By JOSE M. ROMERO
Teams tend to be just fine with a draw on the road, especially if it comes against the defending league champions.
But leaving Rio Tinto Stadium with a 2-2 draw was a bitter pill to swallow for Seattle Sounders FC last Saturday. The Rave Green surrendered a goal in the final minute of stoppage time (94th minute) that allowed Real Salt Lake to salvage a 2-2 draw.
The goal, a header from Alvaro Saborio, was the result of a breakdown defensively in front of the Seattle net, as Saborio got in behind Sounders midfielder Brad Evans to be in position for the header off a corner kick. Evans was faceguarding Saborio as if it were an inbound play in basketball and his mark wasn't bad, but Saborio got enough space to get to the ball.
"Of course we were all hurting after the Salt Lake game," said midfielder Steve Zakuani, who scored Seattle's first goal of the match. "We went to the defending champions' home turf, saw them receive their rings before the game, and then almost walked away with a huge win. Both of their goals hurt us a lot because we gave a strong defensive effort for 90 minutes, but were punished for the two times we fell asleep."
Now the Sounders must put the maddening draw behind them for a home match against the Kansas City Wizards Saturday at Qwest Field. They'll have some revenge on their minds, as the Wizards were the first of only two teams that defeated Seattle at Qwest Field in regular-season play last season and dealt the Sounders their first loss in team history, 1-0 last April 11.
Kansas City has yet to allow a goal this season and is 2-0. Seattle is 1-1-1, but Zakuani feels his team was fortunate to even achieve a draw last week.
"Looking back on the game though, I think they were the better side on the day, they had the better chances, and will be disappointed that they didn't beat us," Zakuani said.