0 - 0 Vancouver Whitecaps (Vancouver wins Bell Cup on
Bell Cup: preseason match, Marysville-Pilchuk High School, Marysville, WA
Seattle: Carlos Castellanos (Rich Cullen 45'); Scott Jenkins, Ryan Edwards, Kei Kinoshita (Chad Brown 45'); Casey Barber, Todd Stauber, Leighton O'Brien, Viet Nguyen; Rees Bettinger, Jason Kuska (Mark Hogenhout 45'), Kyle Smith (Stan Thesenvitz 78').
Vancouver: Didar Sandhu (Jay Snetchko 64');
Steve McCauley (Tony Fonseca 37'), Charles Gbeke, Matt Mori, Geordie Lyall;
Steve Kindel, Chris Franks (Darren Tilley 45'), Tiarnan King, Alfredo Valente
(Chris Jarvie 75'); Chris Craveiro, Dana Garner (Danny Sankar 64').
In their second preseason match, the Sounders looked much better than they had a week previously. About half of the players were trialists, half were signed. Neither side managed a skillful goal nor a lucky one, the match ending nil-nil. Since the match was set up as the annual Bell Cup, a winner was determined by the taking of kicks from the mark, and Vancouver made all five of theirs to take ownership of the Cup. A year ago, Seattle had won the Bell Cup 3-1.
Vancouver's Steve Kindel had a notion from a distance all night long. He forced a save in the 1st minute when he shot from a rejected corner kick, and in the 3rd minute his 30-yarder up the middle was deflected but caught by goalkeeper Carlos Castellanos.
Viet Nguyen, seeing his first preseason action, took Seattle's first shot in the 3rd but was way too high. Nguyen would look good all night, playing the part of a playmaker very well.
Vancouver's Tiarnan King got a chance from close on the right when Alfredo Valente's diagonal cross went past the goal, but King missed when he ought to have finished. Dana Garner was sprung from the halfway line but Scott Jenkins bumped Garner off the ball from behind, just inside the area, allowing Castellanos to snare the ball off Garner's feet. It was enough of a bump to be effective, but not quite enough to draw a whistle.
Midway in the half, Seattle's first good chance came from a pair of trialists when Kyle Smith flicked on a throw-in and Rees Bettinger headed a yard high over the near corner. Casey Barber fired a low shot from the left corner of the area to force a save. Leighton O'Brien executed a nice free-kick play, sending the kick forward to Bettinger, who dropped for an O'Brien shot from 20 that was a rocket but a yard high. Smith beat goalkeeper Didar Sandhu to a Barber aerial cross but shot just wide of the far post.
Vancouver had a dangerous chance when King broke to a through ball from a free kick play, but Castellanos charged to pressure the shot and the ball landed harmlessly on top of the net.
Halftime: Seattle 0 - 0 Vancouver
Seattle had the early shots in the second half. Nguyen won a loose ball in the area and dropped for O'Brien, whose 18-yarder went right to Sandhu. O'Brien dropped for substitute Mark Hogenhout for a 25-yard shot, which Hogenhout is very capable of making, but he was a yard high.
For Vancouver, Kindel popped another long shot but was a yard over. Garner got a gift chance when Scott Jenkins couldn't control a ball headed clear by substitute goalkeeper Rich Cullen, who had come out of the penalty area. With Cullen away from home, Garner missed the top near corner from the 18-yard line. The Mountlake Terrace native apparently didn't take our advice from last week's match report, when we suggested that he get his boots calibrated. On the other hand, nobody's boots were well calibrated for this match!
Nguyen created a chance for himself in the 70th when, with his back to the goal, he touched the ball sideways, turned, and fired a 25-yarder up the middle that just missed the right post.
Kindel fired again, a yard wide of the near post from 25. Chris Craveiro was sprung free on the right and carried the ball into the penalty area with only the goalkeeper to beat, but Cullen charged and made a great one-handed slap save to prevent a probable goal, and the Sounders defense cleared the leftovers from danger.
In the 85th, substitute Darren Tilley got the ball by himself wide on the left and carried into the area, where Jenkins slid in with an attempted tackle that was misjudged, getting Tilley before getting the ball. Nobody complained when the referee whistled and pointed to the spot. Tilley sent the shot low to the left, but Cullen dove nicely to block the PK, then collected the rebound just before Tilley got to it. Cullen's save of the PK was the play of the match in our book.
In the 87th, Craveiro again got open on the right and made a nice square pass along the 18 to Danny Sankar, whose shot just missed the top right corner.
With a minute left, a promising Seattle attack resulted in a perfect pass to substitute Stan Thesenvitz, wide open at the spot, but his shot was too lazy and gave Geordie Lyall time to clear it from just in front of the goal line. The ball should have been buried in the net.
Regulation: Seattle 0 - 0 Vancouver
They wanted a winner for the Bell Cup, and we were glad to see them take the quick, low-risk approach, namely the taking of kicks from the penalty mark. After O'Brien converted for Seattle, Tilley shot for Vancouver and Cullen got a hand on it to almost deny Tilley again, but the ball hit the side netting just behind the post. Vancouver's substitute goalkeeper Jay Snetchko saved the next shot from Nguyen, and that was the difference as Vancouver won the PKs 4-5 to claim the Cup.
O'Brien - 1 Tilley - 1
Nguyen - 0 (saved) Sankar - 1
Hogenhout - 1 Kindel - 1
Barber - 1 Craveiro - 1
Stauber - 1 Fonseca - 1
Shots: 11 12
Saves: 4 3
Corners: 3 11
Fouls: 13 18
Offsides: 1 4
40' VAN: Gbeke cautioned for holding Kuska.
42' VAN: Lyall cautioned for an altercation after fouling Jenkins.
59' SEA: Jenkins cautioned for a foul in Vancouver's half.
Referee: Calin Znamirovschi; Asst Refs: Erik Knudsen, Chris Castle;
4th: Dan Anderson
Attendance: est. 1,200