Seattle Sounders 0 - 1 Vancouver Whitecaps
Memorial Stadium, Seattle, WA
17' VAN - Tilley (Kindel)
Seattle: Preston Burpo; Kieran Barton, Scott Jenkins (Peter Hattrup 87'), Charles Gbeke (Ryan Edwards 58'); Jeremy Sweet, Leighton O'Brien, Jason Farrell, Viet Nguyen; Kyle Smith (Craig Tomlinson 78'), Rees Bettinger, Christer Forsberg (Kei Kinoshita 56').
Vancouver: Didar Sandhu; Rick Titus, Steve
McCauley, Geordie Lyall; Steve Kindel, Oliver Heald (Tiarnan King 76'),
Nico Berg, Kevin Holness, Terry St. Louis (David Morris 45'); Alfredo Valente
(Chris Craveiro 68'), Darren Tilley (Dana Garner 87').
Seven of eleven starters for Seattle were new this season, including rookie forwards Rees Bettinger and Kyle Smith. Vancouver started ten returning players.
Seattle deployed a 3-4-3 lineup, with Viet Nguyen and Jason Farrell as outside mids, occasionally switching sides, which is rather unusual, but we like it, as Farrell can cross nicely from both sides and Nguyen is effective on every square foot of the pitch.
Seattle had a pair of early chances. A cleared Seattle free kick was sent back in and centered by Smith, and defender Charles Gbeke's shot rolled just wide of the far post. Gbeke likes to go forward on set plays -- he used to play as a forward. Nguyen crossed from the left for Christer Forsberg, whose 15-yard header from in front of the arc was headed just wide of the far post. Narrowly missing the goal was a theme that would recur throughout the Sounders' evening.
17' Tilley (Kindel). After a battle for the ball at the right touch line in front of the Sounders bench, Steve Kindel sent a long cross from the touch line to an unmarked Tilley 15 yards out from the far post. Gbeke was the only other player in the area code and he was several yards goal side of Tilley, and the tall striker headed accurately inside the far post for what would prove to be the lone goal of the match. 0-1 Vancouver.
After ten minutes of recovery from Tilley's goal, Seattle had four good chances in an 8-minute period. Nguyen worked a wall pass with Forsberg for a 15-yarder from the right, blocked by goalkeeper Didar Sandhu's chest. Bettinger crossed along the 18 for a blast from the right end of the arc by O'Brien that was just wide of the far post. Smith's lateral pass on an attack gave Forsberg a try from 30 yards, again just wide. Bettinger tried from 20 yards on the left, and Sandhu saved overhead.
A minute from halftime Vancouver had a chance from a cleared corner kick, but Kindel was a yard wide of the far post from 25.
Halftime: Seattle 0 - 1 Vancouver
From the second-half kickoff play, Jason Farrell's left-footed cross from the right side was just over the head of Nguyen on the far-post run.
Vancouver's David Morris, who entered at the half, was wide left on a 20-yarder up the middle.
Seattle's Bettinger just missed the bottom far corner from inside the 18 on the right.
At 55', a long Seattle free kick led to apparent good news for Seattle, but it would all go for naught. The free kick was sent at goal, and Gbeke was flattened from behind by goalkeeper Sandhu 8 yards from goal as Gbeke chested the ball back out for Bettinger. Referee Seitz allowed advantage, as Bettinger had an open shot from 15 yards with Sandhu still lying on top of Gbeke. Bettinger's shot was on goal, but Steve McCauley was on the line and deflected the ball wide with his arm. The whistle sounded, Gbeke was rolling around in pain, Seitz pointed to the spot, and McCauley was shown the mandatory red card for stopping the goal with his arm. Things looked good for Seattle, but O'Brien's PK hit the outside base of the left post. The rebound went straight to Forsberg running in alone on the left, but with Sandhu out of position Forsberg's volley went wide of the far post.
Seattle created opportunities with the man advantage, but couldn't net a goal. From a long free kick, Farrell headed wide of the far post. In the 70th Jeremy Sweet broke through and looked to be past a supine Sandhu, but Sweet hit the outside base of the near post and for some reason (perhaps Sandhu got a hand on the shot) a corner kick was awarded.
With nothing much developing in Vancouver's offense, Morris tried a long shot that was easily saved by Preston Burpo.
When Sandhu couldn't hold on to a 79th-minute Seattle corner kick, Scott Jenkins got a 20-yard chance and hit the outside base of the near post again.
Vancouver's defense prevented further chances until the final five minutes. Then Kinoshita had a chance from the right at a steep angle, but a defender blocked the shot at the far post. Farrell's 20-yard free kick was deflected just wide of the far post for a corner. Bettinger dropped to Nguyen for a 20-yarder from the left that sailed wide of the far post. The final minute saw substitute Craig Tomlinson get a chance from 15 yards in front of goal, but he skied it.
Final: Seattle 0 - 1 Vancouver
Shots: 21 8
Saves: 2 6
Corners: 4 5
Fouls: 22 21
Offsides: 1 6
32' SEA - Forsberg cautioned for chipping the ball into the goal after a foul was whistled.
33' SEA - Sweet cautioned for a foul at the circle.
55' VAN - McCauley sent off for stopping a goal with his arm.
57' SEA and VAN - Gbeke and Tilley cautioned for an altercation after a foul near the touch line.
59' SEA - Bettinger cautioned for retaliation against Kindel in the Vancouver penalty area.
85' SEA - Nguyen cautioned for a trip from behind at the halfway line.
Referee: Kari Seitz; Asst Refs: Jeff Hosking, Doug Pinski; 4th: Sue