PK Drama highlights scoreless draw between Sounders, Chivas

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SEATTLE — Penalty kick drama (or lack thereof) highlighted an uncharacteristically exciting scoreless draw as the Sounders slugged it out with Chivas USA to split the points in Seattle.

Often the hero for the hosts, Alvaro Fernandez looked to be right on track as the DP drew a first-half penalty after Michael Umana handled the ball in the area.  However, the Uruguayan sent the ball off Dan Kennedy's left-hand post, back off the keeper's back and into touch for a corner kick in the 19th minute. 

“I don’t think the problem had to do with the strength. It was more about the direction," said Fernandez. "I shot right into the post, it bounced back on the keeper and out. That’s how penalties go It was not kicked that badly, but it cost us two points.”

The penalty drama wasn't over, and as the match began to come to a close, Lamar Neagle wriggled his way into the opposing area and appeared to be up-ended by substitute David Junior Lopes.  Replays seem to show contact between the two players, referee Kevin Stott waved away the protests and play resumed.  Sounders midfielder Erik Friberg was booked for his protests in the aftermath of the drama.

“That kind of stuff happens, it is frustrating you know, but we had our penalty chance that we should have buried it, and multiple other chances," said goalkeeper Kasey Keller  "And multiple other half-chances that our final pass to the box was off today.  It’s got to be better.  It’s got to be better if we want to make a run in the playoffs."

Chivas' Kennedy continued to grow throughout the match and produced two fine second-half saves on Pat Noonan and Fernandez to keep the visitors in the game and earn a big point on the road. Although Chivas USA tallied just four shots on goal, head coach Robin Fraser was pleased with the result.

"At the end of the day given the fact that both teams played well at times," said Fraser. "They created more dangerous chances than we did. Given all those facts I can live with one point."

The Sounders will now look ahead to their CONCACAF Champions League match on Tuesday against Comunicationes while Chivas USA travel to Dick's Sporting Goods Park to take on the Colorado Rapids on Saturday. 

  • Travis

    There really isn’t much controversay, Neagle was clearly taken down and Stott is clearly rubbish. Not that everyone didn’t know that already. The defender who fouled Neagle thought he had given away a PK and had his hands over his head. Heck a Chivas player went to argue with the ref over the call because he assumed it was a penalty.


  • Flacotex

    I just watched the replay on the MLS phone app. That was a penalty. I watched the Union/FCDallas game last night and the ref had no problem making two calls for the Union when a player down in the box because of contact. There needs to consistency by the refs. Otherwise players and fans don’t know what to expect and it destroys the integrity of the game.


  • Yogi

    At what point will the league make it a priority to invest in officiating? You can’t successfully market/expand interest in the game when you have officiating as questionable as MLS does. Just my two cents.


  • go usa

    We’ve seen quite a few 0-0 results this year. I know it’s a departure from FIFA but would MLS consider giving both sides 0 points for a nil-nil draw rather than 1 each?

    I think it would help combat bunkering in both MLS and international fixtures.


  • marco

    I agree, something needs to be done. Zero to Zero can be entertaining if there were good attacks and great defending, but that’s not the case. Coaches feel they’ll be rewarded for zeroes. Both team management and MLS can change this attitude.
    Will they?


  • duffy

    There is not alot MLS can do since the referees are supplied by Us Soccer. I do think there needs to be a way to clear out some of the old guard. The new guys have been much better than some of the old vets. Time for Stotts and Kennedys and terry Vaugns and the worst of the bunch Baldermero Toledo to go away.


  • acj

    There are lots of things they can do. The just can’t do them unilaterally. How about this for a start.

    Please leave a message after the beep

    Hi Sunil, It’s Don. The fact that our games are reffed by half blind spoiled children is hurting the league. You guys want us to succeed right? How about you call me back and we talk about how you can develop and hire better refs. We’ll even pay for it. Thanks.


  • Keep Juninho in LA

    Just watched the highlight this morning. What a joke. MLS refs are have gone from bad to laughable to infuriating.

    Overall, it seems like MLS is on an upward trajectory. The quality of players is improving, stadia are vastly improving, even by international standards, and fanbases are growing; yet, officiating is regressing and deteriorating. It’d be a wise business move to change ref training policies sooner than later.


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