I was sitting there at home eating popcorn and close to considering throwing it at my TV. The Seattle Sounders had fallen back 2-0 and every attack opportunity on the day sputtered out. Considering the sheer dominance by Minnesota over Sporting KC just a week before and their luck in this Western Conference finals, it seemed as if the Sounders would lose. A push by Raul Ruidiaz and very loud off the right post laser shot by Jordan Morris spelled doom. However, as all the chips were down, the Brian Schmetzer led team would score 3 goals in the final 20 minutes to win the game 3-2 and send them to the MLS Cup for the 4th time in 5 years.
“God I wish our fans were in that stadium,” Schmetzer said. “I wish I was a fan. … That was unbelievable. In our Sounders history, this is gonna go down as one of the best games ever.”
In the 75th minute, Will Bruin found the net off a rebounded shot attempt by Ruidiaz. Ruidiaz would get revenge for his taken away goals and hit the equalizer in the 89th minute off a wide open shot after a Gustav Svensson attempt. And Svensson would get his day as in the 93rd minute the Swedish midfielder hit the near post on a header with the clock about to run out.
“I didn’t want this year to end with me just on the sideline, watching from the TV,” Svensson said. “I’m very happy now that I could help my teammates to play another game.”
Over the last 11 years, the Sounders have never failed to miss a playoff and this is not luck, this is a tradition and expectation to come up big in big games. The never say die attitude made-up for miscues and one has to look at this game as not a miracle but the culmination of hard work and living up to the moment.
Photo credit: Ted Warren/AP
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