GAME THREE: COLUMBUS CREW v. SEATTLE SOUNDERS
11′ : Fredy Montero bends a Direct Free Kick over the wall from just outside the penalty area. Ball dips into upper far corner for a goal to put the Sounders up 1-0. For his part in drawing the foul that led to the DFK, Freddie Ljungberg gets credited with an assist.
32′: James Riley is taken down with a vicious tackle after clearly winning the ball from Robbie Rogers in the Sounders Area E. No foul is called and Kasey Keller is livid! The veteran spares no words when he confronts the referee, but the ref doesn’t hesitate for a second. Keller is booked. Barros Schelotto hopes to sneak one past Keller on the ensuing DFK, but it’s off target. The keeper does get a finger on it before it goes out though, which leads to a corner. Steven Lenhart ends up with a shot after the corner, but it’s harmless and Seattle regains possession.
45’+2′: A Brad Evans corner kick finds Steve Zakuani unmarked and close enough to get a header off toward the goal, but a bit offline. Will Hesmer makes a confident and cool catch and the half time whistle blows.
54′: Steve Lenhart steals a Jeff Parke mistake and makes a break down the wing. As he tries to get around Ozzie Alonso, the Cuban midfielder makes a reckless challenge, and again, no hesitation from the referee, he goes straight to his pocket. Alonso is booked. Barros Schelotto decides to shoot on the DFK, but it’s well over the net for a goal kick.
76′: Alonso has a beautiful solo performance tarnished when he steals a ball from Eddie Moffat deep in the corner then makes a run the length of the field to find himself one on one with Andy Iro. In frustration with Iro’s physical challenge, Alonso earns a second yellow card for an elbow to Iro’s nose. The Sounders protest, but to no avail. Still up 1-0 with 14 minutes to play but playing a man short, the Sounders have to go to a 3-5-1 formation.
90′ +5: The Sounders are playing an unfamiliar formation a man down, and they look out of sorts. In the last play of the game, Brian Carroll sends a long pass in towards goal. Seattle’s defense chart lets them down and the deflection lands at the feet of Steven Lenhart in Area B. Lenhart shoots on target and Kasey Keller has no chance since the deflection left him out of position for the Lenhart shot. It’s an equalizer! The whistle blows immediately, and euphoria erupts in the stands as Columbus has rescued a point from Seattle in their season opener.
MAN OF THE MATCH: STEVEN LENHART
House Rules played a big part in the final result of this game, as the shot that Steven Lenhart made at the end of the game was a result found on a home-brew Defense Chart. Also, I believe this was the first game where I started playing with a rule designed to give an incentive for substitutions. In this game, every substitution increased a team’s rating for the next 10 minutes. Which meant that basically from 76′ to the finish, Columbus was playing with a +2 team rating and at full strength, while Seattle struggled a man down. I’ve since gone to using the rule exactly as Bobby5960 uses it, which is, in Bobby’s words:
If you put in a forward for a mid or defender, you get a +1 bump on team rating for 10 time segments. Same for a mid in for a defender. Defender in for mid or forward, +1 bump in D rating, etc. This is in additional to any changes do to modifications based on total Defensive points.
This post by Bobby in the APBA – Between the Lines forum includes a chart of House Rules that he has been using. The only chart in that pdf that I’m currently using is the “Defensive Chart (modified)” on page 4 of the pdf, though I’m considering using the Rebound Chart and I kind of like the Time Management charts, too. I haven’t tried either of those out yet, though.
You’ll also notice some changes to the scoresheet pictured above, when compared to Game Two. I continue to make changes to it, and still don’t feel like it’s perfect.
This was a fun match to play. In real life, I’m a Sounders fan. I went to 7 matches in 2011 including the US Open Cup final and the semi-final second leg against Real Salt Lake, and I hope to make it to many more in 2012. This mini-season replay draw was a heartbreaker!