Saturday, April 16, 2011

SOUNDERS FC: Sounders:1 Union:1

In the final minutes of the match, it appeared Philadelphia would pick up their third straight victory at home. That was until an unlikely hero stepped up for the Sounders.

In the 78th minute Alvaro Fernandez came on as a substitute replacing Erik Friberg. After his first open shot was blocked in the 78th minute, it was in the first minute of stoppage time that the equalizer finally came.

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Fredy Montero (entered match in 66’) was able to control a ball in the corner of the penalty box before sending it back across to a sea of rave green players. It was Fernandez who won the ball, heading it off the far post and into the back of the net.

The goal was huge for the Sounders, who earned a point with the draw, and even bigger for Alvaro Fernandez. Fernandez has seen limited action this season with the emergence of Rosales and Friberg, and many questioned if his confidence would be affected. As soon as Fernandez entered the match he seemed to have an impact. Perhaps playing with a chip on his shoulder, his play was superb.

Playing in heavy rain and high winds, it was an ugly match for both sides. The Union struck first on a free kick from Carlos Ruiz in the 32nd minute. The shot appeared to take a deflection and Keller was not able to recover before the ball hit the net.

In an attempt to bring more pressure up front, Sigi went with a 3-4-3 in the later part of the second half. Montero and Jaqua came in as subs, and Zakuani accompanied the two up front.

Erik Friberg seems to be regressing the last few matches which is worrisome, however Rosales might very well replace him in the starting 11 once Montero is fully fit for play anyhow.

Overall, the Sounders did well to salvage a point, when for much of the match the play wasn’t deserving of one.

Reach Ryan Kinney at