Tag Archive | "Eddie Johnson"

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Seattle Sounders Score Early, Portland Timbers Score Late

Posted on 16 March 2013 by Kyle Alm

As Seattle Sounders and Portland timbers rekindle their decades old rivalry for 2013 there was much anticipation in CenturyLink for Obafemi Martins arrival. As much vitriol and familiarity between Seattle and Portland, both clubs are without key contributors from their past and are somewhat unknown to each other. Portland has undergone the most dramatic changes with a new coach and new style of play that Caleb Porter brought with him from University of Akron.

Sounders were coming off of their historic win on Tuesday over Tigres in the CCL and were looking for their first points after dropping their home opener in MLS to Montreal Impact. Seattle would be the first road match for Portland, who has also lost to Montreal but also managed to get a point against New York Red Bulls in a dramatic 3-3 comeback.

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Both sides were looking for their first win against their biggest rival. The stage was set once again for these old adversaries to take center stage during rivalry weekend.

Sounders were able to score first in the 13th minute after Steve Zakuani was able to capitalize on a Timbers turnover when he took the ball to the left edge of the penalty area and found Eddie Johnson who finished the cross with his right foot on the first touch. Donovan Ricketts was unable to alter the path of the ball and Johnson didn’t have to do much to finish and went and pointed up to the Timbers Army section in the upper bowl of CenturyLink Field.

There were no changes for either side at halftime. The first half was dominated by Sounders in terms of possession, Portland took more shots, but none of were anything that would make Sounders GK Michael Gspurning nervous, he only had one save to make during the entire match. Timbers did hit the crossbar on a Diego Valeri set-piece from distance in the 49th minute, but that was as close as they had come all match.

Obafemi Martins made his debut for Sounders in the 70th minute coming on for Sammy Ochoa, who had not impacted the match positively for Sounders. Martins received a large cheer, got a couple of touches, suffered a couple of fouls, and looked like a player who had never played with his new teammates before. With Martins international duty coming up it will be difficult for Sounders to assimilate their newest player with his teammates, but you can tell that he has the ability to be an impact player on Sounders.

In the 90th minute Rodney Wallace let all of the air out of the building with a free header on a second ball into the box after a corner. Wallace lost Hurtado on his run and was able to keep his header close to the post and away from Gspurning who collected the ball out of his net, slammed it into the turf and continued to express his displeasure at conceding a late goal. Hurtado also was demonstrably upset at Alex Caskey and Osvaldo Alonso, presumably for not getting any pressure on Andrew Baptiste before he crossed the ball in.

Coach Sigi Schmid was disappointed in conceding a late goal, but offered very little in way of explanation other than Wallace did make a long run from the wing which confused the back-line marking. Sounders were lucky that they were able to hold on to a point looking back at the match, Timbers had a good argument for a penalty kick award against Hurtado when he scissor tackled Ryan Johnson in the box. Timbers also had the previously mentioned set piece off the crossbar that would have turned Rodney Wallace’s header into a winner.

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RSL Hold Sounders 0-0 in Seattle

Posted on 03 November 2012 by Kyle Alm

Real Salt Lake all but wrapped up the #2 seed in the Western Conference when they held Sounders to a 0-0. Zach Scott had been sent off early in the match and Sounders were able to hold off for a 0-0 draw. Salt Lake and Seattle have had a burgeoning rivalry that is comparable to either of their Cascadia Cup opponents, the largest difference being that RSL and Seattle have played more meaningful matches against each other rather than geographic proximity.

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Michael Gspurning came off of his line to make a sliding tackle on Ned Grabavoy right at the edge of the box on a through ball from midfield. Nick Rimando was also active early making a save on Brad Evans, after the Sounders midfielder made a clever timed run to get in behind the defense. Rimando came up big twice to keep his sheet clean in the 33rd minute on consecutive. Sammy Ochoa worked very hard to get his header, pushing on Chris Wingert with both hands to get into position. Ochoa’s header was saved for a corner that Jhon Kennedy Hurtado would put on frame with a ducking header was met by a more spectacular save by Rimando than the last moments before.

Jeff Parke was issued a yellow card for a foul on Espindola right before the halftime whistle blew. Espindola would not return for the second half with a hamstring injury.

Sammy Ochoa, filling in for Eddie Johnson as Fredy Montero’s strike partner, had his best opportunity to score on a cross from Brad Evans in the 57th minute. Ochoa sent the ball sailing, and Sigi Schmid called immediately for his replacement, David Estrada.

The most dramatic moment of the match came in the 67th minute when Christiam Tiffert and Nick Rimando collided in the penalty area when Rimando was coming out for the ball. The RSL goalkeeper covered his face and kicking at the ground in agony. The match would be suspended for no less than 8 minutes while Rimando received treatment to stop the bleeding above his eye. There was a confused group of fans who were heckling Rimando during this time although he was clearly receiving necessary treatment.

Sounders attack in the second half was predictable, speculative, and ultimately impotent against Nick Rimando, who continued his brilliant performance despite his injury and swelling around his eye. Rimando read and picked out crosses and continued to show excellent reflexes and reaction saves. In addition to David Estrada, Mario Martinez (82nd minute for Tiffert) and Steve Zakuani (90th+4 for Mauro Rosales) were brought on to bolster the Sounders attack, with little to no effect.

RSL did not show much offensive firepower either, and Gspurning didn’t have nearly as much to do as his counterpart. Alvaro Saborio, recently returned from injury, did not appear himself tonight. Kyle Beckerman did not appear in the stat sheet much, but was effective in controlling the midfield and distributing the ball to keep his side organized. Javier Morales also had a relatively quiet night.

There was some extra time scuffling involving Osvaldo Alonso and some RSL players and even some staff from the look of things. If this is a burgeoning rivalry it blossomed tonight, the return leg, with so much at stake should be quite an exciting affair. Eddie Johnson should be back from his hamstring injury. Fabian Espindola’s hamstring is a question mark as of post-match, his availability is unknown at this point.

The way these two sides have played against each other, and other teams, have not yielded many goals for either side. Although RSL have shown several times that they can come to Seattle and get results, the advantage of playing at home for the return leg, and potential shootout, is clear.

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RSL Cements Second Place in Seattle

Posted on 18 October 2012 by Kyle Alm

Real Salt Lake came to Seattle three points ahead of Sounders in the Western Conference standings. Sounders, with a game in hand, were looking to usurp their rivals with a win and draw even in the standings.

© Jane Gershovich & American Soccer News

A day removed from a return stint with the US Men’s National Team, Eddie Johnson found himself on a private charter with Nick Rimando & Kyle Beckerman on the way to Seattle. Eddie Johnson played 90 minutes in both World Cup Qualifying matches and was quite productive offensively, scoring 2 goals against Antigua Barbados & getting an assist against Guatemala. Rimando and Beckerman did not see time on the pitch for the US and although it was unlikely that Johnson would play, it was a much appreciated gesture between these two rival sides.

Zach Scott would pick up a seemingly inocuous yellow card in the 10th minute for a foul on Fabian Espindola. Scott, filling in at center back for Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, has a bit of a reputation as a rough defender, getting a caution is not out of the ordinary for him. Scott would only remain on the pitch for another 20 minutes. Javier Morales was fouled by the Sounder stalwart and promptly sent off by Ricardo Salazar for his second caution.

Sounders had started a duo of Fredy Montero & Sammy Ochoa at forward, Eddie Johnson was not available after his stint with the US Men’s National Team. Ochoa was the player who made way for an additional defender after Scott had been sent off. Sounders already had a makeshift lineup to start the match; Zach Scott was an outside back playing in, Brad Evans was filling in for Scott on the outside, Marc Burch & Jeff Parke were the only defenders in their usual positions. Andy Rose dropped into the center back role until the substition for Ochoa was made. Michael Seamon would finish the match at outside back.

At the end of the first half Montero hit a shot that looked like it hit the outstretched arm of Tony Beltran. Replays would later show that Beltran had his arm next to the body and that Salazar had gotten the call correct. RSL head coach Jason Kreis had this to say about appeals for a penalty, “what lead to that play was Montero pushing on Olave, I don’t think Seattle is the only one that can make complaints about the calls tonight.”

It is certainly a truism that a team with 10 men is likely to lose to an 11 man team and on an extended timeline keeping possession and creating scoring chances will lead to goals in a probabilistic view. In reality it is still not easy to break a team down defensively. On paper you can see that RSL did dominate possession and scoring chances and had chances late to take all three points in Seattle were it not for the herculean efforts of Michael Gspurning. Two of those saves coming in impressive fashion in stoppage time.

For RSL getting a point on the road in Seattle is no smalll feat, especially considering the place in the table. However in the end they recognize that it was a match they had the upper hand throughout and still failed to win.

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Sounders Own (Goal) Timbers

Posted on 08 October 2012 by Kyle Alm

Seattle and Portland had the honor of closing the MLS weekend in Seattle in front of ESPN’s cameras and 66,000 fans. It doesn’t matter if Portland’s season is effectively over, they lead the Cascadia Cup coming into tonight’s match and a win against Seattle will always cover up few of this season’s shortcomings. Sounders would be faced with the possibility of slipping to 4th in the Western Conference and facing Real Salt Lake, FC Dallas, & LA Galaxy to finish the MLS, not to mention a CONCACAF Champions League match.

The recently retired Roger Levesque was awarded a Golden Scarf from the Seattle Sounders. Levesque as a player was a constant thorn in the side of the Portland Timbers from when the Sounders played in the USL. His goal against Portland in the 2009 US Open Cup is still the fastest at 48 seconds, forever immortalized in TIFO. Levesque was given a microphone and announced the Sounders lineup to the delight of the 66,452 fans minus 1,500 of the Timbers Army.

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There was a furious start to the match, both sides were up, and there were a few physical challenges between players. One challenge by Lovel Palmer, sent Christian Tiffert sprawling into the sponsor boards. Tiffert had something to say when he got up and referee Jair Marrufo had something to say back to the German, probably along the lines of “my job”, and awarded a free kick for a foul in the 10th minute. 2 minutes later Jhon Kennedy Hurtado & Bright Dike hit heads on an aerial challenge that left both players bloodied and sent to the sideline for bandaging to stop their bleeding. Both players would return to the match.

In the 25th minute Timbers gave up an own goal on a Adam Johansson cross that was played by Osvaldo Alonso and cleverly dummied by Christian Tiffert at the top right of the penalty box. Mamadou Danso scored on his own net when he stretched out to prevent the ball from getting to Montero.

Eddie Johnson added a second goal three minutes later where he found himself all alone at the top of the Timbers box, Brad Evans delivered a ball that was more than adequate to the Sounders’ leading scorer from the left wing. Sounders showed good creativity with their off the ball runs, the Timbers defense was clearly befuddled at that moment.

Portland had opportunities and saw a roughly equal time with the ball in Seattle in the first half, both sides took eight shots each, Portland had 4 on target compared to Seattle’s 2, and Seattle had a slight edge in possession 52.5% to 47.5%.

Former Sounder Mike Fucito was subbed on for Sal Zizzo to start the second half; Sounders made no changes at the half.

Montero was credited for the Sounders third goal of the match at the 62nd minute, although it was initially credited as an own-goal to Jack Jewsbury who was sliding to challenge the Colombian striker who had collected his own rebound on a shot in the 6 yard box.

Timbers brought on Eric Brunner for Mamadou Danso in the 68th minute and Eric Alexander for Darlington Nagbe in the 78th,

It would be revealed after the match that Leo Gonzalez had pulled his hamstring, and that was why he was subbed the 77th minute for Marc Burch.

There was not much left to do for the Sounders.  They didn’t exactly bunker down, but they did not try to pressure the Timbers defense as they had before the third goal was scored. Possession in the second half against Portland was in the Timbers favor 57.3% to 42.7%. Mauro Rosales and Christian Tiffert were subbed off in the 87th and 88th minute for Andy Rose and David Estrada.

Seattle further solidified their playoff standing with the 3-0 win, moving back ahead of the LA Galaxy with a game in hand and regular season finale in LA awaiting them. The Cascadia Cup is still in play for Timbers.  An outright win in Vancouver on October 21st, and they can claim the Cascadia Cup as their own.

“My imagination, this is what heaven is like, packed stadium, beat Portland 3-0.” Coach Sigi Schmid mused at his press conference, Sounders fans probably agree. If Schmid is correct, hell is probably like the Timbers Army bus ride back to Portland.

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Wondo Keeps Quakes Top of Table

Posted on 23 September 2012 by Kyle Alm

Seattle Sounders slim chance at winning the Supporter’s Shield was crushed Saturday evening in Seattle when the San Jose Earthquakes put on an offensive display that shows that they truly belong at the top of the MLS Table. The two sides have been building some bad blood recently, a couple of close matches, a couple of physical altercations, the same mutually exclusive prize in an unbalanced schedule and you’ve got a budding rivalry.

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It didn’t take long for the Quakes to get started, in the 2nd minute Simon Dawkins was given space to shoot from a yard beyond the penalty box semi-circle. It was a horrible start for Sounders at home, all Michael Gspurning could do was watch it sail into the top corner and voice his displeasure at his defenders. Although it is not uncommon to give a midfield player space that far away from goal, it was too much space and the shot was not challenged by a defender.

Sammy Ochoa starting in place of Eddie Johnson, suspended for yellow card accumulation, was given his first real opportunity to start in MLS action and made an important contribution when he was able to beat his defender with a flick and then crossed the ball, Fredy Montero tried for it near the middle of the goal, but it was just out of reach. Steve Zakuani was ready for the ball when the cross went past the Colombian, and finished unmarked to draw the Sounders level.

San Jose Earthquakes were the dominant team in the first half, they were able to pass the ball with more ease, get forward in dangerous positions, create crosses, and get shots on goal. Their winner came on a corner kick that was conceded by Adam Johansson & Michael Gspurning in an awkward fashion. The corner kick went over the goal frame and was sent back in by Victor Bernardez and flicked past Gspurning by Chris Wondolowski, who stayed on pace with Roy Lassiter’s record 27 goals from 1996. Wondowlowski has 22 goals now with 4 matches left in the season to catch Lassiter.

Zakuani, who had been the hero moments earlier, was caught on the back post after the ball had been played out initially, he stayed on the post for the second cross into the box by Bernardez. A player can’t be offside on a corner because of where the ball is on the end line, when a player is stuck on the post defending you can’t be offside then either. Wondowlowski would have been offside had Zakuani stepped off the post, Ianni gave space, and tried to close when he realized he was onside, but it was too late.

As much as San Jose came out screaming in the first half, their enthusiasm was considereably muted in the second half. Scoring opportunities, crosses, were all down in the second half as the Quakes looked to defend their lead in Seattle. Sounders looked better and did have a better second half, but when the opposing team is bunkering down to defend a lead you can’t help but look better than you did before.

Sounders only managed one shot on target the entire night, Zakuani’s goal. Jon Busch didn’t have a single save.

Usually rivalries are give and take, but it’s been all San Jose this season and the Sounders have been taking it. San Jose had always been a good offensive side that defended poorly, Frank Yallop has gotten his side organized and kept the goal differential on the positive side by 26 goals after tonight’s match. Sounders fans would probably start a rivalry with any team that Steven Lenhart is on.

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Seattle Sounders Fall in Shootout to Sporting KC

Posted on 09 August 2012 by Kyle Alm

A hot and muggy Kansas City afternoon gave way to a thunderstorm that delayed the started of this much anticipated match for over 30 minutes. Lightning within 2 miles of LIVESTRONG Sporting Park means a 30 minute delay from that strike.

Sporting KC had control of the match early in the first half, in the second minute Teal Bunbury received a square ball near the top of the box, had he allowed the ball to continue rolling Kei Kamara was unmarked on Sporting’s left wing. Bunbury put his shot over the bar, Kamara certainly had the better position for a scoring opportunity.

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© 2012 Denise McCooey & Prost Amerika

Sounders struggled to to creat chances and possess the ball in offensive poistion, seemed to have difficulty making accurate passes, and to make matters worse Osvaldo Alonso was given a caution in the fourth minute for dissent following a challenge on Kei Kamara that sent certainly appeared to be embellished. Alonso was booked for dissent when Referee Ricardo Salazar had something to tell Alonso.

Michael Gspurning was called into action for his first save of the night in the sixth minute on a header in the box from Kamara on a throw-in but went straigh at Gspurning. Sounders gave up another scoring opportunity on a throw in the 26th minute, a shot from distance that went off of the crossbar.

Sounders had their first shot on goal when Eddie Johnson connected with a Mauro Rosales corner kick in the 30th minute that Jimmy Nielsen managed remarkabley managed to save.

Kamara set the crowd alight with a rocket of a shot that hit the side netting in the 38th minute. The crowd thought it was a goal, the confetti operator thought so as well. Once again it was a throw in that lead up to the shooting chance.

Sporting started the second half well, Teal Bunbury had another shot on frame that Gspurning saved. Sporting were much more the aggressor in the second half and had the more dangerous chances throughout the match. Sounders made two substitutions in the 69th minute, bringing on veteran Brad Evans and DP Christian Tiffert for Andy Rose and Alex Caskey, two rookie Sounders.

Controversy struck in the 84th minute when Pat Ianni was whistled for a handball in the box for a penalty. Replays were inconclusive, none of the press seemed to be able to tell who the handball was actually on. It seemed more of a case of the ball playing the hand, usually not given as a penalty. Kei Kamara would step up the spot, send Gspurning to left and went right.

Sounders showed their resilience and drew level two minutes later when Zach Scott headed home a corner kick in the 86th minute to draw level and send the match to extra time and eventually a penalty shootout. Both sides seemed content with their chance in that scenario. Schmid would sub Fredy Montero for Marc Burch in the 107th minute of extra time. An extra defender turned out to be exactly what Sounders needed when ten minutes later Patrick Ianni was sent off in the 118th minute for a reckless tackle he was yellow then red and Sounders were left with ten men to finish the match and managed to kill off the rest of the time without conceding a goal.

Ricardo Salazar made two controversial calls, the penalty kick on a phantom handball and allowing Paulo Nagamura to take a second penalty kick after Gspurning had made a save on his first attempt. To Salazar it appeared that Gspurning moved off the goal line before the shot was taken, it’s rarely called in most penalty kick situations because it’s dificult to see the line when the ball is being struck and every goalkeeper is taught to anticipate the kick.

In the end Sporting KC had the better opportunities to score, Gspurning did an admirable job keeping them out of his net, but they were unlucky not to score a few of their chances. Kei Kamara’s shot off the crossbar definitely stands out. Gspurning made more saves than Jimmy Nielsen did in the shootout, the final shootout tally was 3-2. Ultimately it was unfortunate that there is so much speculation about officiating in a Cup Final.

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Sounders Score 4 Goals, Lose 4-2 to Chelsea

Posted on 19 July 2012 by Kyle Alm

For the regular fan a “big club” like Chelsea or Barcelona come to town it is an exciting event. In the Sounders inaugural MLS season there were three extra matches for season ticket holders, one was for the MLS Cup, the other two were later announced to be Barcelona & Chelsea.

Obviously the appeal of successful European sides is compelling enough for Seattle fans to fight mid-week traffic and it helps to build the relevance of MLS and helps gain exposure for the league and for players that may be looking to leave MLS for Europe. There is a consistent, if not somewhat annoying and pretentious, refrain that these friendlies should not be played at all considering the risk of injury to players and a crowded game schedule with MLS, US Open Cup, & CONCACAF Champions League fixtures. There is a risk involved, but injuries can happen at practice as easily as during a match.

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Chelsea started out looking very dominating, Jeff Parke was flattened by Romelu Lukaku on a run in the 3rd minute of play that had no other possible outcome than a goal. Eden Hazard piled on in the 11th minute with another goal that took a deflection and went in behind Bryan Meredith, no chance at the save given his momentum and the deflection.

Fredy Montero got the Sounders on the scoreboard with an inextricable turnover that he recived alone at the top of the box, Henrique Hilario had no chance at the Colombian’s shot as it rolled past in the 14th minute. Fredy Montero would strike again for another goal in the 32nd minute on a cross from Mauro Rosales, Montero certainly showed his quality, trapped with his right foot on the top of the box, brought the ball to his left foot and placed his shot to the far post.

For Sounders drawing equal was a huge accomplishment for a team who had yet to score against a visiting English Premier League team. It would only last eight minutes until Marko Marin’s shot was deflected in by a Sounders defender for the second time, an arguable own goal by Jeff Parke, the second goal of the night that he had a touch on. Lukaku would get one more goal in the 44th before the halftime whistle.

More of the Chelsea first team were put on at the half, Frank Lampard, Gary Cahill, Michael Essien, Sam Hutchinson, Kevin de Bruyne, Jamal Blackman, and Ramires staring the half. Sounders kept their 11 on the pitch. Despite the first team coming on there would be no more scoring and both teams settled in. Seattle began substituting the 60th minute, and an eager Seattle crowded started to buzz when Roger Levesque warmed up, continued to build when Andy Rose and Patrick Ianni were put on for Osvaldo Alonso and Jeff Parke.

Levesque came on in the 66th minute for Eddie J0hnson to a rousing ovation from the Emerald City Supporters and the 53,400 odd fans.

Brad Evans managed to take a knock to the knee in the 67th minute and was not able to continue. Although some may take this as proof positive that friendlies are bad, it is Brad “nagging injury” Evans we are talking about here and players get hurt in practice also, but no one ever says not to practice.

Ultimately, this match was about Roger Levesque closing the chapter on his Sounders career, it was a proper stage for his retirement. Levesque wasn’t likely to see much time at the end of the 2012 season, retiring against Chelsea was a better place to find playing time than in a meaningful game at the end of the season.

Roger Levesque stayed on the field for over 30 minutes after the match signing autographs for fans. That’s why the Seattle fans love him so, and for scoring in 48 seconds against Portland.

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EJ to Cardiff?

Posted on 21 August 2008 by ASN Staff

U.S. striker Eddie Johnston is close to a move to Cardiff City, according to Goal.com. The move will be a loan deal for one year, according to Wales Online. Johnson joined Fulham for $3 million after three years with the Kansas City Wizards but battled injuries and made only six appearances with the first team. He did not dress for the club’s season opener against Hull City last week.

Cardiff previously attempted to purchase FC Dallas striker Kenny Cooper but were rebuffed.

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