Friday, April 22, 2011

SOUNDERS FC: Sounders 1-0 win overshadowed by Zakuani injury

The match had just gotten underway, but what happened in the third minute left the Sounders faithful with a sick feeling. No, it wasn’t a Colorado goal, but an injury that will have a drastic impact on the Sounders lineup likely for the rest of the year.

As Steve Zakuani touched the ball past one defender, he ran around him regaining possession before Colorado’s Brian Mullan came from the side with a blatant late tackle that sent Zakuani to the ground. Just from the sound of it you knew it wasn’t good. Zakuani rolled over flinging his leg in the air, which appeared to show his right leg was severely broken. Mullan was immediately given a red card and Colorado was down to 10 men for the entire match.

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As the match continued, the outcome suddenly seemed less important.

The news before the match was the lineup changes Sigi made. Montero was inserted back into the starting lineup, and in a surprise move, Jeff Parke and Leo Gonzalez did not start. Patrick Ianni and Tyson Wahl were given the nod.

I am still trying to make sense of these moves. Parke is a solid player who has the speed that Ianni lacks. The Sounders were facing lighting quick forward Omar Cummings, so it would only make sense that you would want a player with speed to contain him. The lineup changes were not the only thing had me puzzled.

Colorado was down to 10 men, yet the Sounders seemed content to not attack. With the majority of possession belonging to Colorado, it seemed the Sounders were the team short handed.

However, the Sounders were able to capitalize on a counter attack that proved to be the game winner. In the 19th minute O’brian White slotted a ball to Mauro Rosales who sprinted towards goal. Rosales drew the far defender toward him, leaving Fredy Montero wide open for his first goal of 2011.

The second half saw more of the same sluggish and often times lazy play from the Sounders. Still, no attempts to attack the defense of Colorado were made. Again, Colorado controlled the ball and had several chances in the closing minutes.

The match concluded and the Sounders did gain three points, but the loss of Zakuani seemed to overshadow the win.

Zakuani was taken off on a stretcher and went to the ER for x-rays on his right leg. He will undergo emergency surgery tonight.

If you wish to send support to Zakuani, visit the Sounders website for more information.

Reach Ryan Kinney at