Two major calls against the Sounders — offsides on Lamar Neagle in the 66th minute that nullified a goal, and a controversial yellow card on Stefan Frei in the 84th that set up Benny Feilhaber’s winning penalty kick — provided Sporting Kansas City a 1-0 victory Saturday over a Seattle team missing Clint Dempsey, Obafemi Martins, Chad Barrett, Ozzie Alonso and Brad Evans.
The Sounders (8-4-2) lost for the first time in franchise history at Sporting Park, falling to 4-1-0. Coach Sigi Schmid was irate at the result, particularly the booking against Frei.
“This is a disappointing loss and I thought that (Frei’s yellow card) was a poor call, a bad call,” fumed Schmid, who confronted the booking official after the match and chewed on him en route to the Seattle locker room. “Stefan didn’t do anything wrong.”
Frei challenged for the ball in the penalty area and won it, but was whistled for a foul following a collision with Kansas City’s Dom Dwyer. Outraged, Frei vigorously protested, even making slight contact with the referee. Frei could have received a red card, but didn’t. He stormed off the field after the match, still ranting.
Neagle appeared to score in the 66th minute, but his shot to the far post past SKC goalkeeper Tim Melia was waved off.
“This is a tough pill to swallow,” said Andy Rose. “I feel a little bit robbed. From where I was, Lamar’s goal was on side.”
The Sounders had six shots on target, including two each by Neagle and Marco Pappa, but couldn’t convert.
“Our team’s effort was very good,” said Schmid. “We should have finished some of the chances we had, but we didn’t deserve to lose today.”
Although the Sounders, who drew with Kansas City 0-0 earlier this season at CenturyLink Field, played without Dempsey (birth of fourth child), Martins (nose surgery), Evans (international duty), Alonso (suspension) and Barrett (hamstring injury), they dominated the run of play. But Melia came away with six saves.
“There’s a lot of frustration right now,” said Seattle defender Dylan Remick. “We played a pretty good game. We had a good goal (Neagle’s) taken back, and it looked like Frei made a clean save. In my opinion, I didn’t see a penalty kick. We felt like we deserved more.”
The loss was Seattle’s first since May 9 at Columbus.
The Sounders return to CenturyLink Field Saturday to host FC Dallas, fourth in the Western Conference with 21 points. The Sounders and FC Dallas drew 0-0 March 28.