Sporting Kansas City’s four-match win streak came to an end as the Seattle Sounders took them out with a 3-1 victory. It was the eighth straight win for the Sounders and pushed them further up the Western Conference standings in a frustrating match for both sides.
Diego Rubio was the goal-scorer for the away side, and he got his in early. In only the second minute, Rubio took a ball that landed at his feet off a poor clearance by the Seattle back line and blasted it right into the far post, freezing Seattle keeper Stefan Frei and putting Sporting KC up 1-0. It was Rubio’s eighth goal of the season.
The lead, however, did not last long. In the 12th minute, Brad Smith brought the ball down the side, and his cross found a wide open Raul Ruidiaz, who tapped it home for the score. The SKC defense had wanted an offside flag, but replays showed Ruidiaz was clearly onside and that a defensive breakdown was to blame for the goal.
A chance in the 24th minute fizzled out as Gerso came barreling into the box with a great first touch and with a better second touch would have had a great chance to score, but the touch was too heavy, and it went out of play.
Ike Opara came even closer in the 40th minute which came from an incredible run. Opara started at midfield, pushed forward and split two Seattle defenders before sending it to Roger Espinoza who sent it back on a give-and-go, and Opara suddenly had the ball behind the defense with only Frei to beat. Frei did just enough to block Opara’s shot as it went wide of goal and stopped what would have been a magnificent goal.
Just before the half, Opara — in an effort to stop a goal-scoring opportunity — made contact with Nicolás Lodeiro and was awarded a yellow card, which pushed him over the disciplinary limit and means he will miss next week’s match with Orlando City. This is in addition to Diego Rubio, Johnny Russell, and Daniel Salloi, who all received national team call-ups.
The Opara yellow card was the last major event of the first half as the teams carried a 1-1 scoreline into the break.
The Sounders then took the lead early in the second half. In the 52nd minute, Harry Shipp took the ball into the box after coming down the side and tried to cross the ball, but it deflected off of Graham Zusi and flew over the head of Melia and into the net for an unfortunate own goal.
Just a couple of minutes later and Seattle had a chance to double that new lead. Smith, on another attempted cross, kicked the ball right into an oncoming Opara’s arm which led to a handball in the box call. Lodiero put the ensuing penalty home and, within just a couple of minutes, Seattle had opened up a two-goal lead.
Things got really weird in the 79th minute when the referee Baldomero Toledo signaled for a video review. Confusion surrounded the review as it focused on Chad Marshall attempted to clear a ball away from an oncoming Johnny Russell. Toledo found that Marshall’s foot had been studs up on the challenge and awarded Marshall a red card. Sporting KC was to be up a man with ten minutes to play.
While the majority of the final minutes were played in Seattle’s half, Sporting was not able to get a good shot on goal, and the 3-1 scoreline ended up being the final scoreline.
Next up, a depleted Sporting KC will take on Orlando City SC back at Children’s Mercy Park.