Seattle Sounders Select 3 - 2 Willamette Valley Firebirds
Memorial Stadium, Seattle
21 WV - Shepard (Kummernes)
47 SEA - Downing (PK)
63 WV - Willoughby (Wheeler)
77 SEA - Watson (Ritchie)
90 SEA - Watson (Sylvis)
Seattle: Chad Olsen; Christian VanBloomstein, Kurt Ness, Bryn Ritchie; Chad Brown, Zac Tallman, Nick Downing, Mark Hogenhout (Sean Sylvis 64), Chris Farnsworth; Brett Lasby (Joe Watson 66), JP Capodanno.
Willamette Valley: Bryan Hill; Jerod Fitzgerald, Josh McCarty, Ben Roth; Jack Wheeler, Peter Gail, Aaron McHardy, Jeremy Shepard, Fred Kummernes; Jason Crevar, Paul Willoughby.
The Seattle Sounders Select returned to their come-from-behind, last-minute ways with a 3-2 win over the visiting Willamette Valley Firebirds. Joe Watson came off the bench to tie the match in the 77th minute and win it with a goal in added time. Nick Downing's penalty kick early in the second half opened the scoring for Seattle. Jeremy Shepard and Paul Willoughby each gave Willamette Valley a go-ahead goal, but two wouldn't be enough.
The win keeps the Select's playoff hopes alive with one match remaining at the Spokane Shadow.
It took 14 minutes to produce the first scoring chance. Seattle's Brett Lasby carried the ball to the bye line right of goal and sent a diagonal cross that was deflected by a defender right into the path of Chris Farnsworth, who hit the near post squarely from 10 yards.
21 Shepard (Kummernes). Seattle were caught napping when Fred Kummernes stole the ball in Seattle's end and passed it to Shepard, who saw goalkeeper Chad Olsen out near the 18-yard line and chipped the ball over Olsen and into the goal. Willamette Valley 1-0.
Shepard had a chance for another from the left side of the penalty area, but Olsen was at the near post and stared the ball into the side netting.
For Seattle, Mark Hogenhout struck the ball well from the top left corner of the area, but keeper Bryan Hill was there for the catch.
Olsen yelled "Clear!" but his defender headed Jason Crevar's cross right to Peter Gail at the 18 for a fine shot that forced Olsen to dive to the near post and push the ball wide. On the resulting corner kick, Josh McCarty got a shot from 15 yards centered but he fired it just over the bar.
Seattle had the last two chances of the half. Chad Brown tried to head a cross over the keeper from 12 yards and just missed the top corner. Newcomer JP Capodanno, playing against his previous teammates, sent in a cross/shot from the right touch line that came close to the top far corner but sailed harmlessly out for a goal kick.
Halftime: Seattle 0 - 1 Willamette Valley
Seattle coach Gerry Gray told his team at halftime to play like a team rather than like individuals, and they responded by outshooting their foes 20-3 in the second half.
47' Downing (PK). Defender Bryn Ritchie was up on the right side of the penalty area with the ball. Ritchie pushed the ball into the penalty area and was tripped by McCarty a yard inside the area when he went after the ball. Referee Jon Young awarded a penalty kick and Downing put it into the lower left corner for his first goal with the Sounders Select. 1-1.
Seattle nearly went ahead a few minutes later when Capodanno carried the ball to the end line near the left post, waited for the right time, and drove the ball into the goal area for Farnsworth, whose volley from three yards seemed like it would go in but didn't. The shot glanced off goalkeeper Hill's head and was slapped away with one hand. A couple of attempts from rebounds were denied by Willamette Valley defenders and finally the ball was cleared from danger.
Farnsworth returned the favor, sending a cross for Capodanno who headed just wide of the far post.
63' Willoughby (Wheeler). Jack Wheeler carried the ball up the right touch line and sent a low, square cross into the penalty area. Willoughby fired a 15-yard shot straight up the middle to put the Firebirds back on top 2-1.
Seattle came close on a corner kick play when Capodanno's header to the far post was headed away by Kummernes, who was manning the post. Lasby headed the clearance right back in and Hill punched the shot away for a save. Brown's 20-yard free kick went just wide of the near post. Substitute Joe Watson got open for a shot from the right that was just wide of the lower far corner.
77' Watson (Ritchie). Substitute Sean Sylvis' throw-in from near the left corner flag was flicked on by Ritchie's head. Watson used the outside of his foot to cheekily redirect the ball past Hill and just inside the far post. 2-2.
90' Watson (Sylvis). The last 13 minutes looked like a match destined for extra time, but in injury time Watson secured the win for Seattle. Sylvis passed to Watson on the right side and Watson headed the ball goalward. It appeared that Hill was going to get to the ball first, but the speedy Watson raced in and got there just before Hill. Watson chipped the ball past Hill and watched it find net for the match winner.
Final: Seattle 3 - 2 Willamette Valley
Referee: Jon Young; Asst Refs: Dave Rowe, JC Plott; 4th Official: Mike Lechnar.