The game in 100 words (or less): A highly anticipated matchup between the first place teams in the Eastern and Western Conferences lived up to the hype, as it took an 88th minute laser-beam from Tyrone Mears to break the tie and give Seattle all three points. Give credit to D.C. United, who played most of the match a man down after Fabian Espindola was sent off for an elbow early in the match. A great match in Seattle in what could be foreshadowing the MLS Cup…
Three moments that mattered
27′ — Espindola sees straight red for elbow — D.C. United got put in an early hole when Fabian Espindola was sent off for a straight red card in the first half. Espindola was racing for a ball down the right wing when he threw an elbow at Zach Scott, catching Scott up high in the neck. It was retaliation from an earlier elbow that earned Scott a yellow card, which made referee Silviu Petrescu’s decision to go to the back pocket that much easier.
29′ — Collision injures Stefan Frei — As D.C. United lobbed a free kick into the Sounders box, Seattle keeper Stefan Frei had a big collision with Steve Birnbaum. Both players had their eyes on the ball and slammed into each other in mid-air, with Frei landing awkwardly on his shoulder. He would battle through for a bit, but was subbed off right before halftime.
88′ — Tyrone Mears gets the late winner for Seattle — Despite playing most of the match a man up, it took the Sounders until the final minutes to find a goal. It was worth the wait, as Tyrone Mears fired an absolute laser into the top corner.
Man of the match: Tyrone Mears — When you score a goal as pretty as Mears did, especially a game winner with the clock winding down, you get named man of the match. Simple as that.
Seattle Sounders: Frei (Perkins, 45′), Remick, Scott, Marshall, Mears, Thomas (Craven, 78′), Pineda, Alonso, Roldan, Neagle, Barrett (Jones, 85′)
Goal: Mears (88′)
D.C. United: Dykstra, Kemp, Birnbaum, Boswell, Korb, Rolfe (Arrieta, 73′), Kitchen, Arnaud, DeLeon, Silva (Doyle, 5′, Aguilar, 89′), Espindola
Red card: Espindola (27′)