2011 Aug 6

Sounders score twice at the death in Kansas City for best-ever comeback win

Sporting Kansas City  1 - 2  Seattle Sounders FC
Livestrong Sporting Park, Kansas City, KS

20' KC: Kei Kamara (Matt Besler)
90' SEA: Mauro Rosales
90' SEA: Lamar Neagle (Mike Fucito, Mauro Rosales)

Kansas City: Jimmy Nielsen; Michael Harrington, Matt Besler, Julio Cesar, Seth Sinovic; Kei Kamara (Chance Myers 82'), Birahim Diop, Graham Zusi, Jeferson (Luke Sassano 39'), Omar Bravo (sent off 59'), CJ Sapong (Teal Bunbury 65').
Substitutes not used: Eric Kronberg, Daniel Cyrus, Milos Stojcev, Soony Saad.

Seattle: Kasey Keller; James Riley, Jeff Parke, Zach Scott, Tyson Wahl; Mauro Rosales, Osvaldo Alonso, Servando Carrasco, Alvaro Fernandez (Pat Noonan 55'); Fredy Montero (Mike Fucito 55'), Roger Levesque (Lamar Neagle 68').
Substitutes not used: Josh Ford, Patrick Ianni, Erik Friberg, Nate Jaqua.

Match report from Ron Stickney:

Seattle Sounders FC entered the 90th minute down a goal to nil, but were up 2-1 at the final whistle thanks to goals from Mauro Rosales and Lamar Neagle. Sporting Kansas City were ahead most of the match after Kei Kamara's goal in the 20th minute.

It was the Sounders FC's most amazing comeback win ever. It was coach Sigi Schmid's 150th MLS win. It was Kansas City's first loss in their new Livestrong Sporting Park, ending their 14-match unbeaten streak in MLS play.

Seattle goalkeeper Kasey Keller came up with a double save in the 7th minute. From a free kick play, a long shot/cross was played onto the bar by Keller, then from the rebound Seth Sinovic crossed for a header by Kamara, which was touched over the bar by Keller. Another save by Keller was needed at 18' when Graham Zusi's long free kick went just over the crowd in front of goal, and Keller was there to catch it.

20' KC: Kamara (Besler). Seattle poorly defended a long throw-in from Matt Besler from near the right flag. Kamara seemed to be the only one who saw where the ball was going, rising at the near post to head it in over the Keller, who broke late and didn't get high enough to block the shot. Zach Scott was marking Kamara, but was two yards away flat-footed when the throw-in sailed over his head to Kamara. 1-0 Kansas City.

Seattle's first good opportunity came near the half-hour mark when Roger Levesque fed James Riley for a cross to Alvaro Fernandez, open just pass goal, but he headed the shot well wide.

For KC, Zusi fed CJ Sapong on the front line and he got by Jeff Parke and close to goal, but the shot never was taken as Scott slid in to cleanly send the ball out just in time.

For Seattle, Fredy Montero was served just inside the penalty area by Riley for a trap, then a shot from the center of the 18-yard line, but it was angled yards over the bar.

KC had the last chance of the half when Kamara rocketed a shot from the 20 aimed at the near post, where Keller parried it down and a defender cleared it.

Seattle was awarded a free kick in the middle 35 yards from goal just into the second half, and Montero curved it over the wall to the lower left corner, where Jimmy Nielsen had it covered.

The other way, Sapong got free on the right and drove a hard, low shot. Keller collapsed to block it and the ball rebounced outside the penalty area, leading to a shot sent back in that was stopped by a defender in the crowd.

Seattle's first substitutes came at 55', when Pat Noonan and Mike Fucito replaced Fernandez and Montero. All of Seattle subsitutes would play a role in the win.

Noonan's role came at 58' when he was the victim as Omar Bravo slid two-footed, cleats-first into Noonan's ankle. The red card came out for Bravo. Instead of leaving the pitch, Bravo approached Noonan, who was still on the ground, and Bravo tried to provoke Noonan into retaliation, then Bravo flopped to the ground when Noonan angrily got in his face. Bravo's disgraceful conduct after the red card probably deserves adding a second match to the suspension.

The red card probably helped Seattle, as both teams were playing in hot weather after having played another match three days earlier.

When play resumed, Servando Carrasco took the 25-yard free kick and missed the target badly.

At 70' Nielsen likely earned save of the week with a double save. First, Fucito was fed by Rosales and shot hard and low from the center of the 18. Nielsen got down to block it, and substitute Lamar Neagle's put-back shot from the rebound was aimed nicely at the lower near corner, and Nielsen lunged at it for an amazing foot save.

Kansas City substitute Teal Bunbury had a chance at an insurance goal when he got free up the middle at 90', but his shot bent the wrong way and missed the left post by a yard.

90' SEA: Rosales. With Seattle pressuring KC's goal, Riley's forward pass was almost stopped by a defender, but it found its way through for Carrasco. Carrasco's square cross found Rosales inside the penalty area, and he did well to break free of two defenders to earn the shot, which was squeezed between Julio Cesar and Nielsen and into the lower far corner, possibly deflecting a bit off Cesar. 1-1. Carrasco deserved an assist on the play, but the official scorekeeper was stingy.

90' SEA: Neagle (Fucito, Rosales). The attack started with Keller, who released the ball to Riley on the right side. Rosales and Noonan helped work the ball up the right side, then Rosales took it to the 18 with an outstanding effort. He sent a square pass to Fucito at the arc, and Fucito worked it along to Neagle, who had switched to the left side. Neagle shot low back to the far side, beating Chance Myers and Sinovic as the shot had eyes for the lower corner. 2-1 Seattle.

The match winner came in the middle minute of three minutes added, just two minutes after Rosales tied it up. At the final whistle the Sounders were euphoric, while Sporting and their fans were left stunned.

           KC  SEA
Shots:     14   12
Saves:      3    6
Corners:    6    1
Fouls:      9   10
Offsides:   4    1

37' KC: Diop cautioned for kicking Rosales after the ball was gone
59' KC: Bravo sent off for a two-footed, cleats-first slide into Noonan's ankle

Referees: Jair Marrufo; Frank Anderson, James Conlee; Fotis Bazakos

Attendance: 17,493

Postmatch Quotes

Seattle Sounders FC

Sigi Schmid - Head Coach

Thoughts on the result: "Obviously, we're pleased with the result to come from behind like that. You know the red card was a game changing moment. Sometimes those calls go for you and sometimes they go against you, we have been on the other side of them as well so I know how Peter feels. You know right after that I felt like we got into a better rhythm and you know after that we lost it again. Two tremendous plays by Mauro Rosales at the end but over all for our team after playing 120 minutes in a really hard game against a team from Panama. I was really proud of them."

On getting late goals against Sporting Kansas City: "Well you know, we like to win games a little easier than that and you know they're a good team, Peter's done a good job here. We picked up two good goals, and actually at the time when it was 1-1, we would have been satisfied but then Mauro made another play and we got ourselves another goal. We're pleased from that regard, they were the first team to beat us at CenturyLink and we ended up being the first team beating them here so it evens out a little bit."

On his 150th win as an MLS manager: "I wasn't even focused on that. I was close to that but I completely forgot 150 certainly in the euphoria of the game. It just means that I fortunately have gotten to coach a lot of players in this league. I love the guys I've coached and put in an effort for me. Kei Kamara did a great job when he was with me in Columbus, Sasha Victorine was great for telecast for me in LA and you know, it's the players that do the business for you. I've been fortunate enough to have some good players play for me."

On LIVESTRONG Sporting Park: "Obviously the field and the surface, the atmosphere is tremendous. I hear it's great for the fans so maybe one day I can come back and sit in the stands and actually enjoy the amenities. Those are by the far the most comfortable seats in the league. It's an outstanding facility, I was actually here in December and saw it as it was being built because I was in the area and you could tell it was going to be a good facility."

Lamar Neagle

On the playing in the heat: "I feel like we're getting used to it. Panama, Houston, and now here, but we'll have some time at home now so we'll get a break. They have to deal with it too, they may be more used to it but at the end of the day it's going to be hot and we're both going to have to deal with it. We just fought through it and played hard to the end. We may not have been putting everything together, but the effort was definitely there and that kind of showed in the result."

On third stoppage time winner against Kansas City: "You can tell that our effort is always there. At the end of the game we're still striving to get that win no matter what the score is even though we're down one or whatever it is, we still come back. We've gone down a goal many times, but we always seem to fight back and win the game, and that's what happened."

On LIVESTRONG Sporting Park: "It was great, very nice stadium. I actually came and trained with Kansas City while I was still in college one time, and that's when they were still on the baseball field, so this is amazing. The training facility is really nice as well."

Mauro Rosales

On last few minutes of game: "We played against a very tough team, they have very good players, and the heat also was very important, but we won and we are very happy about that. This is three points for us and that is very important because we cannot be far behind LA and Dallas and we are very happy about that."

On heat and trailing for the majority of the game: "We also played on Wednesday for 120 minutes, so we are without legs and without power, but in the mind we were very focused and in the last part of the game we won."

On playing all ninety minutes: "We talked about it and the guys looked very, very tired from the last game we played, so we decided to do what was best for the team and make some changes."

Kasey Keller

General thoughts on the match: "They're a good team and there's a reason why they haven't been beat in fourteen games. We knew they were going to put us under some pressure at the beginning and I thought they did a good job. We held on a little bit and anytime you keep the game to one goal you know there's a chance to get something from the game and we did that. Obviously difficult for them with Bravo getting sent off with thirty minutes left and even then they still had a couple chances, but credit to our guys, they didn't give up and we got the three points."

On breaking several teams' winning streaks: "I like to think that we go into every game trying to win. We stay in games and that's what allows us to get those points on the road, and we were able to do that today."

On LIVESTRONG Sporting Park: "It's excellent, everything's moving in the right direction. Great crowd, too, they were excellent the whole game. Give credit to the ownership group here, we trained at the training ground too, and it's a nice professional training ground and this club is really moving in the right direction."

Sporting Kansas City

Peter Vermes - Head Coach

On how the match ended: "I felt like, just like last game, we started off very well the first half. We were definitely pushing. We were driving the game and I guess from the opening whistle, I thought that we owned the game, we were dominating, not only defensively in not giving anything away but more importantly creating chances. I thought the goal off the set piece, throw in from the outside, I thought it was great movement by Kei, excellent throw by Besler and obviously it's something we work on, and it was excellent timing and rhythm to the play. Getting the goal was great, I thought we created some very good chances thereafter. During halftime, 1-0, we felt very good at where we were at, we made a couple of adjustments which I thought were actually working when we started the second half."

On trying to close out the match: "We're ten men and everything at that point is going against us and believe me, it's not something that we take pride in giving up two goals. But at the same time when everything is being pushed against you and we're trying, Luke went down and that didn't help us with his knee. So we were nine guys, that was a difficulty."

On the equalizing goal from Rosales: "I haven't seen it, the way I'd like to. Diop was running and felt the ball coming to where it was and Zusi got a foot on it and then they caught up and almost X'd each other out in that play. Yeah, I'd have to see a little bit more but you know, I'm sure we could have done something better on the situation, for sure. But it was late in the game at that point, we were trying to hold off with nine guys."

Michael Harrington

On how the match ended: "I'm still kind of playing the plays back through my head and I just don't think we did a great job managing the game in the last few minutes. There were some decisions that we made that weren't good decisions and it ended up biting us and those goals that were scored were a bit unlucky with balls going through guys legs and deflecting, but that's no excuse. It's a heartbreaker to not get any points."

On giving up late goals to Seattle lately: "Yeah, it feels like that, definitely in the past few years. Hopefully we can right that the next time we see them."

On reacting to going down a man for the second straight match: "For the most part I think we did a good job, similar to the last game when we were a man down over the last 30 minutes or so. We did a good job staying compact. I feel like all the way until the last five or 10 minutes, guys were getting tired, we're getting stretched out, their guys were starting to get too much service behind our backs and unfortunately they got two goals."

Jimmy Nielsen

Thoughts on the game: "Right now at the moment, it's very painful to lose a game like we did today. I think we deserve better. I think we did a great job today."

On the Rosales goal: "There was a deflection off one of our players, a very lucky goal. Running through three people, shooting, having a deflection. It's disappointing. We should be professional enough to finish the game better than we did."