Schmid lauds team's "character" in Sounders win
Jimmy Nielsen’s nightmares must be full of Rave Green. In the past two seasons, the Kansas City goalkeeper has had the misfortune of giving up three game-winning goals against the Seattle Sounders. All three, agonizingly, came in stoppage time.
Seattle’s dominance of Kansas City continued Saturday night in the most improbable of fashions, with the visitors scoring twice in two minutes in for a 2-1 road victory. In the process, SKC’s 14-match unbeaten streak was snapped.
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With the victory, Sigi Schmid’s team betters its all-time record over SKC to 6-1-0 — the only blemish being a 1-0 loss after a Kasey Keller red card in 2009. Since that match, the Sounders have found ways to defeat Kansas City in the most heartbreaking of fashions. Last season, Mike Fucito scored a late goal from a throw-in to claim a victory. Earlier this year, Jeff Parke pilfered all three points with a headed goal off a corner kick.
Add Mauro Rosales to that list. The Argentine continued to make a strong case for MLS Newcomer of the Year with another great performance, triggering both of Seattle's late goals.
The first, Rosales created for himself, beating Nielsen to the far post. The second goal, off the right foot of Lamar Neagle, finally allowed Schmid to exhale.
“I was a little bit concerned because we had seemed to have fallen out of rhythm,” Schmid told sideline TV reporter Erin Mayovsky after the match, “but then Mauro ends up making two great plays — one where he ends up scoring himself and the other one where Lamar gets it. It’s great.”
While Kansas City’s 14-match unbeaten streak was ended, the news was nothing but positive for the Sounders. Not only did the 2-1 win mark Seattle’s fourth consecutive come-from-behind victory, it was also Schmid’s 150th career MLS victory. The former LA Galaxy and Columbus Crew coach becomes the first to achieve that mark.
After the match, Schmid said he wasn’t aware of the milestone beforehand.
“For me, it’s all about the team and the guys,” Schmid told Mayovsky. “I love all these guys and that they play hard. Tonight was a real test of our character, coming off the game against the Panamanian team where we had played overtime.”
Schmid was referring to the CONCACAF Champions League qualifier Seattle won over San Francisco of Panama, a game that required a 120-minute effort from the Sounders.
But on Saturday, the focus was back on the league. The win helps Seattle in the standings, pulling them to within one point of FC Dallas for second place in the Supporters' Shield race.
Seattle return home to prepare for their match next weekend against Chivas USA at CenturyLink Field. After a solid month with midweek matches, the full week of training will provide a welcome respite for the road-weary squad.
Andrew Winner covers the Seattle Sounders for MLSsoccer.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewWinnerMLS