's way of doing things or to maybe emulate Christian Ronaldo's pace during practice.
Seattle Sounders 1 San Jose 0, Saturday May 17th
The MLS.com recap of this match was written by someone named Oshan. I will quote the Oshan opener here: "Obafemi Martins made a bid for Goal of the Year and the Seattle Sounders registered the first shutout in their last nine games to beat the shorthanded San Jose Earthquakes 1-0 on Saturday in front of the largest crowd of the MLS season." This was the first match without the USMNT players as Brad Evans, Clint Dempsey and DeAndre Yedlin were at pre-World Cup camp at Stanford. Jordan Morris was spotted scrimmaging against the USMNT; apparently he made a positive impression. As it turns out Oba's bid was successful and it was MLS Goal of the Year.
- May 22, US Soccer World Cup Final 23 Roster Announcement. The US Soccer establishment focused on the exclusion of Landon Donovan. Your author was flabbergasted by the inclusion of Brad Davis. And DeAndre Yedlin was on his way to Brazil along with the Captain Clint Dempsey.
- Brad Evans won the internet.
You got off easy this time @Cristiano— Brad Evans (@brad_evans3) May 23, 2014
- It turns out that Evans practiced exclusively at centerback for the USMNT in camp. After starting for the USMNT in The Hex as a right back and even playing a reserve match at Jurgen's request as a right back, this development most likely surprised Evans and maybe he saw the cut coming. Evans later clarified that he had never before played centerback outside of an emergency situation. But that is still an all-time tweet minutes after being one of the last seven players cut from a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Vancouver 2 Sounders 2, Saturday May 24th
The Saturday of Memorial Day weekend saw Stephan Frei's gaffe and Brad Evans on the bench in Vancouver. Evans had to be personally devastated by the news but was able to step in at the 56th minute for Djimi Traore, as an emergency centerback. Seattle took an early lead as Barrett opened the scoring but then Vancouver equalized and took the lead off of Hurtado's weaving run in the box followed by Koffie's 40 yard shot unofficially assisted by Frei. Pineda tied it up in the 82nd minute on a Panenka style penalty kick.
Sounders 4 Real Salt Lake 0, Saturday May 31st
Two shorthanded teams saw Seattle's depth really shine through at the end of a very busy month. Another PK by Pineda was followed by goals from Pappa, Barrett and Martins and what started as a close match ended up a blow out in the box score. A really good result for the Sounders.
Six Matches, 13 points. And a life changing opportunity for a 20 year old product of the Sounders Academy. We may never see another May like May 2014 again.