Donnelly: Seattle Beats KC With Last Second Goal. Again.

Well, it happened again.  At this point I think it’s fair to call it a curse.

Since the Seattle Sounders joined MLS, they’ve beaten KC 7 times.  Five of those wins have come via a second half, stoppage time, game winning goal.

Kind of unbelievable, really.

“It seems to happen for us a lot against them,” remarked Sounders main man Sigi Schmid after the last second garbage goal locked up a 1-0 win for his squad.  “It’s what Peter Vermes said to me after the game, ‘You guys do this to us every time.'”

Sporting KC winger Graham Zusi was more than willing to step up and take the blame for the late lapse, though honestly there was blame to spread among a handful of players.

“To be honest, a stupid play by me,” said Zusi.  “There’s no need for me to try to split the D there and play a square ball in their half.  That ball should be 20 rows into the stands.  Just not a smart play by me.”

Adding to the mess were defenders Matt Besler and Aurelien Collin, along with new starting keeper Eric Kronberg.

“It was a cross into the six,” explained Kronberg, “So Besler’s right in front of me and I figured if he’s going to win it, he’ll hit it out so I went for it too and unluckily he kind of beat me to it and hit it straight up in the air.”

That explanation makes little sense to me.  If Kronberg thinks Besler is going to win the ball, why also go for the punch?  Obviously, if a keeper knows he can get to the ball, then the decision is made for itself – you go for it.  But otherwise you have to make a judgment call.  And Kronberg’s judgment let him down on this one.

To make matters worse, Sporting had competed nobly all day with a less than full strength squad, so getting out of town with one point for the draw would have been huge.  Vermes used multiple players that are not #1 at their positions due to KC’s extremely busy start to the season.  Remember, the boys in blue host Mexican power Cruz Azul this Wednesday, and Sporting have made it known that they are placing a high level of importance on the CCL this year.

So, Kevin Ellis and Josh Gardner got the nod in the back; Lawrence Olum occupied Uri’s normal defensive mid spot; and Jacob Peterson was up top in place of DP Claudio Bieler.

This is the reality that KC faces this season.  Their depth is going to get tested mightily.

“We have five games in 15 days so we have to be able to use everybody at this time to get us something in all these games from a physical perspective,” explained Vermes.  “We’re trying to make sure we’re rotating our roster around.”
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6 Responses to Donnelly: Seattle Beats KC With Last Second Goal. Again.

  1. Hot Carl says:

    Stupid not to use your top guys in MLS play. Anytime Bieler is on the bench I can’t help but think the only reason he’s sitting there is because Vermes has some sort of hard on for him. Bieler is instant offense.

    • Mysterious J says:

      First of all, the ownership of the club has prioritized the CONCACAF Champions League matches. You can argue with this, but giving up points in the first league road game to have a better shot at winning a title no MLS club has ever earned makes a certain amount of sense to me.

      Second of all, you are right…Vermes DOES have a hard on for Bieler. Having said that, there were LOTS of games last summer when Claudio looked like he wanted to be somewhere else and was far from “instant offense”. That is how he got into the dog house. It will be VERY interesting to see if he starts on Wednesday.

    • Markus Aurelius says:

      I couldn’t disagree more. If I were Vermes or part of the ownership group I would absolutely do what they did here. Getting out of Seattle with 1 point would have been great, and had Kronberg stayed on his line we would have. Inexperience cost us there but I trust he’ll learn from it. That being said, if Bieler had been in instead of Peterson on the pass at the top of the box from Dwyer, we would have been up 1-0 much earlier in the match. Bieler is great at getting those one-touch shots on frame – Peterson not so much.

      Regardless, I still agree with trying to win CONCACAF. I’d much rather give it our best shot to advance past Cruz in the quarters than wear out our front line guys in an away match with a Western Conference opponent.

  2. Hot Carl says:

    You could be right but let’s face it, the fans want MLS success. The very fact that SKC’s CONCACAF games are poorly attended affairs attests to that. I’d love for them to win everything but given the choice I’d rather see us kick ass in MLS.

    And it will be interesting to see if Bieler starts tomorrow night. Vermes sure made a point of raving about him during the pre-season.

    • Mysterious J says:

      I know I am right. When you consider the two previous CONCACAF CL matches were (a) on weeknights and (b) not part of anyone’s season ticket package, the attendance was quite respectable indeed, almost certainly better than anywhere else. I suspect you are going to have a full house tomorrow night. The fact is that a large segment of the fan base is only just beginning to understand the unusual aspects of international soccer (namely competing in one or more competitions along side the regular league season). The powers that be with this club clearly disagree with you assertion.

      Yes, Vermes DID heap a lot of praise on Bieler in the lead up to the season. Having him watch from the bench again tomorrow night would be puzzling.

    • Markus Aurelius says:

      The Cruz match has been sold out (other than a smattering of single seats) for a long time so your statement that CONCACAF games are poorly attended is misleading. The group stage matches against no-name clubs (who at that time we had already beaten on their own pitches) generally doesn’t garner sold out matches for any club.

      I don’t think the issue is quite as black and white as your post seems to infer. Nobody is suggesting MLS takes a back seat but after spending last season fighting to make it to the championship stage of CONCACAF why would anyone throw in the towel now. We’re 3 matches (6 games) away from being CONCACAF champions which would make Sporting the CONCACAF rep for the World Cup. Tell me that wouldn’t be sweet!

      No question – Bieler will start tomorrow.

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