Monday, April 30, 2012

More on the Sounders vs Fire, not involving skirmishes

So there was a game beyond the final four-ish minutes (by Mr. Kennedy's watch) and it turned out pretty favorably for Seattle.

  • Estrada... that guy just needs to keep kicking it in the box. I mean, it's almost as if he's kicking the ball so hard that he's magnetizing the ball (real physics not included in this post). I don't know if you've noticed, but there's a Sounders employee that has been rather conspicuous standing behind the opposition goal this year:
  • That giant magnet may or may not also explain why the ball was always eager to head to the right of the screen during the match, regardless of the direction the ball is kicked in. That goal Chicago hit on the corner kick doesn't even come close without the ridiculous wind. There was a shot in the second half from beyond midfield, and it could have easily meant a goal if it had been on frame (and it didn't miss by much). 
  • Michael Gspurning, in MLS play this season: three shutouts, two nearly indefensible goals (possibly neither of which were intended to be shots), and one penalty kick allowed. He's quickly turning me into a believer, with the help of that back line. Even without Johannson and Rosales, the unit has been remarkably sharp on defense. If they keep this up, and Johnson/Montero get it going... their ceiling is a dynasty team, one of the bets in the short history of the league.
  • On the second goal, Montero had a terrific service into the box, and Johnson did well to put it away, but Hurtado's flick to keep the ball in front of the goal will stick out in my memory from some time. It took great reaction and top insight to get that done, and Johnson was able to start his account thanks to it. 
  • Johnson and Montero got SO close minutes earlier in the box. I think if they had been headed towards the opposite goal one of them might have scored, because the wind was probably as key a factor as any in denying Montero's poke (clearly caught in a gust) and Johnson's header off the woodwork (couldn't have missed by much more) from sending the Sounders off to a commanding lead.

This win felt more dominating to me than the score suggested. Chicago had some fast breaks, and they beat themselves a few times, but there was only one chance that the Fire felt legitimately dangerous on. Montero and Johnson still have some meshing to do, but the sky is the limit for this unit. 

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