The home regular season finished tonight, and it’s been a great year hasn’t it? Unfortunately for the first 75 minutes or so the Sounders were not at their best, there was little creativity and only one chance worth the name, but how quickly things change in this game.
The headlines will be dominated by two things, a crowd of a little over 64,000 and Keller. The crowd number is unquestionable impressive, it was a terrific atmosphere in the stadium and another landmark in the remarkable story of this team.
San Jose went up shortly before half time. Unsurprisingly it was Chris Wondolowski that got on the end of a nicely weighted through ball that split the defense and really gave Keller little chance.
The second half did not start too well for Seattle, they were still flat and the game started to get away from then a little. First there was a rather contentious moment when Fernandez almost started a fight after giving a San Jose player a kick. A few minutes later Alonso lost his head somewhat when a player perhaps went down a little too easily from one of his challenges.
Just after the hour mark Sigi made the change that made all the difference. Rosales came on for Fucito, who had been totally anonymous tonight. It took a while for Rosales to get into the game, but when he did the difference was clear.
Keller had a huge moment with 20 minutes left, four stand up saves one after the other kept it a one goal game. This was the moment that perhaps turned the game as shortly afterwards the equalizer arrived. It was a beautiful through pass from Rosales to Sammy Ochoa that split the defense and gave the new-boy a fairly straightforward tap in.
With a few minutes left to play the winner went in. It was a through ball from Neagle to Montero just outside the six-yard box. Montero did exactly what you expect him to do and gave the keeper no chance.
It was not a great game tonight, but that was fine as last night Salt Lake dropped points and ensured Seattle could no longer be caught for second in the table. It was good to have Rosales back; his importance to this team was clearly seen tonight.
Sigi and his tactical changes were a large part of this win. On reflection it’s difficult to say it was fully deserved as the team did not play well for long stretches, but that’s football and we’ll take the three points. It’s Chivas away next week to close out the regular season then it’s into the playoffs with the big one waiting to be taken by the team that can put three or four great performances together, dare we dream?
The night finished with a tribute to Kasey Keller. As his 20 year career as a professional football is coming to a close he had a huge game again tonight. We are fortunate to get at least one more chance to see him in action; we’ll all be back in a couple of weeks for the home leg of the playoffs. Hopefully another chapter on the clubs history is written that night as they advance towards to MLS Cup. There is unfinished business to be taken care of in this magical season.