Monday, June 28, 2010

SOUNDERS FC: Sounders fall 3-1 in Union's stadium debut

By Kyle Fosnes

The Sounders found themselves on the losing end of Sunday’s game against the Philadelphia Union by a score of 3-1. Facing an energetic Union team, making the debut of their new stadium, the Sounders suffered another loss in what is becoming a long season for Seattle fans.

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The Sounders started slow but managed to take a lead just before halftime as Pat Noonan benefited from some efficient passing and found the back of the net in the 44th minute of the match. The Sounders confidently took this 1-0 lead into halftime, but did not come out with the same intensity and focus in the second half.

Shortly into the second half, as the Union drove the ball downfield, Tyrone Marshall was flagged for a sloppy tackle in the penalty box resulting in a Union penalty kick. Former Sounder, Sebastien Le Toux stepped up to the spot and drilled a shot past Kasey Keller, evening the match at one a piece.

The contest remained sloppy, as less than five minutes later the Sounders were awarded a penalty kick as Fredy Montero was brought down in the penalty by the Union defense. Seattle faced a brilliant opportunity to regain the lead and shift the momentum; however, Pat Noonan squandered the chance as his shot was not powerful enough to evade the Union keeper.

The door had been left open for the Union, who took advantage in the 79th minute. Le Toux, who had an impact all over the field on Sunday, sent a cross in from the right side which skipped past several defenders and found an unguarded Fred at the far post. Next thing the Sounders knew was the ball was in the back of the net and they now faced a 2-1 deficit.

The Sounders could not even the score and saw the game slip further away from them in the 85th. Danny Mwanaga, the first overall pick in this year’s MLS SuperDraft, stretched the Union lead to 3-1 as he launched a rebound past a helpless Keller.

The Sounders were outplayed overall, being out shot 14 – 6, including 13 Union shots on goal. A positive sign was the appearance of Nate Jaqua who was subbed in for Steve Zakuani in the 72nd minute. Hopefully the addition of Jaqua can help the Sounders spark some offense and gain points in the battle for a playoff spot.

The Sounders participate in a US Open Cup match against the Portland Timbers this Wednesday and continue MLS play next Sunday, the 4th of July, as they travel to the City of Angels to challenge the division-leading LA Galaxy.

Reach Kyle Fosnes at