There may not be a team more ready for the World Cup break than the Seattle Sounders. Going into last night’s home match against DC United, the worst team in the league (2-8-1), at home in front of the World Cup hyped raving lunatics that occupy Qwest Field, the Sounders (4-5-3) surely felt good about hitting the break on a high note.
Imagine then, if you will, the crushing heartbreak afterwards as the Sounders left the field losing 3-2 in a match that was a 3-0 score until the 89th minute. Imagine the feeling of pure snake-bit bad luck that surely must be running rampant through this team. Imagine a game that has goalkeeping great Kasey Keller
It has to be DC United midfielder Chris Pontius. Pontius, who just returned from injury, not only got his first goal of the season by capitalizing on a terrible clearance by Seattle defender Leo Gonzalez, faking two other defenders out of the play and then deflecting the ball off of Patrick Ianni’s back into the back of the net, he pulled down a hat trick against the Sounders. It’s a pity too because all three goals were really more luck than skill.
His second goal came off of horrible play by Keller. Keller blocked Pontius’ shot with both hands but instead of catching the ball, Keller deflected it. The ball rolled towards the goal and by the time Keller could corral it, the ball had crossed the line.
The third goal was just as lucky for Pontius. He headed the ball towards the left side of the goal and his teammate, Adam Cristman, ran into it, blocking Keller from getting to the ball before it crossed the line. To me, it appeared the ball was actually addressed to Cristman and Pontius got his head in the way.
DC needed all three goals because Seattle mounted a furious attack in the final minutes, scoring two goals in the 89th and 90th minute and pushing for a third as extra time ran out.
Once again the Sounders had outplayed their opponent only to lose out completely on the scoreboard and the point’s column. There is time yet; there are still 17 matches, for a total of 51 points if Seattle were to win them all, left after the World Cup break. Seattle needs to get at least 30 points out of those 17 matches to return to the playoffs.
Watching the match, I couldn’t help but feel frustrated that Chris Pontius, and DC United, were getting away with some unbelievably good luck. One all three goals DC scored, it felt like there was no way that should be happening.
Still, the ball went in the net and in the end, that’s the one thing Pontius was able to do that the Sounders couldn’t.
I'm a writer with a mid-life crisis. I'm into sports of all kind, a Seattle fan to my bones. A retired rugby player, now I punish myself with triathlons when I'm not hanging out with the family, drinking Guinness and playing PlayStation.