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All The Feelings : A Seattle Sounders Playoff Run Comes To An End

November 26, 2012

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.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 26, 2012 2:55 pm

    So… the Sounders. I’m admittedly not as well versed in how to judge talent in soccer.

    The Sounders are clearly one of the better teams in MLS… but it seems like they get bounced quickly once they’re in the playoffs. Do you think the team falls short relative to the perennial title contenders, and if so then how so?

    Or is it like MLB where once you’re in the playoffs it’s just a giant crapshoot and how far you get has little to do with how good you are relative to your opposition?

    • Jordon Grangruth permalink*
      November 26, 2012 5:44 pm

      Essentially, the playoffs are a crapshoot. In almost every league in the world, the teams play 38 games, and which ever team has the highest point total after 38 games is crowned Champions. European leagues don’t use the playoff system. Also, One of the reasons the Sounders receive early exits is the amount of minutes played by our key players. One of the reasons Fredy Montero hasn’t scored that much in the playoffs is because he plays so many more minutes then the majority of the other star players.

      The team is defiantly a title contender, and look for next season’s playoff run to be a good one. The Sounders won’t be involved in CONCACAF Champions League play, which gives players more rest.

      What this club really needs is more time to gel. When Fredy Montero, Christian Tiffert, Mauro Rosales, and Eddie Johnson all play on the field at the same time, we average over three goals per game. So, if our Designated Players can stay healthy (Fredy, Mauro, Tiffert) We should be an amazing club next season. I expect our highest point total and probably an MLS Cup birth.

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