The game in 100 words (or
less more): A week after it looked like the entire Western Conference had awakened just in time for a frantic finish to the regular season, this weekend it all came undone just as quickly for every side in the top-four, save for one. A day after the Portland Timbers and Sporting Kansas City, with whom the Seattle Sounders are jostling for home-field advantage in the West (plus the Vancouver Whitecaps, the weekend’s lone winner) lost, Brian Schmetzer’s side made the least of its chance to capitalize on Sunday and lost away to the Eastern Conference’s 10th-place side, the Philadelphia Union. Marcus Epps and Roland Alberg bagged the goals for Jin Curtin’s side, while Andre Blake turned in another star’s performance in goal (reminiscent of his 2017 Gold Cup exploits — at some point a non-UK side in Europe will pull the trigger and land themselves a truly top-shelf ‘keeper) to pull Philadelphia to within four points of sixth place in the East. Seattle, meanwhile, remain fourth, level on points with Portland and Sporting KC, and four points clear of fifth-place Houston Dynamo.
Three moments that mattered
28′ — Epps beats Frei from a tough angle for 1-0 — Ilsinho’s through ball to Epps completely reversed the field on Seattle and caught everyone napping on the backside of the play. Stefan Frei probably shouldn’t get beaten inside his near post from there, but in fairness he did appear to be screened by his defender.
62′ — Dempsey puts one on target, but Blake makes the save — Blake was only asked to make seven saves, and the Jamaican no. 1 was up to the task all afternoon long, as was the case five minutes after Clint Dempsey entered the game.
88 — Alberg smashes one past Frei from an unlikely angle — Again, I’ll preemptively defend Frei’s honor by acknowledging Alberg’s shot was moving in a half-dozen different directions. But, if you want to be a legitimate international goalkeeper, that shot can’t be beating you.
Man of the match: Andre Blake
Goalscorers: Epps (28′), Alberg (88′)