This just in! The Sounders FINALLY win their first match of the 2013 season!
Being that I live in Colorado, I don’t get the pleasure of partaking in every Sounders match in person but today, I did and it was definitely a great match to watch.
Today was the first time Sounders’ #11, Steve Zakuani, stepped on the pitch of Dick’s Sporting Goods Park since that tragic day that left him injured August 22, 2011 (you can read my recap of that match here).
Almost exactly two years ago.
Not only was this steaming in the back of my mind but apparently it was also on Steve’s mind. Zakuani broke his Twitter and Facebook hiatus to lay down his thoughts on the upcoming match.
As I was sitting in the front row, the first half showed a lot of Zakuani and Brian Mullan crossing each other’s paths. The good thing – they kind of ignored each other. Zakuani talked to Seattle Times writer Josh Mayers about his return to the Mile High.
“Just when we landed in Denver, it kind of brought back a few memories from that day, that Friday that I was here,” he said. “I just felt once again I had to reach out (on Twitter, above) to the fans who were great. I don’t know if you guys saw, but as the game started, a section of Colorado fans were singing my name. That’s probably the most emotional moment I’ve had on the pitch, having opposing fans singing my name.
“It just kind of felt right to reach out one more time and say thanks. I tried as best I could to focus on the game. It wasn’t easy with Mullan as the right back, but that’s the way it played out. I just tried to play for my team, as always.”
Now to the actual match.
The Sounders desperately needed a win and a road victory would be even better. Obafemi Martins scored his first goal as a Sounder in the 27′ putting the men in green up 1-nil in the first. Of course, there were backflips involved.
Lamar Neagle stepped up for the Sounders today, playing the ball well all night and almost scoring a goal two minutes after Martin’s. Though the Rapids played a hard fight as they constantly put pressure on Gspurning, kicking shots left and right, testing his quickness.
Early into the second half, the Rapids had two chances that could have changed the match tremendously, once again testing Gspurning’s movement in the box. Dillon Powers curled a left-footed shot to the top of the goal, only to be denied by the dreadful crossbar.
Minutes later, Rapids player Kamani Hill felt a header to the box, hit the crossbar as Gspurning fell to the right only to leave space for Danny Mwanga to attempt another shot on goal which was quickly denied by a quick Sounders keeper.
Rapids players defeated as Sounders keeper Mike Gspurning made two critical, back-to-back saves.
It was at that moment, I thought I had a mini heart attack.
Neagle went in for another chance but was vastly denied access by Clint Irvin.
With four minutes of added stoppage time, the Rapids continued to put up a fight as Drew Moor headed a free kick from Jamie Smith but Gspurning was there for the save, giving Seattle their first victory of the season.
The Sounders don’t play a regular season match until May 4th when they travel to play the Philadelphia Union at PPL Park.
As for me, I’ll be sitting at home watching it via television or internet until October 5th, when the Sounders head back to the Mile High state for one last showdown.
And you can bet that I’ll be there, decked out in Sounders apparel, cheering on my boys to yet another victory!
Stay tuned to Aerys Soccer for all your MLS coverage and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook!
Photos courtesy of tumblr and myself.