On Saturday night the Seattle Sounders traveled to California to face a new look Chivas team with the aim of getting their first win since May 9th, but were held to just one point and were made to rue their missed opportunities.
The Sounders have hit a rough patch recently after going 6 games unbeaten picking up 16 points in the process, they have picked up 2 points out of a possible 12 which isn’t like the previous form we have come to see from Seattle.
But putting that aside, Seattle have still managed to remain unbeaten on the road in 2012 which is a great achievement. After the final whistle, Seattle may have thought it was 2 points dropped, rather than a point gained as they missed a handful of golden opportunities in front of goal.
Seattle made 3 changes to the side that lost to Columbus on May 23rd with Jhon Kennedy Hurtado replacing Adam Johansson, David Estrada in for Eddie Johnson and Andy Rose in for the suspended Osvaldo Alonso.
The game didn’t really take off until the end of the first half when Chivas had the first real opportunity to open the scoring. After a floated ball found Ryan Smith who was hugging the touchline, he danced past Rosales into the area but his hard pass towards the near post was diverted behind without too much fuss.
Seattle then had the chance to take the lead after a great pass and move between Burch and Fernandez freed Burch inside the area but instead of looking up and seeing the unmarked run of Fernandez, he took aim towards goal but his shot was smothered by Dan Kennedy.
The Sounders then wasted THE best chance of the game when Montero spun away from his marker and darted into the box, his pass across the goal towards Estrada was deflected into the path of Rosales who somehow managed to fire wide and saw the teams go in level at half time.
The second half started off very much like the first, until Chivas broke the deadlock in the 56th minute. After ex-Sounder, James Riley was left open on the right hand flank to put a perfect cross for new boy Agudelo to header past the stranded Meredith. It was a great ball as it brought the keeper into no mans land and gave Agudelo an easy glancing header for the lead.
As Seattle have done on many occasions, they got back into the game minutes later with a well worked goal, which saw Estrada getting his 5th goal of the season.
After his introduction to the game for the tired looking Fernandez, Alex Caskey made an instant impact as he picked the ball up on the edge of the area and fired a ball towards goal which evaded the outstretched foot of Valencia and fell to the feet of Estrada who guided the ball past Kennedy.
The goal was created because of some great off the ball movement by Montero, who after feeding the ball into Caskey, he carried on his run and that made Riley double check which gave Caskey that extra yard of space to fire in the ball.
Seattle then could have won it at the death when Johnson zipped past the defense and into the area but his pull back pass was too high for Cato to control but it deflected into the path of the oncoming Rose who fired into the crowded area and it was cleared to safety.
So it ended honors even and meant Seattle remained 3rd in the Western Conference despite their poor run of form. But unlike those previous three results, the Sounders can at least look back at this one and find some real positives. Although Chivas had their chances, the Sounders had at least as many.
The Sounders now turn their attention to the U.S. Open Cup when they face the Atlanta Silverbacks at Starfire Sports on Wednesday 30th. It might be a welcomed break from the league but if they want to go for a fourth consecutive championship they need to progress Wednesday night.
(image courtesy of Getty Images)