KANSAS CITY, KAN. – Sounders FC gave up an early goal Saturday and then played catch-up for 70 minutes in sweltering 90-degree heat.
Then, in the final minute of regulation, Mauro Rosales got the equalizer.
And 1 minute, 56 seconds later, Lamar Neagle of Federal Way knocked in the goal that gave Seattle a startling 2-1 win over Sporting Kansas City.
“It was great,” coach Sigi Schmid said. “You don’t want it to be that dramatic all the time.”
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It was the 150th win of Schmid’s MLS career – the most of any coach.
“It just means that I’ve coached a lot of good players, and I’ve had the good fortune of having a lot of good players play for me,” Schmid said. “They work hard and they put forth the effort, together, the players and myself, I think we’re all passionate about our work and what we try and do.”
Schmid’s nice round 150th win was only one of several interesting numbers that the result clicked into place.
• Kansas City (7-7-9) suffered its first loss at Livestrong Sporting Park after going 4-0-4 over its first eight games there.
• Seattle ended Kansas City’s 14-game unbeaten streak.
• The Sounders moved to 5-1 all-time against Kansas City – all on one-goal results.
• Seattle moved to 6-0-2 in games that they finish with a man advantage.
And just about everyone acknowledged that last one – coming on a straight red card to Omar Bravo in the 58th minute – was the crucial factor.
“It’s obvious in this kind of heat, to play a man down after as hard-fought a game as it was – we took advantage of it,” Sounders goalkeeper Kasey Keller said. “… Credit to the guys. We just never quit. We just kept trying.”
Kansas City broke ahead in the 20th minute on a long throw in from Matt Besler, which was headed home by Kei Kamara.
And that brings us to a couple of additional key numbers:
• It was the fourth throw-in assist for Sporting this season.
• It also marked the fifth time in the past six league games that Seattle has fallen behind 1-0.
Kansas City maintained both the lead and control until Bravo made a studs-up sliding tackle on Pat Noonan and was sent off by referee Jair Marrufo.
“I’ve seen those calls go both ways,” Schmid said. “Tonight it fell in our favor, and I felt at that point we regained the advantage in the game.”
That advantage, however, didn’t show up on the scoreboard until the 90th minute, when Rosales maintained possession between two defenders and beat SKC goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen to the far side.
In the 92nd minute, Rosales sent the ball to Mike Fucito at the center of the goal area. Fucito touched it on to Neagle, who fired just inside the far post.
“It was amazing how we played the last five minutes to win this game,” Rosales said. “… The last part we was without energy. ... We played 120 minutes (Wednesday). We was without legs and without power, but in the mind we were very focused.”
The Sounders move to 11-5-8 on the season. And now, after a schedule jammed with friendlies and Open Cup and Champions League matches, they get a full week off before returning to league play at 1 p.m. Saturday when Chivas USA visits CenturyLink Field.
“It’s great,” Schmid said. “I told our guys, I said this is the last game again now in a hard period of time. And so we get a week and then we go into another tough stretch. And the team responded to that. So, being able to get a week off for some of those guys who got a lot of minutes is going to be tremendous.”
Don Ruiz: 253-597-8808 email@example.com