The Seattle Sounders were handed their second loss of the season by a score of 3-1 when Sporting Kansas City came to town. The result helped SKC to close the gap between first and second in the West to only two points and they still have a game in hand.
The first half was largely a story of mental mistakes from the Sounders. After an energetic start that saw Seattle applying pressure and creating chaos in SKC’s defensive half, sloppiness on the ball and poor decision making turned the tide in the visitor's favor. Eventually, Sporting’s pressure combined with a poor pass selection from AB Cissoko resulted in a foul by Danny Leyva right outside of the box, and Johnny Russell opened the scoring on the free kick that followed just after the half-hour mark. Daniel Salloi doubled the lead minutes before halftime when Kelyn Rowe took too long on the ball after a corner kick and SKC got out on a devastating counter.
The Sounders looked much better to start the second half, got a goal early from Fredy Montero, and it seemed to be just a matter of time before they’d find an equalizer which nearly came when Raúl Ruidíaz had a shot saved off the post. But in the 72nd minute SKC substitute Cameron Duke added a third with his first touch of the game. That deficit proved too much for the Sounders to overcome as they lost only their second game of the season. This result means the Sounders are still in the lead in the Western Conference but drop behind New England Revolution by one point in the Supporters’ Shield standings. Seattle has a chance to shake this one off when they host the San Jose Earthquakes at Lumen Field on Saturday, July 31 at 2 PM.
14’ — SKC create a turnover in Seattle’s end and nearly have a man in on goal, but Stefan Cleveland collects the ball.
25’ — Fredy Montero nearly opens the scoring with a bicycle kick, but Tim Melia is able to put the shot out for a corner.
31’ — Johnny Russell opens the scoring after winning a free kick, beating Stefan Cleveland to the far post. 0-1
42’ — Daniel Salloi capitalizes on a counter after Kelyn Rowe is too casual with the ball. 0-2
51’ — Fredy Montero picks up the scraps after a cross from Kelyn Rowe creates some havoc and Montero beats Melia to the rebound and puts it in the back of the net to cut the deficit in half. 1-2
55’ — Raúl Ruidíaz nearly evens the score but Melia just gets enough on his chip to send the ball off course and into the far post.
72’ — Cameron Duke finds himself unmarked, as Xavier Arreaga loses his man, and finishes at the far post. 1-3
So you had a bad day: The Sounders were largely undone by mental mistakes and individual errors. Anyone is capable of having a bad day, where you forget things and simple stuff that you do every day with ease just turns out wrong. It’s hard to overcome that as a team when multiple people are having that kind of day. That was sort of the case for the Sounders, who looked to be totally drained for significant portions of this game. This one stands in pretty stark contrast with the rest of the season so far, as mental toughness and a willingness and ability to work for the guys around them have been a trademark quality of this team throughout a remarkable start to the season. Still, it’s only the second loss of the season and the team’s still in the hunt at the top of the table.
Fredy’s 50: Fredy Montero provided the lone bright spot on a frustrating evening. His goal in the 51st minute was his 50th regular-season goal for the Sounders, giving him sole possession of the record with the club. He nearly scored a glorious goal earlier in the game, but his bicycle attempt was saved, and consistently looked likely to be involved in any potential goals on the evening. One goal in a frustrating loss won’t likely be something that anyone wants to spend much time on, but it’s still something to celebrate.
A Roldan returns: Kelyn Rowe struggled as the right wingback against SKC. Maybe it was his lack of familiarity in the position, maybe it had something to do with wanting to prove an old team wrong, or maybe it was just an off day, none of us knows. The fact is he was often too slow in making decisions on the ball, and his service was lacking. The good news is that the first choice RWB was back in the building, albeit unavailable, following El Salvador’s loss to Qatar in the Gold Cup. Roldan’s ability in possession, along with his excellent crossing, will be a welcome addition to the team.
Did you see that?!?
Would have been nice.
He said what?!?
Brian: ‘we did not live up to our standards.’— Sounder At Heart (@sounderatheart) July 26, 2021
One stat to tell the tale
1,856 — It had been 1,856 days since the last time the Sounders lost by more than one goal at home, when they lost 0-2 to NYCFC on June 25, 2016. That was in the pre-Schmetzer era.
Man of the match
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