Sounders goalie on penalty kicks: ‘I guessed wrong every time’
The lead changed three times in the final 10 minutes of the epic Western Conference match between the Seattle Sounders and FC Dallas. Then nobody scored for 30 minutes. After 120 minutes, the two teams were completely even.
Thus initiates the most exciting, or ridiculous — depending on who you ask — ending in all of sports: penalty kicks.
“Anybody that tells you that they wait and react to the shot … it’s not possible for me to do that,” Sounders goalie Stefan Frei told KIRO Radio’s Jason Rantz. “I’m not quick enough for that.”
For the uninitiated, a penalty kick shoot-out means each team alternates taking undefended shots at the goal from 12-yards away, with only the goalkeeper standing in the way.
Dallas ultimately won 4-2 on penalty kicks, eliminating Seattle from the MLS Cup. The 29-year-old from Switzerland said the best way to defend penalty kicks is through scouting each individual and looking for tendencies.
“After that, you kind of just see if you have a hunch that he’s going one way or another and maybe you change it up,” he said. “Other than that, I think you stay with what you think beforehand where the shooter’s gonna go.”
Against Dallas, Frei guessed right, right, right, middle.
“In this case, I guessed wrong every time,” he said. “The very last one, it was a defender taking that one as well, and I just kind of felt like maybe he was going to smash it down the middle. He did smash it as hard as he could, I don’t think he picked a corner specifically, it was just kind of a little outside of my range and I wasn’t able to get it.”
Four days after the loss, Frei said he was still upset and sticking to video games in an attempt to break free of his sorrow.
“It still sucks,” he said. “Wish I’d still be playing soccer at this point, for sure.”
Frei said it was still too painful to think about next season.
“At this point I’m still just a bit too frustrated,” he said. “I thought we had a really good squad.”
As for next season, it was announced Thursday night the Sounders ownership group will retain Sigi Schmid as head coach. Adrian Hanauer will be the team’s new majority owner.
- Tune in to AM 770 KTTH weekdays at 3-6pm toThe Jason Rantz Show.