Seattle Sounders 2 - 0 US Pro-40 Select
Memorial Stadium, Seattle
30 SEA - Howes (Nguyen)
90 SEA - Howes
Seattle: Bill May; Ali John Utush, Kieran Barton, Craig Waibel, Scott Jenkins; Dick McCormick, Sean Henderson, Andrew Gregor (Erik Storkson 72, Kei Kinoshita 83); Greg Howes, Viet Nguyen, Darren Sawatzky.
Pro-40: Matt Nyman; Dominic Schell, Tahj Jakins, Chris Houser, Tim Sahaydak; Matt Chulis, Shaker Asad, Seth Trembly, Maurizio Rocha; Sergio Salas (Mario Longo 46), Fabio Zuniga.
Greg Howes scored both goals for the Seattle Sounders to keep Seattle unbeaten at home and add to the misery of the A-League's perpetual travelers, the US Pro-40 squad.
With Sounders keeper Bill May earning the clean sheet, Howes gave the Sounders all they needed by finishing off a pass from Viet Nguyen in the 30th minute, then sent the crowd of 2,262 home happy by burying a free kick at the end of extra time.
Seattle are now 6-0-2 at home and 9-5-3 overall for 45 points, while the barnstorming Road Warriors continued to be more barn than storm, dropping to 5-12-1 with the loss and staying at 22 points.
The match started out slowly, with early forays disappearing off defenders' boots for the most part. The early highlight came in the eighth minute, with defender Scott Jenkins keeping the ball in with some fancy footwork before rifling a cross from the left that found no Sounders at the other end.
Howes made an early stab in the 13th minute, but his 25-yarder howled well above the net, and teammate Andrew Gregor's shot a minute later met the same fate after a Darren Sawatzky run down the left side set him up nicely.
In the 16th minute, Sounder defender Craig Waibel stripped Fabio Zuniga of the ball, performed a nice give-and-go with Gregor on the left side, then zeroed in on US Pro-40 keeper Matt Nyman before firing his shot wide left.
US Pro-40 countered immediately, earning a free kick a minute later. Maurizio Rocha's free kick from 35 yards out sailed into the penalty area, but May handled the resulting header.
A Sawatzky cross went nowhere, and Jenkins' long throw in deep in US Pro-40 territory went straight into Nyman's hands. Jenkins then worked his way past Dominic Schell in the 23rd minute, only to fire the ball straight on the ground at Nyman.
A weak cross from the right side paid off an unexpected dividend as Schell felt the need to head it over the end line. But road warrior Tahj Jakins cleared away Nguyen's corner kick.
Tim Sahaydak then pushed Sawatzky hard enough to earn a yellow card. Gregor's ensuing free kick in the 26th minute found Sawatzky, but Sawatzky found Nyman instead of the net.
Nguyen then made his way to just inside the penalty area, but the offside flag went up for Gregor.
30' Howes (Nguyen). Then Nguyen collected a long ball and turned to attack the US Pro-40 defense, drawing defenders to him before laying it off to Howes, who smacked it into the net from the edge of the penalty area for Seattle's first goal.
Howes then socked a screamer past the far post in the 34th minute off a free kick, Sawatzky found his cross blocked, and two Gregor corner kicks went nowhere thanks to Nyman's hands and Chris Houser's head.
Jakins played a ball on to the left for Rocha on the wing and he almost -- but not quite -- crossed it into the net. Shaker Asad's yellow card for fouling Waibel turned out to be the only other highlight of the first half as the Sounders dominated ball possession.
Halftime: Seattle 1 - 0 US Pro-40
The second half saw a more evenly balanced match as the road warriors came out and held possession for the first few minutes. Still, Sawatzky's 50th-minute shot from out of the penalty area was the first shot of the half, although again it beelined straight to Nyman.
Jenkins headed away a Rocha cross. Gregor sent the ball high over the crossbar. Sawatzky received a nice cross, but lost the ball out over the right touchline.
May punched the ball out of the penalty area in the 56th minute, and a minute later dove to his right to snag a Houser shot from the top of the penalty area after a cross from Mario Longo. Longo had come on for Sergio Salas to start the second half.
A Sawatzky-to-Nguyen pass ended up as a cross to Nyman, and then Ali John Utush's handball set Pro-40 up at the top of the penalty arc with a free kick in the 59th minute, but Rocha belted it high. A high kick also plagued Longo in the 61st minute.
May's goal kick following Longo's kick nailed a passing seagull, but the seagull stayed airborne. Continuing with cruelty to animals, a kick over the touch line ricocheted off Seattle mascot Sammy Sounder in the 27th minute.
Seattle cleared away a couple of troublesome balls, then Nguyen's pass to Howes resulted in nothing before a Utush shot missed the near post.
A Nguyen foul killed a Sounder attack in the 69th minute. Two US Pro-40 reserves then started talking on a cell phone, although it could not be determined whether they were ordering pizza or calling for help on solving Seattle's defense.
Erik Storkson replaced Gregor in the 72nd minute, only to come out after 11 minutes in favor of Kei Kinoshita. Apparently Storkson's recovery from a sprained ankle isn't yet complete. Seattle's Kieran Barton and Pro-40's Seth Trembly then each saw yellow after a 79th-minute confrontation after Trembly retaliated against Barton's push.
Longo's long throw-in then got headed past the far post for a corner kick, but May collected that at the far post to deny US Pro-40 yet again.
Utush turned over the ball deep in his own territory to Asad, but May made his second great save of the match, stopping Asad with a dive to the left that not only screamed for May to be wearing a cape, but also kept the ball inbounds.
Trembly buried a free kick into the Seattle wall, then May puched out a Houser shot. Dick McCormick's 88th-minute free kick found Sawatzky's bemulleted head deep in the penalty area, but his header went off the crossbar.
US Pro-40 made one last charge in extra time, but Barton headed away Houser's throw in to end the threat.
90' Howes. Rocha then fouled Sawatzky near the Pro-40 penalty area at the very end of extra time, setting up Howes' perfect screamer into the top right corner to add an emphatic ending to the match.
Final: Seattle 2 - 0 US Pro-40
Referee: Chris Strickland; Asst Refs: Mohammed Zarrabi-Kashani, Kevin Boisen; 4th Official: Jeff Jarvis.