By JASON MITCHELL
SEATTLE, WA – Seattle answered any questions about whether last week's disappointing loss to Real Salt Lake would be more than a hiccup with a resounding 3-0 win over D.C. United Saturday.
In a clash of the old guard and the new rife with both playoff and Supporters' Shield implications, Seattle (14-6-9) unleashed their characteristic attacking, aesthetically-pleasing soccer in keeping the pressure on league-leading Los Angeles Galaxy.
Mauro Rosales registered two assists and was integral to the Sounders attack throughout, continuing to make an argument for both MVP and most underpaid player in recent memory. Rosales suffered a knee injury on an 89th minute foul, and that was the biggest story of the night to Sounders coach Sigi Schmid, who was blunt in assessing the performance of referee Kevin Stott and the state of MLS refereeing as a whole.
"The league's gotta start protecting him," said Schmid. "The last two games teams have gone out there and kicked him. And I don't think the league's doing a good job of protecting him.
"We have a talented player in this league, a player who's a good player, who fans want to come and watch play, then we let thugs hit him and we don't protect him enough."
Schmid wasn't sure about the extent of the injury, but said it would definitely keep Rosales out of Tuesday's CONCACAF Champions League match against CS Herediano of Costa Rica. United defender Daniel Woolard commited the foul, which occured near midfield. Woolard had been physical with Rosales from the opening minutes.
After a chippy but uneventful opening, the Sounders did all their damage in the middle third of the match, scoring all three goals between the 35th and 60th minutes. Forward Mike Fucito opened the scoring when deft passing from Brad Evans and Mauro Rosales left him racing one-on-one toward the goal with D.C. defender Daniel Woolard. Woolard never caught up and Fucito buried the chance past goalkeeper Joe Willis.
Alvaro Fernandez scored the first of his two goals in first-half stoppage time. Receiving a pass from Montero, Rosales beautifully threaded a ball through multiple United defenders as Fernandez streaked into the penalty area and calmly banged the ball into the back-left corner of the net.
Fernandez capped the scoring in the 60th, tapping in a ball that deflected off Willis. The deflection came off a Fredy Montero header that resulted from a beautiful build-up between Osvaldo Alsonso and Mauro Rosales.
D.C. United (8-8-10) peppered Seattle's goal in the last 20 minutes, but a week after Kasey Keller committed an uncharacteristic own goal, he delivered three big second-half saves.
With five games to play, Seattle trails L.A. by seven points. D.C. United trails both the Portland Timbers and New York Red Bulls by two points, but has played two fewer games than either.
- With a sellout crowd of 36,242, Seattle has drawn an MLS record 553,987 fans with two home games remaining.
- With 12 assists, Mauro Rosales now holds the Sounders single-season record for assists. Freddie Ljungberg had 10 in 2010.
- Zach Scott earned the start in place of Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, who sat after receiving a straight red last week.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.. Unless and until the MLS enforces the rules and punishes the no-talent thugs-there is no chance for the “beautiful game”.
Is there payback for this kind of thing? A move like this on the baseball field would lead to retaliation……
just announced that rosales sprained his MCL, thanks woolard you thug. way to take a cheap shot in 88th minute of a game that was already over against a player with his back to goal 50 yards from the goal.
and now he’ll miss the Champions League match. fine Woolard hard, it’s example time
him and ricardo salazar are the only two refs i know by name in the MLS, that means they are terrible.
Why does MLS allow the over-the-top rough play? It’s there in every game, and now it’s a hallmark of the league. The EPL does it too, but refs book rough challenges, and players go down easily to get fouls. It would be interesting to see a top-ten most physical soccer leagues world-wide.
Kevin Stott is crap.
I think saying that DCU “peppered” seattle’s goal for the last 20 minutes is a bit of an overstatement.
Great game for Seattle, some of their passing sequences were very slick and created a lot of good chances. It is a real shame about Rosales (and Fucito, who also was repeatedly beaten on pretty hard). Woolard was getting burned all night. He does not have the pace for a team like Seattle and was clearly frustrated; DC needs to find someone else for that position.
DC was only able to create a couple real chances, and Najar in particular was looking dangerous, but nothing came of it.
Rosales actually had 3 assists although only 2 were credited.
Crappy what guys like Woolard do goes unpunished. Zero yellow cards for the guy when there were 3 instances he could have received one. Instead we might have another Morales/Ferreira/Zakuani situation here.
Kevin Stott sucks. How is he still a ref? He’s sucked for years. Refs should have pro/rel so we can keep clowns like Stott in USL-2 where he belongs