As long as we’re not talking about U.S. Open Cup finals, the Sounders pretty much have Sporting Kansas City’s number. (Even then, Seattle was awfully good on that 2012 summer night at Sporting Park, where a couple of controversial calls had a lot to say about the close outcome that fell in SKC’s favor.)
The Sounders victory last night outside Kansas City was their fourth in a row over Peter Vermes’ team in league play. It came when Djimi Traoré found a goal in the fifth minute of stoppage time, supplying a 1-0 victory for the visitors and a real buzz kill for the Eastern Conference co-leaders, who were hoping to build some momentum off that big 4-0 weekend win.
But the Sounders fans aren’t talking about dominance over a team from the Midwest today. Rather, they are rightly excited about a club that is unbeaten in four (2-0-2), having come a long way from that dire point a month ago, when Sigi Schmid’s team was in last-place, the league’s final, remaining winless club.
What’s more, only one of the last four was at home. Schmid’s team just collected seven of a possible nine points in games at Colorado, at Philadelphia and (the toughest of the lot) at Kansas City.
Remember, SKC rested half its starting back line over the weekend (right back Chance Myers and U.S. international center back Matt Besler) to provide the best chance in this one.
It may have been of the “less-lovely” variety, but no one in the state of Washington should care. Seattle is still playing without its best lineup, and yet still winning on the road. Held up against where the team was just one month ago – not just last in the league, but bumming over the CONCACAF Champions League crash-out – everyone around the Sound has reason to feel very good about things right now.
Highlights from Wednesday:
FA Cup slate set as Liverpool, Newcastle, Saints win
The field is set for the fourth round of the FA Cup, as Newcastle United, Liverpool, and Southampton joined 29 other teams in the fourth round.
Newcastle United 2-1 Birmingham City
Matt Ritchie scored twice and Yoan Gouffran also scored as the Magpies clinched a trip to third-tier side Oxford United. David Cotterill scored in the 71st minute to provide an interesting finish, but Newcastle weathered the storm.
Jurgen Klopp chose another youth-heavy lineup, but a pair of Premier League vets got the job done for the winner. Philippe Coutinho assisted Lucas Leiva‘s 18th mintue goal to give the Reds a home date with Wolverhampton.
Divock Origi had a late penalty saved by Luke McCormick, but it didn’t come back to haunt the Reds.
Southampton 1-0 Norwich City
Saints got a much-needed albeit ugly win when Shane Long won a tussle in the box to score a stoppage time winner. Southampton will host Arsenal in the fourth round.
Derby County vs. Leicester City
January 28 Liverpool vs. Wolverhampton
Tottenham Hotspur vs. Wycombe Wanderers
Oxford United vs. Newcastle United
Lincoln City vs. Brighton & Hove Albion
Chelsea vs. Brentford
Rochdale vs. Huddersfield Town
Burnley vs. Bristol City
Blackburn vs. Blackpool
Middlesbrough vs. Accrington Stanley
Crystal Palace vs. Manchester City
Southampton vs. Arsenal
Millwall vs. Watford
Fulham vs. Hull City
Sutton United vs. Leeds United
“Jermaine is a winner who has experience in MLS and playing against the highest competition in the world,” said LA Galaxy Head Coach Curt Onalfo. “He has a relentless engine on the field and we are confident that he will strengthen our midfield. We look forward to him joining the Galaxy as we prepare for the upcoming season.”
When healthy, Jones remains a game changer at the MLS level. He was not healthy often during his season in Colorado, but the Rapids did not lose a regular season game in which he hit the pitch.
Given the amount of buzz surrounding Lyon’s supposed interest in Memphis Depay, it’s no surprise this one got done.
The Ligue 1 side has agreed to buy the Manchester United winger for a fee that will range between $20 and $27 million. Reports claim the Red Devils have both buy back and sell-on clauses inserted in the deal.
Memphis was purchased for approximately $30 million from PSV Eindhoven in May 2015. That was hot on the heels of a 22-goal season that paced the Eredivisie.
After scoring two goals for United in his second appearance for the club, Memphis managed just 7 in 45 appearances. He hasn’t scored in seven matches this season.
Memphis has 27 caps with five goals for the Netherlands, and it’s hard to imagine he won’t reinforce his status with a prolific spell in France.
Lyon is fourth in the Ligue 1 table, eight behind third place PSG and 11 points back of leaders Monaco and Nice. The club is in the Round of 32 for the French Cup, and meets AZ Alkmaar in the UEFA Europa League.