KANSAS CITY– Just days after losing the Leagues Cup Final, the Seattle Sounders went to Kansas City and took care of business, beating Sporting KC 2-1. Christian Roldan and Will Bruin gave them a 2-0 lead before Johnny Russell scored in the 60th minute. It was the Seattle Sounders’ first win in Kansas City since 2013.
Seattle Sounders beat Sporting KC, go top of Western Conference.
Seattle took the lead through Christian Roldan who got on the end of a Brad Smith cross. How the ball got to Smith was a theme of the night for Sporting KC: misplayed clearances. Sporting KC had the majority of the ball on the night with their possession rate nearing 65%.
They turned the ball over in their defensive and middle third of the field far too much for any Sporting fan’s liking. If you watched the second goal back you might have heard Yakkity Sax playing in the background as Will Bruin’s header somehow bounced in after botched clearance attempts, bad headers, and Melia being a little out of position. The comedy of errors made Sporting KC look like they were in for a long evening. Johnny Russell though found the back of the net just shortly after the goal though and gave us an interesting final 30 minutes. However, Sporting KC could not find a winner and Seattle escaped Kansas City with all three points.
- The on-paper game we saw likely should’ve ended in a draw. Neither team was able to reach a whole 1 xG, and frankly, all three goals had their bit of fluke in them. Sporting controlled possession but didn’t have many chances on target that were difficult for Frei. We’ve already discussed the flukey nature of Seattle’s goals as well, but that’s the mark of a good team: Making one pay for their mistakes. Sporting KC didn’t and made too many mistakes for a good team to capitalize on.
- The Sounders are really good. They weren’t very good tonight, but because they’re a good team, they do all the little things right. Actually, let’s reverse that. They are a good team because they do all of the little things right. They made very few “dangerous” mistakes tonight. They make tactical fouls and aren’t afraid to take a yellow when they need to. They always run to the open space on the field, and when they need to escape some pressure someone is always there. In games where the talent disparity isn’t big, those are the things that separate good teams from great teams. Seattle falls on the “great” side of that line.
- Sporting KC has trophy-winning aspirations every season. The only trophy available is the MLS Cup. A loss tonight has some significant impact in the standings, that’s for sure. However, it’s not the end of their season. They’ll still be in the postseason, and they’ll still likely play a home playoff game! But tonight showed them the level that championship teams need to be at. The question is whether or not between now and November they can get there.
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