The old age in sports is that you never let inferior teams hang around when in battle. That dire warning is more severe and consequences worse if you are playing an equal opponent. The Seattle Sounders ( 13-5-10 44pts) remained of that sporting usage in their 1-0 loss to the Philadelphia Union (13-4-12, 43pts) Wednesday night at CenturyLink Field.
The Sounders dominated the first fifteen minute of the match and had multiple chances to score not one but several goals. Unfortunately for the Sounders, their inability to score was compounded when the injury bug decided to rear its ugly head. Sounder Center back Chad Marshall collided with Union forward Cory Burke and the game was stopped while the Marshall received treatment for a knock to the head. While he returned to the match and finished the rest of the half Marshall did not return for the second half due to a concussion and he was replaced by Roman Torres.
One player who was unable to finish the first half due to injury was forward Raul Ruidiaz. Will Bruin replaced Ruidiaz in the 34th minute after the Peruvian forward suffered a foot injury. While they kept their wits about them and continued to battle, it began to feel as if it would be one of those nights where the home side would split the spoils with the visitors.
When Union midfielder Derrick Jones received his second yellow card in the 88th-minute it was a foregone conclusion that the Sounders would surely walk away with at least a point and there would extend their unbeaten streak to 13 games. As luck would have it the Sounders win streak came to a crashing halt in the third minute of stoppage time when Sounder netminder Stefan Frei tried to pass the ball to Gustav Svensson but the errant pass was picked off by Union forward Fabrice-Jean Picault who nutmegged Frei for the dramatic winner three minutes into stoppage time.
While Frei can be blamed for lack of execution on the play, the Sounders have no one to blame for letting a quality team hanging around.
The Sounders will need to have short memories as the Rave Green will head down to LA to face the Galaxy Sunday night ( 4:00 PM PT) at the StubHub Center. The loss put the Sounders in sixth place in the Western Conference while the Galaxy sits in eighth place just six points back.