The Seattle Sounders carried on where they left off from last season in their season opener versus the Chicago Fire, although it wasn’t straightforward. Here are four things we learned from their last-gasp 2-1 win.
Sunday afternoon was a chance for the Seattle Sounders and their fans to celebrate the achievements of last season one final time. It was also an opportunity for the club to set their stall out early in their bid to win a second consecutive MLS Cup.
Things didn’t exactly go to plan early on. The Rave Green fell behind to the Chicago Fire early in the second half. However, the home side showed the mental fortitude you expect of champions to battle hard and get themselves back into the game. When all was said and done, the Sounders found a way to grab the three points with a late winner, resulting in a mixture of relief and ecstasy for the 40,126 supporters in attendance.
Here are four things we learned from a thrilling game at CenturyLink Field.
4. The Chicago Fire were unlucky
It’s only one game of course, but the rebranded Chicago Fire don’t look like the same club which has missed the playoffs six of the previous seven seasons. They caused the Seattle Sounders all kinds of problems on Sunday and, in truth, were unfortunate to leave CenturyLink Field with no points.
You only have to look at the stats sheet to get some idea of how close the game was. While the Sounders had the edge in most categories — including possession, passing accuracy and shots — the Fire more than held their own. Of course, stats don’t always tell the story and, in this respect, the good old-fashioned eye test told you all you needed to know. There were periods of the game when the visitors controlled the tempo.
Eager to impress their new head coach Raphael Wicky, the players looked galvanized. And their misfortune during the opening half was highlighted by having two goals ruled out for being offside. The Fire’s impressive play did eventually lead to Robert Beric scoring his first MLS goal at the start of the second half. In the end, though, the away side started to fall away in the final 10 minutes of the game. Ultimately, this would prove fateful.