All The Feelings : A Seattle Sounders Playoff Run Comes To An End
First of all, I must state that I am still angry over the result of the Western Conference Playoffs. Sports angry, not real anger. Sports anger, to me, is being mad about a result of a game, but not having it carry over into my everyday life. I am always a happy person, and this defeat doesn’t ruin my life in any way because I still love the Sounders, but hate the result of the playoffs.
With that out of the way, let’s get down to business. There is no fix. There is some favor shown by officials to big name players. That wasn’t an Adam Johansson handball. Regardless of the faults, the Seattle Sounders still lost the game.
Ok, we can talk about these statements one by one, because I believe these are some of the biggest complaints/questions that need to be discussed.
The MLS did not fix this game. The officials are just bad in MLS and in other leagues in the world. For some reason the Sounders have been coming up on the wrong end of the majority of calls. Ok, maybe not majority, but it seems like more calls go against them than go for them. I don’t understand how this could possibly happen to a club who doesn’t really have a reputation of being a crude club, or a history of treating officials poorly. We all have seen how Osvaldo Alonso treats officials, but to be fair a lot of other players treat the officials just the same. Maybe it is the consistent crowd noise, it could be the fact officials don’t enjoy traveling to the Pacific Northwest. Who knows the reasons, it could also be Basketball reasons.
Now, if you follow soccer even in the slightest, you know that officials do favor the star players in leagues. In MLS, it’s Beckham, Montero, Henry, and Keane. In Spain, it is Messi, Ronaldo, Falcao, and apparently Pepe. England has the majority of Manchester United (I kid, don’t worry) The point is that star players do receive “star treatment”.
There is no question that Robbie Keane influenced the officials decision on the Johansson hand ball. Although, Johansson didn’t help himself by flailing his arms about and shaking his arm after the ball hit it. The ball absolutely hit his hand, but wasn’t a blatant hand ball, but probably was the correct call in that circumstance.
Eddie Johnson’s offsides call, multiple fouls on Fredy Montero, and spotty officiating all around didn’t directly give the Sounders the loss. If the calls would have gone our way, we might have won the game. But, I don’t believe this should be a game where we directly point and say, “The reason we lost was because of the poor officiating”.
A lot of factors led to the Sounders defeat at the hands of the evil Galaxy. But as Sigi pointed out the Sounders did themselves no favors by going down 3-0 in the first leg. That is defiantly where the game was lost, but it could have been closer. I am just as disappointed as every other fan is, but the fact is we are the only team in history to lose 3-0 in the first leg of an MLS playoff game. We have done this twice. Yeah, twice. I am in no way saying this is Sigi’s fault, but a combination of Mauro’s injuries, Montero’s lack of playoff form, and back luck has contributed to another Sounders exit.