Despite being the better team overall statistically, the Seattle Sounders failed to deliver in the most important category of all – goals.
Just like last season’s MLS Cup final, this rematch did not go as predicted beforehand by media experts and bookies. Unfortunately for the Seattle Sounders, this time that meant they were on the wrong side of the result.
Compared to their previous game against Toronto FC, the Sounders’ performance was much improved – at least in terms of their offensive showing. They dominated with 63.5 percent of the possession, while leading the way in corners and creating more shots at goal.
However, just like that clash in December, this result was decided by a penalty kick. Jozy Altidore cooly converted from the 12-yard spot, as he sent Stefan Frei the wrong way in the 23rd minute.
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If you review the penalty award objectively, it’s tough to tell whether referee Jair Marrufo made the right decision or not. For everyone who believes Altidore went down too easily, there are just as many people saying it was still a foul in the box.
Keeping with the theme of controversy, the Sounders had already had one decision go against them, by the time TFC took the lead. The Rave Green appeared to score early on, but the goal was ruled offside,
Sounders’ coach Brian Schmetzer was evidently irritated by the 1-0 result. Speaking to The Seattle Times‘ Geoff Baker and other members of the media after the game, Schmetzer said:
"“I think overall there’s a lot of frustration in that locker room. We’re tired of the same storyline of extended possession and getting a bunch of chances. That storyline is growing old very fast.”"
In truth, there is little excuse for this particular result. TFC lined up without four of their regular starters; Sebastian Giovinco, Victor Vazquez, Steve Beitashour and Eric Zavaleta.
Despite their absence, the visitors became the first team to beat the Sounders at CenturyLink Field this season. Further, the loss ended a run of 14 home games without defeat.
Of course it’s still (relatively) early in the season, with the Sounders just three points out of a playoff spot in the Western Conference. However, Schmetzer’s team need to get their act together sooner than later, if they are to have a chance at repeating last season’s success.
Did you think Torres’ tackle on Altidore was worthy of a penalty? Further, do you think the Sounders should have taken at least one point from Saturday’s game, or did TFC deserve the win? Share your thoughts in the comments section.