While Saturday’s 3-2 loss to Sporting Kansas City (3-4-5, 14 points) Saturday afternoon was just the Seattle Sounders ( 7-2-5, 26 points) second loss of the season, the lesson that momentary lapses of reasoning can be costly will be remembered all season long.
While the Sounders limped into Children’s Mercy Park without the services of midfielder Victor Rodriguez ( leg injury), forward Jordan Morris ( hamstring) and Chad Marshall ( retirement) they were facing a Sporting KC squad who was winless in its six games ( 3 ties-3 losses). Sporting KC’s last MLS victory was a 7-1 home victory on March 30th against the Montreal Impact.
The Sounders game plan was pretty traditional for an MLS road team, weather the storm by keeping possession off the ball and control the rhythm, tempo of the game. More times than not possession results in more shots on goal and more goals scored. The Sounders executed half of the game plan, they had a majority of the possession and straight up lost their senses when it came to completing the rest of the game plan. The Sounders were sloppy in their passing and turned the ball over needlessly.
Sporting KC forward Johnny Russell scored the first of his three goals in the 29th after a Seattle turnover gave the home side the early 1-0 lead. Things got considerably worse for the visitors in the 38th when center back Kim Kee-hee suffered a leg injury and was replaced by newly signed Designated Player Xavier Arreaga who arrived in Seattle this week. Another Sounder give away just before halftime saw Russell bag his second goal of the game.
A halftime talk brought some pep into the Sounders step and a Raul Ruidiaz goal in the 63rd minute off an exquisite Kevin Leerdam spinarama pass in the box turned the step into a downright trot. While the Sounders feet were willing their minds were wandering as they continued with poor passing that resulted in more turnovers.
Russell completed his hat-trick in the 68th minute and once again the Sounders found themselves running uphill due to their own miscues. A Leerdam goal in the 71st minute from a Nicolas Lodeiro corner kick brought life into the visitors but in the end, the Sounders inability to establish some rhythm resulted in their second loss of the season.
” Initially our press was not the best. When you exhaust so much energy going into trying to win the ball back and all of a sudden you win the ball back and you’re in a tough spot, Kansas City does a really good job of repressing. They made things difficult once we won the ball, ” midfielder Cristian Roldan said after the game.
“In the second half, I felt like we won the ball in better spots in their half and we were able to play a little more because they weren’t able to press us as easily. (In the) first half, (the) first 30 minutes killed us mentally and physically. Obviously giving up an early goal and the second one leading up to halftime made things a lot more difficult for us.”
- With tonight’s result, Sounders FC remains in second place in the Western Conference with 26 points (7-2-5), one point ahead of third-place LA Galaxy and eight points behind Supporters’ Shield leader LAFC.
- Sounders FC moves to 9-6-4 all-time in MLS regular season play against Sporting, including a 4-4-2 mark in Kansas City.
- With today’s result, Seattle’s unbeaten run of six matches comes to a close. Sounders FC had previously earned two wins and four draws dating back to April 21.
- Raúl Ruidíaz’s goal in the 63rd minute of play was his fifth strike of 2019 in nine games played, good for the team lead in scoring.
- Kelvin Leerdam’s header in the 71st minute of play was his fourth strike of 2019, tied with Jordan Morris for second on the team.
- Captain Nico Lodeiro earned the assist on Leerdam’s goal, good for his eighth assist in league play this season. The Uruguayan is now second in Major League Soccer in assists.
- Newly-signed Designated Player Xavier Arreaga made his Sounders FC debut on Sunday, just days after arriving in Seattle from Ecuador. The central defender came into the match in relief of injured centerback Kim Kee-hee, who exited today’s contest in Kansas City in the 38th minute.
- With a yellow card in the 60th minute of today’s match, Lodeiro is now suspended for the June 1 match in Dallas due to yellow card accumulation. Coming into Sunday’s game, the Uruguayan had four yellow cards to his name.