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   2013 May 8

Traore stuns KC with a lone goal in added time

Sporting Kansas City  0 - 1  Seattle Sounders FC

PPL Park, Chester, PA

Goals:
90' SEA: Djimi Traore

Kansas City: Jimmy Nielsen; Chance Myers, Aurelien Collin, Ike Opara, Josh Gardner (Seth Sinovic 75'); Benny Feilhaber (Claudio Bieler 65'), Oriol Rosell, Peterson Joseph, CJ Sapong; Jacob Peterson (Kei Kamara 73'), Graham Zusi.
Substitutes not used: Mechak Jerome, Eric Kronberg, Mikey Lopez, Lawrence Olum.

Seattle: Michael Gspurning; Zach Scott, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Djimi Traore, Leo Gonzalez; Brad Evans, Osvaldo Alonso, Servando Carrasco, Mario Martinez (Alex Caskey 90'); David Estrada (Mauro Rosales 85'), Eddie Johnson.
Substitutes not used: Marcus Hahnemann, Patrick Ianni, Dylan Remick, Andy Rose, Eriq Zavaleta.


Match report from Sounders FC:

Djimi Traore scored the latest goal in franchise history as Sounders FC (2-3-3, 9 points) defeated Sporting Kansas City (5-4-2, 17 points), 1-0, Wednesday night at Sporting Park. The 94th minute winner extended Seattle's unbeaten streak to four games (2-0-2) after the club picked up seven points during a three-match road trip.

After a long throw-in in the fourth minute of second half stoppage time, Traore gathered the ball inside the box after a Sporting mis-clearance and fired it into the back of the net. It marked the first career MLS goal for Traore and his second across all competitions in 2013. It's also the latest goal in franchise history, breaking Jeff Parke's 93rd minute goal against Kansas City on May 21, 2011.

Traore has scored the game-winning goal in two of Sounders FC's three wins across all competitions in 2013 after his deciding goal in the second leg of the CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinals against Tigres UANL.

Seattle also extended its league unbeaten streak against Kansas City to seven games (6-0-1), including a 2-0-0 record at Sporting Park in MLS play. The Rave Green have bested Sporting four times with a stoppage time goal.

Michael Gspurning made three saves en route to his third shutout of the season, all during the four-match unbeaten run. The Austian came up with big save in the first minute after Jacob Peterson got into the box, then saved a Graham Zusi shot in the 25th minute and a half-volley from Chance Myers in the 43nd.

Before Traore's goal, Seattle's best chance came in the 28th minute when Mario Martinez bent a free kick around the wall that forced Sporting goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen into a diving save.

David Estrada started at forward alongside Eddie Johnson, his second start of the season and first since March 23 at San Jose.

Sounders FC backup goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann was issued a red card and sent off from the bench in the 24th minute.

Kansas City forward Kei Kamara made his 2013 MLS debut when he came on for Peterson in the 73rd minute. Kamara returned this week from a loan spell with Norwich City of the English Premier League.


Statistics:
           KC   SEA
Shots:     11     9
Saves:      1     3
Corners:    3     5
Fouls:     15    11
Offside:    1     5

Misconduct:
24' SEA: Hahnemann dismissed from the bench for an F-bomb after an obvious PK for nandling was not called
45' KC: Opara cautioned
90' KC: Collin cautioned

Referees: Geoff Gamble; Joe Fletcher, Marco Arruda; Tyler Ploeger

Attendance: 18,602


Post-Match Quotes

Seattle Sounders FC

Sigi Schmid - Head Coach

On Seattle's 1-0 win over Sporting KC: "We've always had good success in this building. We thought we were a little hard done by in the US Open Cup Final last year, but that's over with. We're happy to get the win because we needed the points. We've played well, and today we finally got some luck."

On improving to 4-0-0 in Kansas City in MLS competition: "It's sort of hard to figure out. Sometime you have a bogie team you can't seem to get past, and then you have a team where it always seems to fall into place. We've done it in different ways at this stadium. I was very pleased with our fitness because we weren't able to rest as many guys as Kansas City did before this match."

On Seattle's defensive performance: "I thought we were very good tonight defensively. We didn't give them time or very many looks. I didn't think Michael Gspurning was forced to make very many saves. He did well to hold onto a shot from Chance Myers in the first half."

On Djimi Traore's goal in the 95th minute: "It was a long throw, and I don't know if it was Brad Evans or one of their players who flicked it on, but Djimi was in the right spot in the middle. He took a touch quickly and finished with his second."

On earning a hard-fought road victory: "It's important for our team. We have eight points over our last four games, so we're averaging two points a game, which is what we need to do to put ourselves back in the running. Now we've got a big Western Conference game, and we want to get points at home. Our fans see that we're fighting and clawing to get back to being the team we've been over the last four years."

David Estrada

On Seattle's 1-0 win over Sporting KC: "It was nice to sneak away with a victory and all three points. One of the things we tried to do was drive the ball at Opara. We're a little short-handed with injuries and suspensions, but anyone who steps onto the field for us can do well. Whatever the matchups are, I think we can always do a good job."

On the importance of Seattle's victory: "We didn't have a very good start to the season, and we knew we had to turn things around. One of the ways you can do that is by going on the road. It tests your character. A lot of guys have had to step up that normally don't play, which has helped us. Now we're looking forward to bringing this momentum home to get three more points."

Djimi Traore

On Seattle's 1-0 win over Sporting KC: "It is a big victory for us away from home. We worked hard the whole game, and in the first half it was hard for us. But in the second half we found a way. I don't know if we deserved it, but it's important that we got the three points."

On Seattle's defensive performance: "We pressed them all over the pitch. It was good pressure from us to not let them be comfortable passing the ball. Everyone was involved. You can even thank our strikers for pressure. They didn't make it easy on us. They are a good team, but we did what we had to do."

On his game-winning goal in the 94th minute: "It was the last minute and I was happy to contribute. I was surprised to receive the ball in that area, but I just did my best. To score at that time is very important for us. It's great for showing our character and it was a fun match to play."

Sporting KC

Peter Vermes - Head Coach

On giving up the late goal: "It is a monumental mistake as we came out of the back to play that ball square. At that point we have CJ Sapong and Kei Kamara up front and that ball needs to be played forward. Absolutely unacceptable that we played that ball the way it was played. That ball needs to go forward into those guys — that's why they are there running off the ball — we're now 18 yards from their goal. It was a monumental mistake on our part. There's nothing else to say. It's a simple one. We were coming up the field and we play the ball square across the field. For what reason? I have absolutely no idea. Monumental mistake. There's nothing I can say around the goal other than it was a major mistake on our part. We gifted that to them."

On Sporting KC's recent results against Seattle: "I don't buy into that stuff. That's a concentration mistake. It's a mistake on a player coming out of the back. Instead of playing that ball forward he plays it square and puts the other team in the game. He had 20-30 yards of space in front of him, but it's just a mistake unfortunately. The great thing is, we played very well. Again having to change the lineup based on a short turn around given that we played Sunday and they played Saturday. I thought we did a good job and we had good run of play. I thought the second half we got a little tired in the middle of the park it was hard to make subs based on what we needed. The first half I thought we created a lot of good chances in and around the box and I thought we dictated play. Look, they scored a late goal on us. We won the ball to Jimmy, to the ball being thrown out, to the ball played square, to the ball going out of bounds, and missing our mark, and all those things. It was just one mistake after another. So, just completely unacceptable."

On Kei Kamara's return: "I knew it was going to be one where he was going to be a little bit disconnected at times being the fact that he played a lot in a 4-4-2 or a 4-5-1 and playing in the middle. Now he's coming to the wide channel again which is what he plays for us. It was a good return for him, to get him out on the field for us, but he needs a little time with us for sure to get back to his form with us."

On Seattle's tactics: "They didn't step up and high press us in this game. They tried a couple times maybe, but we broke their pressure. We had 60-70 yards on the field ourselves. Especially in the first half. Second half, yeah they tried to make our center backs have the ball, but it wasn't like they posed some major problems for us and it wasn't like we weren't getting up the field."

On the crowd at Sporting Park: "The crowd was awesome tonight. They were loud. They were into it. For a Wednesday night it was a tremendous environment. It still is a fortress. It still is a great environment and it will continue to be that. It's a great place to play. For anybody. For both teams for sure."

Graham Zusi

On Sporting's recent results against Seattle: "I don't know it might just be coincidence and a lack of concentration in the last few minutes."

On Sporting's second half performance: "For as well as we played in the first half, that's how bad we played in the second. A horrible second half for us. It's not anything they did. They didn't really have too many sniffs at our goal. Passing was off. Touches were off. Just a poor second half.

"I don't know. It could have been a lack of energy. I thought we were just dull the second half."

Jimmy Nielsen

On giving up the late goal: "That's not good enough to give up a goal in whatever minute. It's very, very disappointing. We have to be more focused in that situation. That's too sloppy.

"There was a few actions before the goal, too. It's just not good enough at that point. I think we should try to play the long ball up. We have CJ and Kei and we should try to play the long ball up there. That was a mistake and we made a mistake on the throw in, too. Throw it to the near post and he flicked it in. The guy can't be that open in that area."

On his thoughts during the play that lead to the Seattle goal: "It went pretty fast so I'm not really sure what happened. In a split second I thought it was a handball but I'm not sure."

On his reaction to the goal: "Like jumping in an ice bath. It was like, “Jesus Christ, what's going on here?” I thought we played a pretty good game. It was an intense game. A lot of battles out there and I think everybody did a great job. We just got to be better to finish the game off. We can't give up a goal like that. Very disappointing.

"It can't knock us back. We have a game on Sunday. We have to bounce back from this here. It's something that we have to take with us. The last few minutes we have to be better to finish the game like this, if we don't win, at least get a point. That was too easy."

On the crowd's reaction to Kei Kamara's return: "It was unbelievable. What a welcome. Fantastic crowd and it was fantastic to have Kei back."

On Sporting KC's recent results against Seattle: "That's not the first time that's happened. There's definitely something we can learn from this. I'm sure that Coach will point that out to us tomorrow."