Defoe Shines, Sounders Falter
by Neal Sayatovich
Mar 16, 2014 4:47 PM EDT
Earlier this week I made some predictions about this weeks games and I predicted a Seattle Sounders shut out. I based this off of what I seen over the preseason in the Disney Pro Classic.
Toronto started out getting hammered by the Columbus Crew 3-1. After that was drawn matches between Orlando City 1-1 and Philadelphia Union 0-0. To wrap all of that up, they lost to Brazilian side Fluminense FC U23 4-2 to fall to last in the Pro Classic.
I should have accounted for Jermaine Defoe in my predictions, then again the Sounders should have prepared for him to. It took just 17 minutes for the former Tottenham Hotspur to impact the match. Jonathan Osorio slipped a pass into a slightly confused Sounders defense and Defoe had no problems slicing the ball past Stefan Frei.
Seattle dug their own hole less than 10 minutes later when Marco Pappa laid a lazy pass back to no man's land. Defoe seized the opportunity and intercepted the pass and fired his second shot past Frei.
A visibly aggravated Clint Dempsey led the Sounders by kicking a gorgeous volley past Julio Cesar. While the spark of life was refreshing to see, it wasn't enough. Seattle put up a great effort in the second half, but fell short 2-1.
This illustrated a major concern with the Sounders. Normally the defense is pretty steady and this game was an exception. The offense is the focal point of concern. Often times the midfield becomes a magic act, they vanish for long stretches and then show up out of nowhere. Against Sporting KC it came in the 93rd minute, against Toronto it was after they were down by two goals.
Toronto just showed everyone that they deserve to be in the conversation for best in the east. Toronto, Houston and Columbus Crew have all shown they have multi-dimensional offenses and constant goal threats. At this point all we can do is wait for some of these powerhouses to compete against each other.