Half a season's worth of pent-up Sounders FC frustration was released in one comprehensive 3-0 victory against visiting New England on Saturday.
Half a season’s worth of pent-up Sounders FC frustration was released in one comprehensive 3-0 victory against visiting New England on Saturday night.
The 90-minute dismantling of the shell-shocked Revolution was a “Where was this all along?” performance that reminded Seattle’s 36,344 fans of the team’s title-contending expectations from before the season started. That lofty aspiration, however, was nearly forgotten as the disappointing results piled up early in the year.
In joking fashion, Sounders FC coach Sigi Schmid started his postgame news conference lamenting his team’s missed chances, then he stopped himself and smiled.
“I got so used to saying the same thing all the time,” he joked.
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The real laugher was on the field, where Seattle took a team-record 19 shots to New England’s two.
Perhaps the least likely of the Sounders sparked the rout in the fifth minute, when defender Leo Gonzalez unleashed a beautiful, curling shot with his left foot from 20 yards out that sailed past helpless New England goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth.
“That was a wonder strike,” Schmid said.
The highlight-reel finish was the first goal of the Costa Rican’s MLS career.
It was also Seattle’s first goal at home in 270 minutes, but there were more to come.
Sounders FC (4-5-3) extended its lead to 2-0 in the 24th minute when forward/midfielder Steve Zakuani connected on a stunning volley from 12 yards out that clipped the bottom of the crossbar on its way into the goal.
Later, Fredy Montero capped the first-half carnage with a low, hard shot in the 42nd minute that snuck under the arms of Shuttleworth, who made his first MLS start.
The damage at halftime was severe as Seattle had its first three-goal half and also an 11-1 advantage in shots. It could have been worse, however, but Pat Noonan’s 32nd-minute shot — after beating a handful of Revolution defenders with some crafty dribbling — slammed off the post.
“It could have been nasty. We could’ve really ran on ‘em,” said goalkeeper Kasey Keller.
With the win seemingly in hand, Sounders FC continued to batter the New England goal in the second half but never found the target.
Having created only a sparse chance or two, the Revolution (3-7-2) dropped to 1-5 this season on the road.
Sounders FC hadn’t won an MLS home game since April 17, which came on a last-minute winner by Michael Fucito in stoppage time against Kansas City. Sounders FC also had scored only one goal in the past four games and won once (a 1-0 road win at New York) in its past seven.
Urgency turned to relief Saturday.
“We had to win, we just had to win,” Zakuani said. “We’ve been saying for a while that there will be a game where we’re going to break out, and tonight happened to be that night.”
• Coming into the game, New England had been the only team in MLS that Sounders FC hadn’t beaten or tied. The Revolution swept the two-game season series in 2009.
• Revolution goalkeeper Preston Burpo, who played several seasons for the Sounders in the United Soccer Leagues, suffered a broken leg last week against New York. Burpo had made 48 saves this year, one off the league high.
• The Qwest Field attendance set a team record for an MLS home game and was a 23rd straight sellout.
• Seattle starters Noonan and James Riley have each played previously for New England.
Joshua Mayers: 206-464-3184 or firstname.lastname@example.org
SOUNDERS FC 3, REVOLUTION 0
|New England||0 0 — 0|
|Seattle||3 0 — 3|
First half — 1, Seattle, Gonzalez 1 (Zakuani, Montero), 5th minute. 2, Seattle, Zakuani 4 (Evans, Montero), 24th. 3, Seattle, Montero 4 (Noonan, Gonzalez), 42nd. Second half — None. Goalies — New England, Bobby Shuttleworth; Seattle, Kasey Keller. Shots — New England 2, Seattle 19. Shots on goal — New England 1, Seattle 8. Saves — New England 5, Seattle 1. Fouls — New England 11, Seattle 13. Corners — New England 3, Seattle 10. Offsides — New England 2, Seattle 5. Yellow cards — Gibbs, New England, 3rd; Gonzalez, Seattle, 36th; Niouky, New England, 64th. Referee — Jorge Gonzalez. Assistant referees — Philippe Briere. Ian Anderson. 4th official — Ramon Hernandez.
New England — Bobby Shuttleworth, Cory Gibbs, Chris Tierney, Kevin Alston, Pat Phelan (Emmanuel Osei, 45th), Joseph Niouky, Marko Perovic, Shalrie Joseph, Sainey Nyassi (Zak Boggs, 59th), Zack Schilawski, Kenny Mansally (Edgaras Jankauskas, 45th).
Seattle — Kasey Keller, Tyrone Marshall, Patrick Ianni, Leo Gonzalez (Taylor Graham, 90th+), James Riley, Jeff Parke, Freddie Ljungberg (Sanna Nyassi, 88th), Steve Zakuani, Brad Evans, Fredy Montero, Pat Noonan (Roger Levesque, 81st).