Seattle Sounders 0 - 1 El Paso Patriots
Memorial Stadium, Seattle, WA
35' EP - Rowland
Seattle: Preston Burpo; Ali John Utush (Peter Hattrup 89'), Ryan Edwards (Kyle Smith 45'), Craig Waibel; Scott Jenkins (Kei Kinoshita 59'), Kieran Barton, Sean Henderson, Leighton O'Brien; Viet Nguyen, Jason Farrell, Craig Tomlinson.
El Paso: Jesse Llamas; Severo Hernandez,
Guillermo McFarlane, Michael Griego, Fredy Juarez; Vicente Figueroa, Esmundo
Rodriguez (Carlos Martinez 90'), Salvador Mercado (Jose Barajas 90'), Omar
Mora (Jose Abarca 75'); Mark Rowland (Justin Pratt 84'), Mugurel Dumitru
(Luis Macias 75').
Match report by Ron Stickney:
The visiting El Paso Patriots outhustled the Seattle Sounders to earn a 1-0 road win. A nice shot by Mark Rowland in the first half proved to be enough, as his goalkeeper Jesse Llamas saved the best of Seattle's shots to pick up a shutout.
Ex-Sounder Craig Waibel appeared as a defender, on loan from the MLS Los Angeles Galaxy. Playing for El Paso were ex-Sounder Vicente Figueroa and Esmundo Rodriguez, who had played quite a few matches on loan to the Sounders from MLS San Jose a few years ago.
Seattle shot in the opening minute when Jason Farrell shouldered Scott Jenkins' throw-in just over the bar. But Seattle couldn't generate very many good chances in the rest of the first half. A shot/cross from the right touch line by AJ Utush in the 5th was comfortably caught at the bar by Llamas for his only save of the half.
El Paso didn't generate much offense either for the first half hour. Michael Griego took their first shot in the 11th, a header from a free kick that was pressured wide. Figueroa tried a couple of shots from wide left, the first one hitting the near side netting and the next one overcorrecting to go wide of the far post.
A Seattle corner kick in the 32nd was deflected by a defender at the near post to Ryan Edwards out from the far post, and Edwards' shot on goal was headed a yard over the bar by McFarlane for a corner.
Griego finally forced a Seattle save with a 30-yarder up the middle, and Preston Burpo dove for the stop.
35' Rowland (?). Rowland at the arc received a square cross from the left and touched it on, carrying the ball along the 18-yard line under pressure by Edwards. Rowland got just free enough for a shot and curled a beauty over Burpo at the near post and perfectly into the top far corner. 0-1 El Paso.
Seattle began a long night of playing catch-up ball with Sean Henderson firing a yard wide from 25 on a free kick play. Leighton O'Brien's 44th-minute free kick from the right side to the far post was headed a yard over the bar by Edwards, and Seattle went into the locker room down a goal.
Halftime: Seattle 0 - 1 El Paso
Seattle sent in forward Kyle Smith for defender Ryan Edwards at the half, then Kei Kinoshita came on for Jenkins in the 59th when no good chances were happening either way. Smith and Kinoshita would take most of Seattle's good shots the rest of the way.
The 62nd minute saw the first good shot of the half as El Paso's Dumitru received a nice cross from Rowland and missed the lower far corner by half a yard.
Seattle finally started attacking well in the 66th. Kinoshita was sprung up the middle by O'Brien and his chip over Llamas appeared to have goal written all over it, but the post knocked it back and the defense cleared out for a corner. Craig Tomlinson's cross from the left flag to the far post was headed just wide of the lower corner by Kinoshita. O'Brien was open from 20 but cleared the bar by 2 yards. A cross past the goal was headed back in the direction it came from by Jason Farrell, and Kyle Smith rose near the far post but headed just over the bar and the ball settled on the roof. In the 77th, Viet Nguyen got open for a 25-yard blast that had Llamas going the wrong way, but he did well to dive back and parry the ball wide for a corner. Five good shots in 11 minutes, but the El Paso defense escaped with the shutout intact.
After 10 minutes without a good shot, Seattle pressed hard at the end. In the 87th, O'Brien crossed to the far post for another header by Smith, sent to the opposite side, and Llamas got there for a fine one-handed parry wide. There would be plenty of added time due to earlier delays. O'Brien's shot/cross was out of everyone's reach near the far post. A scramble for the ball near the penalty spot ended with a poke at goal by Smith, but Llamas intercepted at the post.
El Paso nearly scored from a Salvador Mercado's corner kick but substitute Justin Pratt's header was rejected by the far post. Sub Luis Macias got a 20-yard chance from a counterattack and fired hard but a yard wide.
Seattle's last chance came from a Farrell cross from the left, but Tomlinson headed it well over the bar.
Final: Seattle 0 - 1 El Paso
The same two sides will play again in the same place, 5 days later after El Paso makes a trip north for a match in Vancouver.
Seattle El Paso
Shots: 19 11
Saves: 2 4
Corners: 9 4
Fouls: 25 21
Offsides: 2 1
45' SEA - Waibel cautioned for a slide tackle into Rowland.
63' SEA - Nguyen cautioned for persistent infringement.
70' SEA - O'Brien cautioned for taking out Juarez' leg.
85' EP - Mercado cautioned for wasting time taking a corner kick.
Referee: Mohammed Zarrabi-Kashani; Asst Refs: Calin Znamirovschi, Khadem
Fariborz; 4th: Mike Fox.