Sunday afternoon, the Sounders Women faced the Pali Blues on the Blues home field and lost. It was a tough battle of mostly defense for the Sounders who remained under pressure for most of the game. Megan Kufeld would be my Woman of the Match. She had twelve saves on the day, and kept the Sounders in the match the entire game. The one shot in the first half that she missed was cleared off the line by defender Annie Sittauer in a fantastic goal line volley. They held the Western Division Leaders scoreless until the 70th minute. That’s pretty good considering Pali out shot the Sounders 19-8.
Kelli Smith was a major presence on the back line. She was there to clean up missed balls, dispossess and basically harass the Pali forwards. With Kate Deines still sidelined with a mild concussion, it fell to Stephanie Cox and Smitty to hold the defensive middle, while Sittauer and Victoria Frederick worked the sides. Due to the constant pressure, Sittauer couldn’t really run forward to help the offense as often as she usually does. The Sounders were pulled out of shape often, and found themselves falling back to defend for the majority of the match. It was not their best performance, but they gutted the game out and held the Pali to the single goal.
With Kate Deines back in the lineup, I believe that the next time we face Pali, we can beat them. The stage will be larger, as the game will be played as part of a double header with their male counterparts USLPRO’s LA Blues, who will host Guatemalan giant C.S.D. Municipal in an international friendly. The Western Conference Championship match will be held at Cal State Fullerton’s Titan Stadium on Sunday, July 22 at 1 p.m. PT. Once again the game will be broadcast on 1150AM KKNW, or 1150KKNW.com.
I don’t know if the Jet City Aux will be traveling to the Western Conference Championship game. But it sure was fun to sit with them during this game. They chanted, sang and rabble roused for the majority of the match. The Pali fans on the other hand, were not really vocally supportive. I asked a few of their fans why they weren’t chanting, and where their signs were. They responded that they weren’t that organized, and that the Jet City Aux was amazing. I have to agree. Even while the Sounders were struggling to get their offense going, they responded to the JCA. Denise McCooey was gracious enough to share her photos of the first half with me, of which I have posted a few below. The Sounders Women have used her photos from this road trip as well. How many other Women’s soccer teams have such a press presence at their away games?
This was my first time traveling to away games. I can tell you that I plan to do it more often next season. It was interesting to see the difference between the Sounders home crowds and the LA crowds. There is no comparison. I hope that whatever level the Sounders play at next year, the fans will continue to show up and support these women. They are leaving their hearts out there on the field, and deserve to have the best fans in the female soccer world standing behind them. I feel compelled to get out there even more to support these players, and get the word out that the Sounders Women are worth supporting. Thank you to the Sounders Women organization for taking the steps to bring this team and staff together to create such a professional and successful team this year.
So spread the word, plan ahead, and come out to support this team next season. Scarves UP Seattle!