By CALEB SONNELAND
Seattle's unbeaten run spanned the month of June when the club downed the Revolution 2-1 thanks to goals from defender Tyson Wahl and DP Alvaro Fernandez at CenturyLink Field Sunday afternoon.
After initially falling behind, the Sounders fired back after defender Tyson Wahl curled a beautiful 34th minute free kick into the upper corner of Matt Reis's net, leaving the keeper stranded. Wahl had previously been a provider this season, notching two assists from corner kick duty.
It didn't take long before the hosts were in front through their DP in Fernandez. Mauro Rosales snuck a pass into Roger Levesque who craftily laid off to Fernandez. The Uruguayan powered a shot at Reis, who got a hand to it, but the Revs keeper couldn't keep the shot out of the net as the Sounder snagged his fourth goal of the season.
The visitors took an early lead through Sainey Nyassi after Benny Feilhaber fizzed a corner low for the midfielder fire into the net with a shot that Kasey Keller will be disappointed he couldn't stop. The third minute goal was the first of Nyassi's 2011 season and the assist the second of Feilhaber's. But the Revs couldn't muster up another goal as the game expired and condemned the club to a loss.
"I saw it so late, and I thought I had it. When I touched it was already past me, and I thought I had just done enough to get it onto the post. But it's a learning curve and that won't happen again," said Keller.
New England came close to equalizing early in the second half when Pat Phelan met a Feilhaber corner to force a smart save out of Keller in the 50th minute.
The Revs continued to knock on the door, and nine minutes later Danish striker Rajko Lekic put his shot narrowly wide of the Seattle goal by a matter of inches.
Though Seattle got forward several times and created chances, it was the Revs who looked likely on a handful of occasions to bring the game level. Namely, when substitute Zack Schilawski rattled the Seattle crossbar from 25 yards out with a dipping effort.
Rookie midfielder Servando Carrasco was designated the chore of filling in for Osvaldo Alonso in the holding midfield role with Lamar Neagle taking up a spot on the right side of midfield. Both players were acquired by the club (Neagle re-acquired) earlier in the year.
"Carrasco is a slightly different player than Alonso, and he plays the game in a different way. But you got a guy who's a rookie out there going up against a guy like Shalrie Joseph, who's one of the premier players in the league, so I would say he did well," said coach Sigi Schmid.
"I know what he does really well, and what he brings to the team, so I just wanted to come in and replicate that. I think I did that pretty well," said Carrasco. "It doesn't matter who you're playing against. [Joseph] is a tought competitor, but so am I and I thought it was a nice battle out there."
To add to the injury crisis in Seattle, defender Jeff Parke had to be replaced in first half proceedings after taking an early knock to the head. Patrick Ianni was called upon to fill in for the 29-year-old, having not seen action since Seattle's 2-1 win at Real Salt Lake.
It was, however, able to welcome back former-Rev Pat Noonan and threw him into action in the 70th minute, taking the place of goal-scorer Fernandez. His first appearance of the season could well be his last as his contract expires this week at the Sounders.
Mauro Rosales was at the heart of most good things going the Sounders' way, but unfortunately, received a good bit of attention in the physicality department. In a season where MLS officiating has been in the spotlight, Rosales declined to give his stance on the issue.
"I don't want to talk about the referee. Just they have to know that the way we are playing, we get kicked, but now it's all the time, all the time, all the time. He just needs to take care of my legs," said the player.
The result sees Seattle move level with FC Dallas on points and goal difference in the West, finishing up a tidy month with three wins and two draws. Next, the club will play host to the local rivals the Kitsap Pumas Tuesday night at Starfire Sports Complex.
"I thought we showed good character," said Schmid. "We knew that they were going to be more and more direct in the second half, more duels in the air. The win wasn't artistic, but we did what we needed to do."
Life isn't getting any easier for the Revolution, who looked strong in the opening and closing stages of the game but couldn't make any of its chances count. Next up is a tough match in Utah against Real Salt Lake. The Revs are miring in the East and are second to bottom ahead of Toronto FC.