Ianni wonder goal helps Sounders tie Sporting KC

IanniGolazo (Getty)

By JASON MITCHELL

SEATTLE, Wash. - A feisty match that seemed full of goals ended in a 1-1 draw Wednesday night at CenturyLink Field. A wonder-strike from Seattle defender Patrick Ianni kept the Sounders (7-4-4) from losing back-to-back matches for the first time this season.

Midfielder Jacob Peterson opened the scoring for Sporting Kansas City (9-3-2) in just the 8th minute, unleashing a shot that deflected off Osvaldo Alonso past a helpless Andrew Weber.

"Jake's a very good finisher,'" Sporting KC coach Peter Vermes said of Peterson. "He hasn't had a chance to show that as much lately, but he can finish well. That was a great, great, great, finish by him, and more importantly [it was great] just to be in the place he was."

Weber, earning his first start in goal since playing for the San Jose Earthquakes in 2009, said he barely saw the shot.

"It's unfortunate, you know," said Weber, "I don't think there's anything I really could have done. It hit Ozzie in the leg. I think we had a wall of solid green in front of us, and I didn't see it until it comes up and over and I'm like, 'Oh [shoot].'"

The Sounders answered just seven minutes later in spectacular fashion. Ianni got on the receiving end of a Mauro Rosales free kick into the box, leaping in the air and booming an airborne one-touch volley past a frozen Jimmy Nielsen.

Talk of SportsCenter abounded in the locker room afterward.

Asked if it was the goal of his career, Ianni could only smile for a moment. "Uh, yeah, definitely," he said, "Best goal [in] practice, games, since I was born, yup."

Both teams had chances to break the tie in the second-half, but a big save from each keeper kept the score knotted.

In the 71st minute, Chance Myers drilled a header off a corner kick for what seemed a sure goal, but Weber dove hard to his left for the save.

Fredy Montero nearly gave the Sounders the victory in the waning moments of regulation, driving a shot off Nielsen's glove that then flitted along the goal line before smacking the far post and bouncing away. 

A match that was physical from the start neared the boiling point as the match neared full time. Zach Scott earned a yellow for a rough tackle in the 89th minute, and Alvaro Fernandez picked up a red for taking down Roger Espinoza in the first minute of stoppage time. More than one shoving match broke out. Perhaps fortunately, the two teams don't face each other again this season.

"At the end of the day I thought it was a good, spirited effort by both teams," said Vermes.

Coming off back-to-back wins, the tie pulls Kansas City to within a point of D.C. United for the Eastern Conference lead.

"It's a tough place to play here," said Vermes. "I know our place is a tough place to play, too, and that's the way it should be. To come up here and get a result like we did was big time."

While Seattle avoided back-to-back losses, the Sounders are now winless in their last six matches after tearing through their early schedule. Still, coach Sigi Schmid was happy with how his team rebounded from a 4-1 drubbing in Montreal Saturday.

"I think it was a good response," said Schmid. "We don't lose two games in a row. We've avoided that for a long time, so I thought our response that way was good. You know, you're gonna have streaks. You're gonna have good streaks and you're gonna have bad streaks. We're in a streak right now that's not a good streak, but I'm very confident that we're close to pulling out of it."

It is unclear, though, who the Sounders' starting keeper will be moving forward—at least until Michael Gspurning returns from a hip injury.

Bryan Meredith filled in ably for weeks before Seattle allowed nine goals in its last four matches, going 0-2-2 in the process. That led Schmid to start Weber Wednesday.

The Sounders signed Weber, a 28-year-old Phoenix native, in February. He spent the last three seasons with the San Jose Earthquakes, starting two matches in 2009. D. C. United originally signed Weber as a developmental player in 2005, but he never escaped the reserve team. His most extensive action came for the Montreal Impact, then a USL-1 side, where he made 29 appearances from 2006 to 2008.

Asked if he's starting the Sounders' next match, Weber replied, "I hope so."

The match swung up and down the pitch in an exciting first-half that saw scoring opportunities for each side. Possession, shots, and shots-on-target were all nearly even.

In the 29th minute, Eddie Johnson danced with the ball at the top of the box, earning himself an open look at the net, but his shot sailed high and wide.

In the 32nd minute, Chase Myers sent a header over the crossbar.

Eddie Johnson nearly broke free on multiple first-half counters, but was called offside each time.

GAME NOTES

  • Both teams are back in action this weekend. Sporting KC flies across the country for a Saturday match at Philadelphia, while the Sounders face the Timbers in Portland on Sunday.
  • Steve Zakuani appeared in the 18 for the Sounders for the first time since breaking his leg in Colorado more than a year ago. Schmid said he considered putting him in the match but decided it was too physical for Zakuani's first game back.
  • The Sounders appeared to part ways with offseason acquisition Christian Sivebaek this week.
  • Kei Kamara saw 25 minutes of late action despite just returning from international duty in Sierra Leone on Monday.
  • This entry was posted in Major League Soccer, MLS- Seattle Sounders, MLS- Sporting Kansas City. Bookmark the permalink.

    10 Responses to Ianni wonder goal helps Sounders tie Sporting KC

    1. Lane says:

      Sickness

    2. Charles says:

      Saving Zakuani for Portland. Man I almost hope not. That should be done at home !

      47k last night would have preferred it.

    3. SteveE says:

      I love watching time wasting for a tie start late in the first half

    4. k says:

      If the ref would have handed out a few yellow cards earlier in this game, it would not have gotten so out of hand at the end. Poor reffing turned this game into a rugby match instead of a soccer game.

    5. Mouf says:

      Probably a multiple game ban coming for Fernandez, you would thinks Sounder wouldn’t be trying to Zakuani someone, especially in a non-soccer play. It will be interesting to see how it’s handled, that’s the exact kind of “tackle” (laugh at callin it that) that has been being punished. 3 games at the least

    6. g-dub says:

      The verb is to Mullan but good point.

      Very physical playoff style game. It was wide open because Seattle’s 4-4-2 quickly transitioned to attack KC’s 3-3-3. And KC attacked the whole game as they do. Both teams essentially outnumbering the other on offense and committing to their respective games. Entertaining battle.

    7. Gnarls says:

      Whadda goal from Ianni. I hate the Sounders, but it was a beaut.

    8. Kraos says:

      KC played a 3-3-3??? Last I checked, they had a full 11 on the field, not 10…you mean a 4-3-3.

    9. salty says:

      cosign, referee is to blame for tackles late on. That being said as a SKC fan, i was worried Espinoza or Collin would be sent off earlier in the match.

    10. marco says:

      Best Sounders effort in some time. Both sides could have scored more. El Flaco is probably in is his last season with Sounders. He wants more protection from the refs, and when he doesn’t get it, he strikes out on his own. To be honest the SKC CB, Collin deserved a half dozen yellow cards for professional fouls and rugby tackles. Ianni’s goal was equal to Ibra’s goal for Sweden. Rosales in the hole, more central, worked well.