Seattle fell victim to questionable refereeing, an unfortunate defensive bounce and an unsatisfactory response to adversity in a 2-1 loss to the New England Revolution.
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The exact circumstances and dateline may have changed, but the overall plot structure remained intact. The Sounders’ season has turned into a fill-in-the-blank.
Seattle fell victim to questionable refereeing, an unfortunate defensive bounce and an unsatisfactory response to adversity on Saturday night at Gillette Stadium, losing 2-1 to the New England Revolution.
The Sounders are 4-7-1 and in ninth place in the Western Conference, with two more games to go on this East Coast road swing.
And the time for crying fluke has long since passed, longtime Sounders defender Zach Scott passionately and bluntly made clear afterward.
Most Read Sports Stories
- Former Kennedy Catholic WR standout Lonyatta 'Junior' Alexander announces transfer from ASU to Washington
- Analysis: Here are 12 items that should be on the Seahawks' offseason to-do list
- Even the Sounders can't believe they landed Albert Rusnak. Here's why the star midfielder chose Seattle.
- Analysis: What the latest Russell Wilson report means for the Seahawks
- 'We are more than just athletes': Bobby Wagner showed deeper side in thought-provoking media sessions
“At this point, a lot of things we’re saying ring a bit hollow because we’re just not pulling out results,” Scott said. “This league is all about results and winning, especially on the road. You can’t just be a decent home team, which, at this point, we’re not even doing that well.
“I don’t know what else to do other than to say we’ve got to flip it around, go into D.C. and pull something out. At this point, we’ve got to pull a miracle out, because we’re not doing enough to get wins.”
Scott’s attempted clearance in the 24th minute led to New England’s game-tying penalty kick, when his pass smashed into teammate Erik Friberg and led to referee Fotis Bazakos calling a handball in the box..
Seattle dominated the early stages of the game and was rewarded by Aaron Kovar’s well-taken seventh-minute goal, the first of his professional career. But the momentum flipped on the handball call on Friberg.
The call would have been harsh even if the ball had glanced off Friberg’s hand — and even with the benefit of slow-motion replay, the play was so bang-bang that it was hard to definitively say what Scott’s clearance made contact with before smashing into Friberg’s midriff.
“(Bazakos’) excuse was that he would be consistent all game,” Scott said. “If that meant that he would be consistently bad, then that’s a bunch of (explicative).
“It definitely took the wind out of our sails. At the minimum, you hope you’re playing 11 v. 11, them having the advantage with the crowd, but the last thing you want to see is them also having the advantage with the refereeing. I’m sure the league will look at it and say, ‘Oh, he made the right call.’ That’s their prerogative. But it’s just piss poor, in my opinion.”
Seattle’s night went from bad to worse when captain Brad Evans took Kei Kamara’s shot to the back of his head late in the first half. Evans walked off the field slowly with what the club called a “head injury” of unknown severity, giving Tony Alfaro his rookie debut as a substitute.
And New England salted the wound with 10 minutes remaining, when the ball fell to Femi Hollinger-Jenzen alone on the edge of Seattle’s box. His strike sent the Sounders to a third straight loss in a slide that is beginning to resemble last season’s midseason woes but without the early points to use as a buffer.
“The fact that we’re doing it again is like a bad joke,” Scott said. “I don’t think there’s any real lessons you can take from losing, other than picking yourself up and going back at it, doing your best to try to get a result from the next game.
“Every single guy that puts on a Sounders jersey and plays for the Sounders crest understands what this club means, what this club stands for, the trophies we’ve won and the results we’ve had. We’re a very prideful bunch. We do take this very seriously, that we have to turn this around. We don’t want to be the first team to not make the playoffs.
“At this point, we’ve put ourselves where that’s a very real possibility if we don’t start getting some results.”