With the Seattle Sounders heading down to Silicon Valley to face the San Jose Earthquakes, I anticipated a loss. I know I shouldn't think such negative thoughts, but years of futility against this seemingly inferior team has ingrained in me a sense of despair when these two sides meet. It's a silly rationale, but Pavlov became famous for a reason.
The game itself was an interesting one, both teams dominating a half of possession, two set-piece goals, and three injuries to key Sounders. It was a draw that felt like a win for Seattle but what ultimately might be a big loss. The resultant draw was fair, and the lack of Chris Wondolowski goals provided a small sense of solace to my jaded heart. The injuries to Roman Torres, Nelson Haedo Valdez, and Brad Evans seemed to have varying degrees of severity, with the knee injury Torres suffered seeming to be potentially the most damaging.
But what the soccer gods taketh, the soccer gods giveth. Andreas Ivanschitz made his first appearance for the Sounders after his touted summer transfer. Up until the last 15 minutes of the game his introduction was rather unceremonious, however, once Seattle got some set pieces in San Jose's half, oh my goodness I almost Ivanschitz'd myself. Three separate times he hit a free kick, each time delivering the ball to the dome of a Sounders player, two of those three resulted in open looks. One of those three resulted in the game's tying goal. How many set pieces do the Sounders get per game in the opposing team's half per game? 5? 10? It'll be good times. I like celebrating goals like the rest of us, but what I like even more is celebrating more goals. That's gonna happen.
Do you remember when I mentioned how grateful I was Wondolowski didn't score against us? I can only imagine San Jose fans loathe seeing Obafemi Martins, especially after he scored a beauty of a goal again. It was a goal that made Jon Busch thankful he plays in Chicago now. A man can only take so much embarrassment. A fanbase can only be brutalized so many times. I reckon that goal of Oba's pushed one intrepid San Jose fan beyond the edge of reason in calling Sounders fan (specifically ECS) hooligans and dicks, "who relish violence and criminal behavior," and are inexperienced, having no idea what they're doing. That's what happens when you play against the Sounders and Oba does Oba things scoring Oba goals. Your sanity wanes. Your reality distorts. Your thoughts go to dark places like, "San Jose Ultras? Nah, ECS is way worse!"
I suppose it's times like these that I'm glad my grip on reality is strong, mainly because I get to root for the Sounders and players like Clint Dempsey and Oba. And thanks to those two, as well as a handful of others, Seattle earned a point wearing the Olympic White kits. The Sounders sit in 4th in the West, and their next four MLS games will be against opponents currently above the Western Conference redline.
It'll be an interesting next month, our fate in CCL will be determined and the Sounders could make some serious headway in the Supporters Shield race. Despite my conditioning, there's no alternative other than Seattle success. We'll score goals. Our defense will prevent them. Miraculously our set-piece defending will turn a corner for the best and we'll start scoring two to three set-piece goals each game. It'll be pretty funny at the end of the season when we're looking back at all that angst we once used to have. We're so silly sometimes.
In the grand scheme of things, this game has huge ramifications.
We're wearing the white kits? Oh.
That Torres injury doesn't look good.
And now Evans and Valdez left injured too?
I hate playing against San Jose.
Oh my goodness, our set piece defense is awful.
We just can't seem to figure out how to defend free kicks.
Whoa! What an Oba goal!
I love how Oba only scores those insane goals against San Jose.
A draw? Not bad.
I mean, at least it wasn't a loss.
I hate that we had to send all those San Jose fans home unhappy.
And now those fans are complaining about Seattle fans? Hmm.