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Stoppage time goal gives Seattle 1-0 opening day win over Sporting Kansas City (video)

Mar 8, 2014, 5:33 PM EDT

Stoppage time heroics from new Sounder Chad Barrett delivered an opening day victory for Seattle, with the veteran attacker’s late conversion through 94th minute chaos delivering victory over Sporting Kansas City, 1-0.

On a late counter attack sparked by Osvaldo Alonso, the debuting Sean Okoli put a cross from the right flank toward the near post, six yards from goal. When Sporting goalkeeper Eric Kronberg was unable to get to the ball ahead of Matt Besler’s header, Clint Dempsey, from the middle of the six-yard box, headed his potential winner off the crossbar. The U.S. international’s attempt off the rebound was put home by Barrett, giving Seattle the one-goal victory.

(MORE: Here is the first goal of your 2014 Major League Soccer season, courtesy of Seattle’s Chad Barrett)

source: APThough Sporting’s Dom Dwyer came close to opening the scoring the first half, the league’s 2014 opener was defined by its lack of chances, with combative play through the middle of the field giving goalkeepers Kronberg and Stefan Frei relatively easy days. While the teams combined for 24 shots, only eight were on goal, with the midfield congestion that defined the season’s first game producing 40 fouls.

(MORE: Tandem tifo displays celebrate Seattle Sounders’ 40th anniversary)

The whistles nearly saw Sporting’s Aurélien Collin earn an early dismissal, with Seattle left appealing for a second yellow multiple times after the Kansas City defender’s 16th minute booking. In the second half, Sporting took up the appeals when a 10-yard violation on a Graham Zusi restart left Osvaldo Alonso, carrying a yellow card, at the mercy of referee Alan Kelly. The replacement official, call on in place of the originally assigned Mark Grieger, declined to issue a second caution, leaving both teams at full strength.

As stoppage time approached, the battles in midfield waning in favor of end-to-end action, but until the fourth minute of stoppage time, that action failed to produce clear chances for either team. Second before the final whistle, however, Barrett cut in front of goal from the far post, finding himself in the right place to secure the Sounders’ first three points of the season.

Lineups

Seattle Sounders: Frei, Yedlin, Marshall, Remick; Neagle (Okoli, 86), Alonso, Evans, Pappa (Dempsey, 57); Cooper (Barrett, 78), Martins

Goals: Barrett (90+4)

Sporting Kansas City: Kronberg; Ellis, Collin, Besler, Gardner (Jerome, 90+2); Olum, Feilhaber (Opara, 90+3), Zusi; Sapong, Dwyer, Peterson (Zizzo, 58)

  1. talgrath - Mar 8, 2014 at 5:41 PM

    It was a messy, nasty game but the Sounders pulled it out. As a note, the replacement ref was better than the normal ones, can we just keep these ones?

    • Richard Farley - Mar 8, 2014 at 5:45 PM

      I think I agree. I’ll hit that in an upcoming post … it wasn’t an easy match to officiate.

      • brokejumper - Mar 8, 2014 at 6:27 PM

        He did a decent job, but let’s not be too quick to praise the scab referees or to get down on the normal ones.

        Kelly is likely the very best replacement referee they could field as he was hired to supervise training. I’ll put a bet down that the rest of guys they field are not up to anywhere near the same standards.

      • Richard Farley - Mar 8, 2014 at 6:28 PM

        Yeah, I don’t think anybody was going to do either. Just about noting this doomsday scenario didn’t bring us much doom over the first 90 minutes.

      • jweathermanjr - Mar 8, 2014 at 6:54 PM

        This was a no-win scenario for SKC today. MLS Opening Day on the road vs the league darling in steady rain.

        That said, I thought the official kept everything under control for the first 30 minutes, and then it just went downhill, IMO. Admittedly, I’m an SKC fan, though, but I tried to view it objectively.

        Still not sure how Alonso sweet talked his way out of a 2nd yellow when the official had his hand in his pocket.

      • eorlin1964 - Mar 9, 2014 at 12:08 AM

        Wah wah – Collin should have been sent off in the 20th minute. He clearly wasn’t going to send anyone off under any circumstances. (Not saying he shouldn’t have, just that he wasn’t going to.)

  2. bosb88 - Mar 8, 2014 at 6:13 PM

    Why is Clint wasting his talents playing in the MLS? He should have stayed in England for another 2 years and the come back.

  3. hildezero - Mar 8, 2014 at 6:38 PM

    Who’s Okoli?… I’ve never heard of him.

    • Richard Farley - Mar 8, 2014 at 6:45 PM

      :) He’s a rookie out of Wake Forest who left school to sign as Seattle as a HGP this winter. Today was his first appearance.

      • hildezero - Mar 8, 2014 at 6:55 PM

        Damn… Alright. Well, if he keeps doing crosses like that, then he’ll be a very good crosser in the near future.

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