2012 Season In Review: June

The Sounders league play struggled after a hot start to the season but a run to the U.S. Open Cup Final was in full swing as the calendar turned from June to July.

Record: 0-2-2 in MLS play. 2-0-0 in the US Open Cup.

Top Highlight: It was the MLS Goal of the Year, so Patrick Ianni’s side-winding volley off a Mauro Rosales free kick to equalize at home against Sporting Kansas City is a no-brainer for the top highlight in the month of June. It was Ianni’s third goal in four seasons with the Sounders FC.

Player of the Month: Eddie Johnson had his break-out month with four goals, including a double in a 2-2 draw against the New England Revolution on the road.

The Matches: Just as May ended with a resounding win in the US Open Cup at Starfire, so did June begin. This time, it was a 5-0 trouncing of Cal FC. The USASA side had been the Cinderella story of the tournament when they bested the Portland Timbers 1-0 at JELD-WEN Field one week earlier, drawing the national television spotlight of Fox Soccer for the match at Starfire. Despite two wins in the Open Cup, the Sounders could not carry the momentum into league play as the Sounders came back from their three-week break from MLS play and fell 4-1 to the Montreal Impact in the grand re-opening of Saputo Stadium. They then drew 1-1 with Kansas City, lost 2-1 in Portland and gave up a stoppage time equalizer to draw 2-2 with New England. Even still, they were able to manage a win over the league-leading San Jose Earthquakes in the US Open Cup, going to San Francisco on two days rest to top the ‘Quakes 1-0 after the loss to Portland.

The Story: Seattle’s winless streak in MLS play reached eight matches, yet they were able to manage three Open Cup wins in the process and avoid losing back-to-back matches in league play to keep their spirits from dipping.

The win over San Jose was of particular note, as San Jose played on Saturday while Seattle played in Portland on Sunday prior to the Tuesday match at Kezar Stadium. Neither team fielded a full-strength side for the quarterfinal meeting and the Sounders were even left using Brad Evans as the starting right back. In the end, it was a goal by Cordell Cato that made the difference, as he gave the Sounders a 1-0 lead in the first half and they held on, even after San Jose brought on MLS MVP Chris Wondolowski late in the match.

In the MLS schedule, though, the Sounders could not seem to catch a break. They caught an Impact side motivated to play in front of their home crowd in their stadium-opener after spending most of the first three months on the road. In Portland, they fell to a team desperate to repay their fans who supported them even after a tough loss to an amateur club. Finally in New England, they fought to garner a 2-1 lead only to have a scramble in front of the net result in the equalizing goal by Diego Fagundez in a 2-2 draw to close out the month.

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