Parke opens second half with match-winner

Parke opens second half with match-winner

Published May. 21, 2011 1:00 a.m. ET

Jeff Parke scored on a header off Tyson Wahl's corner kick in the third minute of second-half stoppage time to give the Seattle Sounders a 1-0 victory over Sporting Kansas City on Saturday night.

Sounders goalkeeper Kasey Keller made three saves for his third shutout of the season.

Wahl's corner kick from the right side floated across the box to Parke, who went up from just outside the 6-yard box and nodded a shot inside the left post past goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen.

Parke's goal was only his second in MLS - and his first since June 12, 2004, when he scored for New York in a game at San Jose.


''It was definitely a little bit of an out-of-body experience, because I don't score that often,'' said Parke, one of Seattle's central defenders. ''I kind of looked over and was watching it and it skipped, and I'm like, 'Come on, get in there.'

''My other one was in San Jose in the old stadium. But this goal was way better when it's in the 90th minute and you need the points.''

The victory helped the Sounders (4-3-5) extend their unbeaten streak to four games and climb into a tie with FC Dallas for second place in the Western Conference.

Seattle has picked up at least a point in nine of its last 10 games after an 0-2-0 start. It was Seattle's first win since April 30, after a stretch of one loss and three straight ties.

''One minute, one moment like that changes everybody's mood in a hurry,'' Sounders coach Sigi Schmid said. ''We talked (before the game) about how we wanted to get goals off of corners and free kicks - those things change games. Over a season's time, if you can get six to 10 goals between free kicks and corners and penalties (Seattle has five such goals this year), all of a sudden now, you sway a game here and there.''

It was the second straight year the Sounders have beaten Kansas City in stoppage time in Seattle.

Sporting Kansas City (1-6-1) lost its fifth straight game. The team is playing its first 10 games on the road while its new home park is completed.

''I think we played a very good match tonight. We were very organized and disciplined and didn't give anything away,'' Kansas City coach Peter Vermes said. ''It's very disappointing to walk away from here tonight without a point. It easily should have been a draw, especially since we're playing away from home.''

In fact, Sporting had two golden opportunities - one in each half - to break the scoreless tie, only to be denied by Keller.

Late in the fifth minute, Kansas City's Ryan Smith got behind the Sounders' defense and went into the penalty area one on one against Keller. Smith fired from 12 yards away, but Keller went down and made the stop. He was unable to grab the ball, and the rebound went out to Omar Bravo, whose shot from the same place was saved easily by Keller.

In the 51st minute, Bravo floated a free kick from the left side toward the far post. Keller stepped to his left, leaped and punched it away while falling over Kansas City's Aurelien Collin, who got underneath Keller while going for the ball.