The Seattle Sounders keep writing soccer poetry with a 2-1 victory against the Philadelphia Union. Soccer is a funny game. At times Saturday, Philadelphia seemed the better team. The Union do a lot of things right, and you could argue they “deserved” a draw. But soccer doesn’t care about that, just results. And Philly lost, again, just like they have in four of their previous nine games. The Union are consistently not good enough. The game demands you string together enough greatness to break through entropy and produce brilliance. Seattle did that Saturday.
Moments of transcendence, like Captain Brad Evans’s lopping header to Obafemi Martins and Chad Marshall’s thunderous header, are what the Sounders do. Our quality overwhelms, and if we keep creating chances, we overwhelm.
The Sounders are committed to a beautiful game. But the run and gun, the backheels and one touch and no look passes, almost cost us. Philadelphia’s crowded and talented midfield kept pouncing on our ambitious passes. We are so committed to our flashy attack that if you wait for us to force the pretty, you can pounce and counter. A better team could use this to make us beat ourselves. Luckily the Union are not a better team.
Saturday’s game was a little nervy. Maybe it was the expectation of an easy win over an Eastern Conference also ran, but the game felt more intense than the 2-1 win over Chivas USA. Are we getting too accustomed to easy wins and greatness here in the Sound?
* Chad Marshall really, really bailed us out. He is The Great Wall of Sodo. The man took six blocks, and looked so cool and calm after each one.
— RavingGreen Blog (@ravinggreen) May 4, 2014
Marshall was an undeniable MOTM for his defensive work, then he delivered the game winner. This game couldn’t have been better scripted for that poetic justice.
* Marco Pappa again is an offensive mastermind. He whipped a cross with such velocity that Marshall just had to be there to direct it into the net. He blends so well with Oba and Dempsey, how is he not locked into the starting eleven?
* Clint Dempsey was involved in myriad extracurricular throughout the game. He was getting chippy again, much like he was against Toronto in Week 2. Maybe he just doesn’t like the Eastern Conference?
* Poor Dylan Remick went down with a potentially serious injury right after the half. Whenever a player is hurt off the ball, in a non-contact situation, it is no bueno. With Leo Gonzalez injured to start the year, we were taking for granted how solidly Remick has been. Now our depth at left back will be tested.
* Lastly, Ozzie Alonso on the penalty kick was the oddest moment of the game. The Sounders had been pressing, and were pretty hardluck to not yet have equalized, when the ref gifted us a pretty soft penalty. With Evans and Deuce and Gonzalo Pineda, we have a slew of world-class penalty takers on this squad. Why, many were tweeting, in a game we were struggling in, did Ozzie take that kick? Well the Sounders are a family and they chose Ozzie. This may have seemed odd to the fans in the stands, but who are we to question the will of this squad?