Tag Archive | "Leo Gonzalez"

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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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David Estrada tracks Corey Ashe.

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Seattle Sounders Houston Dynamo

Posted on 24 March 2012 by Kyle Alm

Houston Dynamo brought an undefeated record and maximum points into CenturyLink Field to face Seattle Sounders fresh off of their St. Patrick’s Day victory on the strength of MLS Player of the Week, David Estrada. Houston, a perennial Western power, now finds itself atop the Eastern Conference after defeating San Jose Earthquakes & Chivas USA.

David Estrada tracks Corey Ashe.

Houston’s style is much more physical and direct than Seattle’s, even though both sides play a 4-4-2. Houston’s forwards are not as fast as Seattle’s, but they are larger and better in the air. Houston will try and get the ball in a dangerous set piece position and try to get fouled to set up their goal. Seattle relies more on movement off the ball and passing to open up defenses.

In the 23rd minute David Estrada was sitting at the top of the circle waiting for a rebound on a corner kick, when the ball dropped right at his feet. Estrada struck the ball that deflected off of Geoff Cameron and past Tally Hall for what would later be credited as an own-goal.

Patrick Ianni drew a penalty on a corner in the 27th minute when Geoff Cameron ran under the Sounders defender while he was in the air winning the ball. Brad Evans converted the Sounders first PK of the year without incident to put the Sounders up 2-0. Although there is little disagreement about whether or not Ianni was fouled, there is some suspicion cast on the consistency of a PK being awarded for that infringement.

Andre Hainault was subbed at the half for Jermaine Taylor, the only substituion made by either side at half. Hainault was involved with a collision with Brad Evans that left him a little hobbled. Brad Evans would later sub off.

53′ Roger Levesque gets a sitter from Alvaro Fernandez drew a collective groan from the CenturyLink crowd when the ball tails off wide right. Levesque had the ball fall perfectly for him in front of the net with time to shoot and missed horribly. Levesque had a decent game other than that, he made several one-touch passes in the attack, but he didn’t really stretch the field or pose a threat on the flank for Mauro Rosales.

Almost immediately Will Bruin was on the counter attack was in a deep position near the six yard box, but was off-balance and unable  to get any power behind his header.

61′ Servando Carrasco for Brad Evans due to the previously mentioned collision with Hainault. There was no word on the extent of his injury after the game, but it is not thought to be serious.

Houston is not a team known for an open style of play, being down two goals is not conducive to their style of play. Sounders played for possession much of the second half, and looked good doing so, impressive without Mauro Rosales. Houston brought on Macoumba Kanji for Ching 76th minute countered by Leo Gonzalez for Roger Levesque, a tactical defensive move in 81st.

There was a bit of controversy towards the end of the match after Brad Davis was shown a caution for persistent infringement earlier in the 78th minute. Fernandez took an elbow or shoulder check on one of his off the ball runs. Either the ref thought El Flaco was simulating or Davis caught a break because he was already carrying a caution, either scenario should not play out as a no-call.

Michael Gspurning was only called into action for two saves the entire night, granted it was two more than Tally Hall made and in the end that’s all that matters.

38,304 in attendance.

For more photos from the match, check out the slideshow gallery: http://americansoccernews.net/2012/mls/photo-gallery-mls/photo-gallery-sounders-fc-vs-houston-dynamo/

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