Season In Review: September
Posted by: Matt Gaschk
The push towards the postseason was on as the Sounders earned some hard-fought points in the month of September.
Record: 1-1-3 in MLS play. 1-0-0 in the Champions League.
Player of the Month: Steve Zakuani made his return to the field in July, but he was great in the month of September. In his first start on September 2 – 500 days since his last start in Colorado – he assisted on Mauro Rosales’ goal at FC Dallas. Later in the month, he returned to the scoring column with his only goal of the regular season , a 14th minute equalizer against the San Jose Earthquakes. It wasn’t until the playoffs that he finally regained the form that he enjoyed before the injury, but in playing over 300 minutes during the month, it was a huge building block toward that success.
The Matches: Seattle saw their unbeaten run of five straight matches come to an end with a 2-1 loss to the San Jose Earthquakes, marking the second time in just over a month that the Earthquakes stood in the way of a lengthy Seattle streak. Whereas the Sounders had held tight defensively before, they actually allowed equalizing goals against FC Dallas and the Portland Timbers and allowed early goals against Chivas USA, which they came back from, and San Jose, which they did, but later allowed a Chris Wondolowski goal to put the Earthquakes back on top. They also mixed in a 3-2 win in Honduras and a scoreless draw against the Whitecaps FC.
The Story: The Sounders were driving toward the postseason and earned three draws on the road, but felt like they could have gotten more out of each of the matches. A 2-1 win over Chivas USA would help them toward their chase of the Earthquakes atop the Western Conference, but a 2-1 loss to San Jose with just five matches left to play left the Sounders with their eyes turned toward second place in the conference.
While they stalled a bit on the league level, they continued to roll through the Champions League Group Stage with their 3-2 victory over CD Marathon. Sammy Ochoa added another goal to his CCL resume, giving Mario Martinez his first assist in the Rave Green in front of family and friends in San Pedro Sula.
The offense struggled to find the form they displayed in a 6-2 explosion over Chivas USA in August, but still managed to keep the Sounders near the top of the league with a few timely goals.