SEATTLE, WA - JUNE 20: Jacob Peterson #37 of Sporting Kansas City is congratulated by Roger Espinoza #15 and Lawrence Olum #13 after scoring a goal against the Seattle Sounders at CenturyLink Field on June 20, 2012 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Sporting Kansas City finished their league games against Western Conference opponents on Wednesday night by drawing away at the Seattle Sounders 1-1. Changes to the starting XI from previous weeks saw both Soony Saad and Michael Thomas receive their first ever MLS starts while Harrington and Peterson Joseph were also thrown into the starting team by Peter Vermes.
However it was neither Bunbury or Saad who got things started for KC, instead it was Jacob Peterson, an unlikely goal-scorer, that gave Sporting KC the early lead as he struck a loose ball beautifully into the upper 90, leaving the young goalkeeper rooted to his spot.
Judging from the starting lineups there were some fans, including myself, that saw a draw - or any points really - an unlikely outcome. Not only did Osvaldo Alonso return to Sigi Schmid's side, but Patrick Ianni was also welcomed back to the first team. And with a forward line of Freddy Montero and Eddie Johnson, few gave KC a chance.
But after just 8 minutes of play a lot of those same people were reconsidering their comments. Following a long throw-in from the eventual goal-scorer Jacob Peterson, the ball was headed in the air repeatedly until Collin got the decisive nod-down to Peterson who, with a little help from a Seattle deflection, hit the ball in to the top right corner. Give credit to Jacob for the great hit but as I looked back at the goal I couldn't help but notice Weber's positioning was way off as he was too close to the left post.
The goal seemed to ignite Seattle and the game really opened up. Seattle then made the pressure pay after receiving a free kick on the right hand side of the pitch, a seemingly harmless ball was floated in towards the back post where Patrick Ianni pulled an Ibrahimovic and scissor kicked the ball past Nielsen, sending CenturyLink Field into a frenzy.
Soon after the goal we saw what was to become a repeating occurrence in this match as Collin took down Rosales on what looked to be goal-scoring opportunity for the Sounders. The first of many yellow cards was shown to Collin and for the rest of the match he had to try and play more cautious than he's used to, which is of course, something that is next to impossible for Collin to do.
Soony Saad almost pulled KC in front 2 minutes later in the 18th minute after a inch-perfect through ball was played to him by Roger Espinoza on the left hand side of the penalty area. Soony's first time shot/cross hit the woodwork unfortunately and that was about as close as KC would get to a winner the entire match.
The game went on with a lot of pressure from both sides however which lead to a very physical game. A testament to that was Alvaro Fernandez's red card in stoppage time as he retaliated to Espinoza's strong challenge with a very unnecessary high sliding-lunge-ninja kick on Roger's leg, one that we've seen cause serious injuries before. No complaint on the sending off from the referee but you could see he was struggling to keep the game under control. Tempers flared and the person who retaliates after the initial challenge is almost always the player that gets booked.
In the end, considering everything that had happened throughout the game, you can't really say that either team deserved all three points. It was a risky move by Vermes to start a lot of guys that normally watch the game from the bench, but a move that nevertheless had to be made with Sporting KC's congested schedule coming up.