Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
Sounders rally but fall short
by Ridge Mahoney, November 3rd, 2011 1:54AM
Subscribe to Soccer America Daily

MOST READ
TAGS:  mls, real salt lake, seattle sounders

MOST COMMENTED

[MLS PLAYOFFS: Seattle-Real Salt Lake] Seattle's desperate attempt to overturn a three-goal deficit from the first leg of their conference semifinal series against Real Salt Lake fell just short. The 2-0 victory at CenturyLink Field Wednesday night sent RSL through on a 3-2 aggregate to play either New York or Los Angeles on Sunday.

LINEUP DECISIONS. Quadriceps injuries to centerbacks Jamison Olave and Nat Borchersleft Real Salt Lake coach Jason Kreis with limited options. Chris Schuler, who replaced Olave in the first leg, started in the middle alongside Chris Wingert, the team’s starting left back for the past few seasons who played in the middle at St. John’s University.

Seattle coach Sigi Schmid decided to leave Mauro Rosales, who re-injured his strained MCL in the regular-season finale against Chivas USA, out of the lineup. He needed to use two substitutes in the first half, when hamstring injuries knocked out Alvaro Fernandez and Brad Evans. They were replaced, respectively, by Lamar Neagle andRoger Levesque.

BIG SAVE.RSL goalie Nick Rimando recorded six saves as Seattle pounded out a 17-4 advantage in shots, yet the most important save came off the head of RSL’s Tony Beltran, who got the start at left back when Kreis moved Wingert into the middle.

In the 36th minute, defender Jeff Parke  hit a searing shot on goal that Beltran, dropping back to cover the net with goalie Nick Rimando out of position, diverted with his head by leaning, off-balance, into the shot’s path. Parke fell to his knees and teammates held their faces in disbelief at Beltran's amazing feat.

BREAKTHROUGH. The Sounders’ chances of pulling off a remarkable turnaround could have been enhanced with a first-half goal but despite piling on pressure in a driving rain, the first half ended, 0-0. Without Fernandez and Rosales, Fredy Montero and Erik Friberg drove the attack and neither found his best shooting form. Friberg skied two shots from medium range and while Montero played a more aggressive and prominent role than he had in the first leg, he also labored.

Seattle’s waves of attacks paid off early in the second half when Betran dragged down Mike Fucito in the box and Osvaldo Alsonso drove his penalty kick under Rimando.  Seven minutes later, with half an hour still to play, Neagle placed a feed from Montero into the bottom corner beyond Rimando to fuel a frenzied celebration from the crowd of 36,021 fans.

FAREWELL. Kasey Keller, playing in what turned out to be his last professional match, kept Seattle in the game with a solid block of Fabian Espindola’s blast in the 79th minute. The power of the shot knocked Keller off balance but his hand on the ball to force it over the crossbar and maintain the one-goal difference on aggregate. It was Keller’s only save of the night. With placards and posters bearing his name and No. 18 dotting most of the sections, he marked the last dance with a memorable moment for his hometown team.

AFTERMATH.  At the start of the season, Seattle coach Sigi Schmid said that in this third year of his tenure he expected to win MLS Cup. Injuries to Steve Zakuani, O’Brian White and Rosales significantly impaired the Sounders, which nevertheless won the U.S. Open Cup for a third straight year and qualified for the Champions League quarterfinals. That would seem sufficient reason for another shot, but no matter who coaches in 2012, filling that hole in goal is job one.



0 comments
  1. Jack Aldridge
    commented on: November 3, 2011 at 11:38 a.m.
    That's a real shame. Despite living in Vancouver and cheering for the Whitecaps first, Sounders were our neighbours and we often made the two hour trek to watch live Futbal and cheer them on. Was hoping to cheer them on to the MLS Final...
  1. I w Nowozeniuk
    commented on: November 3, 2011 at 5:58 p.m.
    Jack, the shame is that the game plan was pitiful and the team never showed up; in the second half Sigi should have bunkered.
  1. tim self
    commented on: November 3, 2011 at 7:03 p.m.
    Good effort in the end. Bring back Sigi, promote Keller to assistant with Smetzer. Go get Seattle product Marques Hannaman. We needed our outside midfielders badly.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
U.S. Abroad: Johansson returns in crushing Bremen defeat    
Aron Johannsson returned to action in the Bundesliga for the first time in 11 months, starting ...
USA names roster for U-17 Women's World Cup    
Coach B.J. Snow has named the USA's 21-player roster for the 2016 U-17 Women's World Cup ...
MLS Countdown: Vanney gives TFC reminder    
Toronto FC waited through many seasons and head coaches before finally reaching the playoffs last year. ...
Bundesliga 2016-17: Half the teams have a U.S. player    
From age 17 to 28, from newly promoted RB Leipzig to four-time defending champion Bayern Munich, ...
WCQ Callups: USA battles injuries and suspensions    
The roster for the U.S. national team's World Cup 2018 qualifiers against St. Vincent & the ...
NWSL: Olympians back in fold, mostly    
Off for 26 days because of the Olympics -- except for one make-up game -- the ...
What They're Saying: Laura Harvey    
"It's about someone’s livelihood. It’s about their career. Irrelevant of what the decision is and who ...
What They're Saying: Alex Morgan    
"The players don't control any of the consequences that happen, that are enforced by U.S. Soccer. ...
TV Report: MLS and NFL to air joint lineup    
On Sept. 18, Fox Sports will air two live MLS matches -- Sporting Kansas City-LA Galaxy ...
MLS Countdown: Timbers' health improving    
Cascadia Cup rivals Seattle and Portland meet Sunday at Providence Park for the second time in ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives