Friday, June 11, 2010

SOUNDERS FC: Sounders dodge shutout with two (very) late goals

The Sounders lost again Thursday night. D.C. United, one of the league’s worst teams put up two goals early in the first half and appeared to stomp out all hope of a Seattle comeback when Chris Pontius scored his third goal of the match.

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Down three goals to none at the hands of D.C. United, who had won only two games this season, Seattle could have given up the match with 10 minutes left. They could have tuned out and let the front office dole out another helping of refunds to cover an embarrassing result.

Instead of being snuffed out on the eve of the World Cup, the Sounders attempted to undo their mistakes. After two quick goals by James Riley and Fredy Montero with only minutes remaining, Seattle looked to be on the verge of a 3-3 tie. Luck was with D.C. and the Sounders surge of goals had come too late.

“It was difficult. We give up a bad goal with the deflection – that stuff happens. And then I give up a bad goal and we’re 2-0 down and you think still everybody is confident, thinking we are going to get back in this game,” said Keller, who finished with two saves in the losing effort. “After I blocked it I thought I had it and it just kind of spun away from me.”

The Sounders did get back into the game, but were ultimately unable to overcome a relentless D.C. United defense. The time-wasting antics of the referee between the two Seattle goals, personally walking the ball to the center circle, were enough to draw the ire of Sounders Head Coach Sigi Schmid after the final whistle.

“We got beat by Chris Pontius. We showed character getting two goals at the end, but time ran out,” Schmid said. “At this point, with the World Cup break, we need to focus on the points in front of us, not what points we've missed.”

The Sounders next match will be played on June 27 against the Philadelphia Union, a chance to seize some easy points against a soft opponent and work some injured players back into the starting lineup.

Stay tuned to Next Season Sports throughout the World Cup break for analysis of the Sounders’ 2010 performance and their post-tournament roster additions.

Reach Galen Helmgren at