Did you know that the Seattle Sounders played the LA Galaxy on Sunday? I'm sure you did. That the result ended in a draw was somewhat expected, since LA is wretched on the road and their offense looked entirely inept, having only scored on an unfortunate turnover. Meanwhile the Sounders were bossing their way around the field all night, but through the magicks of unknown forces, the ball just seemingly couldn't find the back of the net. Until Chad Barrett.
Earlier in the year I mentioned that any minute Chad Barrett gets this season is a minute wasted. Was I wrong? Eh. Maybe I was being a bit hyperbolic, and I'm sure had injuries, suspensions, or international call-ups not forced Seattle's hand, Barrett might not have played all of his current 668 minutes so far this season. But goshdarnit, that man has scored some late goals for Seattle against some truly disliked teams. Is he the most skillful player in the world? No. Is his situation dissimilar to your daughter and her college team? No. Does he crash the box late in the game looking to slam any ball nearby into the back of the net? Oh hell yeah.
He's an effort guy. As much as I'd like for MLS to phase out those players who rely on effort instead of skill to succeed, we're not there yet, so the Chad Barretts out there have value. I actually remember watching a game back in 2011 or 2012 when he was playing for this very same LA Galaxy team and thinking to myself how grateful I was LA decided to play such an unskilled player. Oh foolish, cruel me. Thankfully Seattle has reached a point in this wacky 2015 season where the Sounders are no longer needing to start effort-only players, but can instead have them come off the bench late in games where their lung-busting efforts can truly be a boon. Give the Sounders two weeks to rest up and we might see a fully healthy (sorry Roman Torres) first-team for the first time this whole season.
That doesn't mean I don't want to see Chad Barrett in the 18 or coming in as a late-game substitute. He's scored 5 goals this season, which was 5 goals more than I expected him to score. Two of those goals came in the May victory over Vancouver, but the other three goals, well, two were scored in substitute appearances, one against LA and once against NYCFC, the other was the early goal plus injury whilst celebrating. His total minutes in those three games? 10. Total. This season Chad Barrett has been substituted into the game after the 85th minute two times. He's scored a goal in each of those games. He's also played 25 minutes against LA this season, scoring twice.
Kudos to Hall of Famer Sigi Schmid for utilizing his players to where they're best suited. He's a pretty good coach, or something. It's hopeful he'll actually be afforded opportunities to make tactical decisions based on personnel available. When all you've got in the cupboards are cans of cream of mushroom soup, you won't be having the best meal of your life. I'm ready for some filet mignon, or actually falafel. I really like falafel.
Huge match against two MLS powerhouses who also hate each other. Good times.
Wait, are people in Sounders jerseys rooting for Steven Gerrard?
Did an unidentified fan really just score against us?
LA's biggest super-fan is probably really excited about that goal.
Surely Zach Scott is not as excited about that goal.
Poor Zach Scott, I still care.
I'm sure Robbie Keane thought we'd like him more if he didn't do his somersault celebration.
Come on, Sounders. Pull it together.
I feel like we could shoot all night and our unluckiness would never end.
I swear, if we lose tonight I'm gonna have a rough ride home.
Oh my! A goal!
Someone in the stands got a little frisky with Barrett on that goal celebration.
All these world-famous marquee players and it's Chad Barrett who scores?
LA thought they were getting out of here with a win? Not so fast!
I mean, draws are nice, right?