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Seattle’s penchant for stoppage winners

Breaking the Loons’ hearts was not the first time Seattle stole one at the death

MLS: Seattle Sounders at Minnesota United FC Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

The Sounders’ extra time comeback in Minnesota reminds us that following the Rave Green is not for the faint of heart. The club is in the midst of a seven-match unbeaten run that parallels last season’s 13 game streak (including game seven also being a soul crushing win at Minnesota United) and refuses to give up. Seattle’s comeback marks the 18th time they’ve stolen points in dying breaths of a match and the second time they’ve managed to grab all three points in the 90th minute or later.

Seattle loves the dramatics. “I just like to add to the drama. I could have waited 15 more seconds,” was Will Bruin’s take on his goal. Bruin’s 97th minute winner was the latest winning goal Seattle has scored in the regular season and is their only result-changing score after the 94th.

Counting Seattle out is a dangerous idea. The team has a penchant for last-minute theatrics, grabbing 11 wins (over 7.5% of all regular season wins) this way. Among the club’s 76 regular season draws, nearly 10% have come thanks to a stoppage time goal. The majority of these have come in matches where Seattle is facing Western Conference competition, making the points earned even more valuable. Diving into the details of when/where/who the Sounders are scoring against and looking back at some of their best stoppage goals is always a fun exercise, especially after such a dramatic win as Saturday’s.

Who is Seattle beating?

Beating Minnesota represented the second time the Loons were downed late by Rave Green heroics. Last season in Seattle, it was Clint Dempsey’s 94th minute PK that gave the Sounders a win. Minnesota joins Houston and Sporting Kansas City as teams that have fallen to Seattle after the 90th multiple times.

Houston had the misfortune of losing a 1-0 lead and walking away with just a draw twice at home to Seattle during the 2016 season. The first time was a late Chad Marshall goal when he knocked home a loose ball in the box, and the second was a Nicolas Lodeiro shot from near the PK spot off a Joevin Jones cut back. Both goals were 94th minute tallies to deny a conference rival three points. These goals probably convinced Bruin he should switch teams for 2017.

Sporting Kansas City, meanwhile, has a record five regular season meltdowns against Seattle, including Seattle’s first multi-goal stoppage time match. From 2010-2014 it was a yearly occurrence for Kansas City to drop a result. 2010 saw Mike Fucito score in the 92nd for Seattle’s first extra time winner. It would start a trend.

In 2011 Jeff Parke notched the winner in a Seattle home match. When Seattle traveled to Kansas City later that year it was 1-0 Sporting in the 90th minute before Mauro Rosales tied it. Lamar Neagle followed that up two minutes later for Seattle’s first loss turned win in stoppage time.

Djimi Traore stole a win in Kansas City in 2013, and then Chad Barrett did likewise in the season opener in 2014. Since Sporting moved from the Eastern Conference to the West, Seattle has not stolen a match in extra time.

Where are they doing it?

Generally when you think of teams making an impact late, it is at home. Home teams theoretically have fan momentum pushing them and are gifted extra stoppage time, but less than half of Seattle’s thrillers have come at home. Of the seven home games, six earned the Sounders a win, and last season’s win over Minnesota came just shy of two years after the previous home thriller.

Celebrating at home is great, but breaking the hearts of opposition fans on the road is even sweeter. In Seattle’s 11 road steals, they’ve been heartless about it. They’ve spoiled parties for both Cascadia rivals, thanks to goals from Seattle’s biggest goal scorers and opposition villains, Clint Dempsey and Fredy Montero. They’ve done it multiple times at both Children’s Mercy Park and BBVA Compass Stadium.

Who is scoring?

Seattle has legends for everything, mainly because we invented soccer legends. Zach Scott is Mr. Sounder. Marcus Hahnemann will always be famous for stopping PKs and then chugging beers at Starfire. Fredy Montero scored our first. But who is the king of stoppage time goals? It is a shared title between Seattle’s all-competitions goal leader, Fredy Montero, and Chad Barrett. Yes, the Chad Barrett who drank pickle juice after matches. Both strikers tallied three goals, two of which were game winners. The difference being, Barrett never did it on the road.

Nicolas Lodeiro and Will Bruin’s goals in Minnesota added them to illustrious group of multiple goal scorers. Nico also scored late in Houston to grab a 1-1 draw. Bruin similarly scored a late goal in Montreal last year to tie the Impact 2-2. Clint Dempsey is the only other member of this club, grabbing both of his stoppage time goals last season. Seven other players have one stoppage time goal, including current Sounders Chad Marshall and Lamar Neagle.

When are they scoring?

Here is where it gets fun. Seattle loves to score in the 94th minute. With 20 stoppage time goals scored in the 18 matches, it is not surprising that most minutes have multiple goals, but a whopping eight of the 20 have come in the 94th. Dempsey only scores in the 94th. Bruin, who loves dramatics, only scores in the 94th or later. Since the beginning of the 2013 season, Seattle has 12 stoppage time goals. Two have come in the 91st, one in the 93rd, and the rest are 94th and later. Fredy Montero, meanwhile has never scored a points changing goal after the 91st.

Favorite goals

Jacob Landsberg — All of them are great, but Clint Dempsey’s tying goal in Portland (2017) from a Roman Torres cross is the best. It broke the hearts of rivals, saw Torres playing right wing and had Dempsey perfectly playing the villain of Cascadia.

Mark Kastner — Chad Barrett against Sporting KC (2014), because of course.

Dave Clark — I never saw Fucito (2010) score his fateful winner. I was buried under the Brougham Faithful. But after months of pushing that the Harvard kid should get playing time, having him succeed like that overwhelmed me.

Agtk — Before Lodeiro and Bruin daggered Minnesota on the road for three points, Neagle and Rosales (2011) did the same to Sporting Kansas City. It was neat. #BBQTears

Jeremiah Oshan — Dempsey versus Portland last year. It came out of nowhere and seemed to tip the season.

Realio — Evans (2015) stepped up after the Olympia keeper had pulled some BS “mind games” and slotted home, before getting in his face and celebrating next to the guy. [Editor’s note, Erik Friberg scored in the 90th in this match to make it 1-1. This was a CCL match against CD Olimpia and was not included in the article above.]

MLS Watercolorist — 2014 was an exhilarating rollercoaster ride, ending with a home-and-home series with the Galaxy to not only close out the regular season, but to decide the Supporters Shield winner. AND THEN. Marco Pappa steals the ball off of Jaime Penedo in the 95th minute to chip it in and drive the dagger home. It may not have technically been the game winner (he delivered that in the 85th), but it was in my heart.

Everyone, except maybe Will Bruin, would prefer the team be ahead by multiple goals going into stoppage time and ice the match with a late insurance goal. But if the Rave Green are not winning when the clock strikes 90, there’s still always hope for a thrilling goal to break opposition hearts.


Favorite stoppage time goal?

This poll is closed

  • 12%
    Will Bruin and Nicolas Lodeiro @MNUFC - 8/4/18
    (30 votes)
  • 43%
    Clint Dempsey @Portland - 6/25/17
    (102 votes)
  • 31%
    Every goal against Sporting Kansas Wizards
    (74 votes)
  • 11%
    I miss Chad Barrett
    (27 votes)
233 votes total Vote Now

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