In his 11 seasons with the Sounders, Zach Scott has had his share of ups and downs.
While the ups have far outweighed the downs, with six trophies to his credit in Seattle, Sunday was a rare day that registered on both sides of the meter.
On the positive side, he had one of his best days in the Rave Green with a goal and an assist while limiting the scoring chances of the vaunted LA Galaxy in a 2-1 win at CenturyLink Field. On the other end of the spectrum, the score line resulted in a 4-2 loss on aggregate, ending Seattle’s season after a 3-0 loss in the first leg at The Home Depot Center one week earlier.
That bit of redemption was a microcosm of the spirit that has kept Scott in Seattle’s regular playing rotation as the senior member of Seattle’s core of defenders at 32 years of age.
It was his assist that set up Eddie Johnson’s goal in the 12th minute, then he leaned into a low corner kick from Christian Tiffert for the second goal to give Seattle a 2-0 lead in the match before the Galaxy came back with a second-half penalty to put the match out of reach for the Sounders.
“I thought Zach was pretty solid,” Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid said. “I thought it was one of, if not his best game of the year. I thought he was very good. He was good defensively and he was good with the ball.”
Scott played all along the back line for the Sounders in 2012, getting most of his minutes backing up Adam Johansson at right back and seeing extended minutes when Johansson missed games due to injuries or time with the Swedish National Team. However, he also played occasional minutes as a center back and finished the year the way he started things with the Sounders FC in 2009, starting at left back.
It wasn’t the first time he came up big for the Sounders on the offensive end, either.
On April 14, the Sounders hosted the Colorado Rapids and were looking to get back in the win column after a loss to the San Jose Earthquakes and a draw at RFK Stadium against DC United. Riding a 306-minute scoreless streak, the Sounders needed to get back on track and it was Scott who would right the ship, letting out a primal scream after heading in a corner kick from Alex Caskey.
In the US Open Cup final against Sporting Kansas City, Scott was whistled for a handball in the box and the home side converted the penalty kick to go up 1-0. Minutes later, Scott got on the end of a ball from Mauro Rosales to equalize and force overtime. While the Sounders would fall on penalties in that match, his header in the 86th minute kept hope of a fourth straight Open Cup title alive.
Throughout his Seattle career, he has come up big in big moments, so it should have come as no surprise when he was among the top players in a match of the importance of Sunday’s Western Conference Championship.