The Seattle Sounders were within 10 minutes of moving back to the top of the table in Major League Soccer.
But they surrendered a late goal and had to content themselves with a road point from a 1-1 draw at Sporting Kansas City.
A win would have moved Seattle (14-13-4) into at least a temporary tie atop the MLS standings. SKC (12-9-9) added a point in their efforts to remain above the playoff red line.
Both teams have plenty of missed chances to regret. Most notable were a pair of chances in front of the goal that Seattle designated player Clint Dempsey couldn’t steer into the back of the net. However, SKC substitute Dom Dwyer not only got the equalizing goal, but a couple of near misses down the stretch, including one in stoppage time saved low by Seattle goalkeeper Stefan Frei.
Dwyer and most SKC regulars were rested in advance of the club’s Wednesday date in the U.S. Open Cup final at Philadelphia. Sporting started six players 22 or younger, five with fewer than 10 career starts and three homegrown players.
Given all that, it seemed just a matter of time before the Sounders’ lineup – which included all three of their designated players – would take advantage.
That happened in the 32nd minute, when Obafemi Martins got to a pass from Gonzalo Pineda behind the SKC defense and managed to muscle it through the touch of goalkeeper Jon Kempin. It was Martin’s club-high 14th goal.
However, the Sounders’ couldn’t build on the lead, and that cost them in the 80th minute when Amadou Dia worked for space on the left side of the Seattle defense and slid a ball across the goalmouth, which Dwyer swiped in.
Seattle returns to league play next Sunday with a home match against the Los Angeles Galaxy, which host FC Dallas at 6:30 this evening on Fox Sports 1.
I’ll be back with some quotes from the likely disappointed Sounders soon.