Seattle Sounders 5 - 0 Vancouver Whitecaps
Memorial Stadium, Seattle, WA
20' SEA - Storkson (Bettinger)
34' SEA - O'Brien (Farrell)
48' SEA - O'Brien (Barton)
61' SEA - Smith (Storkson)
66' SEA - Bettinger (O'Brien)
Seattle: Rich Cullen (Carlos Castellanos 72'); Kieran Barton, Mike Casale (Casey Barber 31'), Scott Jenkins; Kei Kinoshita (Chad Brown 77'), Sean Henderson, Leighton O'Brien, Jason Farrell (Dylin Pillay 80'); Rees Bettinger, Kyle Smith, Erik Storkson (Peter Hattrup 74').
Vancouver: Steve London (Lars Hirschfeld 70'); Rick Titus, Kevin
Holness, Jeff Skinner; Tiarnan King, Oliver Heald, Steve Kindel, John Sulentic,
Alfredo Valente; Darren Tilley (Jason Jordan 53'), Dave Morris.
The Seattle Sounders posted a big 5-0 win over the visiting Vancouver Whitecaps in the final match of the A-League regular season. It was arguably their best match of the year. Recently re-signed Erik Storkson netted the first, which proved to be the match winner. Leighton O'Brien added a pair to bring his total for the year to eleven, earning him the golden boot award for the team. Rookies Kyle Smith and Rees Bettinger bagged the last two.
The win gave the Sounders a winning season at 13-1-12 (W-D-L), but they finished 5th out of 7 in the Western Conference of the A-League and fell 5 points short of the playoffs. This was the first time in the APSL/A-League years that the Sounders failed to qualify for the playoffs.
Jason Farrell tried early for Seattle in the 2nd minute, shooting from 55 yards from the right touch line when he saw goalkeeper Steve London off his line, and it was close as the ball settled onto the roof of the net a half yard too far.
Johnny Sulentic took Vancouver's first try in the 8th after a Sounders giveaway in their own end, but the shot curled wide of the near post with goalkeeper Rich Cullen flying sideways just in case. Dave Morris tried a 30-yarder up the middle, but Cullen was home for the save. After Cullen left the penalty area to head clear, Tiarnan King tried a long putback but was way too high.
20' Storkson (Bettinger). The Sounders had the ball on the left on the attack. Bettinger beat a man and blistered a sharp cross to the top of the goal area, where Storkson redirected it past London and inside the far post. 1-0 Seattle.
Seattle continued their momentum as Smith crossed square to the penalty spot, where Henderson chest-trapped and volleyed a shot that was deflected wide for a corner kick. The corner kick went to Kei Kinoshita at the far post, but he couldn't reach enough of the ball and headed it well over. Henderson got another pair of chances, a low volley from 15 yards that a diving London parried wide, and after the rebound was returned to him Henderson just missed with a close shot. Smith from the end line headed to the far post for Bettinger, but the pressured shot was wide of the near post.
Vancouver's best shot came in the 28th when Sulentic beat a pair of defenders on the right and rolled a shot past Cullen, hitting the base of the par post.
34' O'Brien (Farrell). Just outside the top right corner of the goal area, O'Brien touched Farrell's throw-in up in the air, then with his back to the goal chipped a shot over his shoulder, past London at the near post, and nicely into the top far corner. Our choice for goal of the year! 2-0 Seattle.
Vancouver had the chances for the rest of the half. Heald's long, far-post air ball was headed well over by Valente. Sulentic just missed the top near corner with a wicked shot from 25. Valente blasted a low, far-post shot from 35 that Cullen parried, then collected.
Halftime: Seattle 2 - 0 Vancouver
48' O'Brien (Barton). Seattle scored early in the second half. Kieran Barton's through ball sprung O'Brien from the offside line near the halfway line. The defense quit, thinking offside, but it wasn't, and O'Brien was off to the races. O'Brien touched the ball left past a collapsing London and finished into the empty net. 3-0 Seattle.
For Seattle, Storkson got a close-in header, but bounced it right to London.
For Vancouver, Heald's far-post cross eluded Cullen, but Tilley missed with the shot. Steve Kindel from outside the area fired a yard high.
For Seattle, Henderson's 20-yarder up the middle was deflected wide for a corner. Farrell's 35-yard blast at the lower far corner forced a good parry by London, who collected the rebound. O'Brien forced a save from Farrell's corner kick.
61' Smith (Storkson). It was off to the races again as Storkson's through ball sprung Smith, who muscled off Jeff Skinner's challenge and beat London to the far side, off London's hand. Smith celebrated his first goal of the season by taking off his shirt and hanging it on the corner flag, for which he earned a yellow card from referee Ramon Hernandez. 4-0 Seattle.
66' Bettinger (O'Brien). On the attack, O'Brien dished right for the charging Bettinger, who beat London cleanly to the far side. 5-0 Seattle.
Seattle's Barton fired a hard shot up the middle from 45 yards like he did years earlier against Vissel Kobe, but this one missed by two yards.
Seattle substitute goalkeeper Carlos Castellanos, getting his first minutes of the season for the A-League side, rushed out to block Darren Tilley's 79th-minute breakaway, and the defense cleared the rebound out for a corner. In the 88th, substitute Jason Jordan got past his marker and in close, but Castellanos pulled the ball off Jordan's foot. In the final minute, Kindel fired in a cleared corner kick but was a half yard high.
Final: Seattle 5 - 0 Vancouver
Shots: 23 15
Saves: 5 4
Corners: 7 4
Fouls: 8 14
Offsides: 2 4
26' VAN - Skinner cautioned.
61' SEA - Smith cautioned for taking his shirt off after scoring a goal (this will not be a mandatory yellow card effective with leagues which start after July 1).
72' VAN - Sulentic cautioned for one too many fouls on O'Brien, this one a tripping foul.
81' SEA - Pillay cautioned a minute after entering for a foot foul.
85' VAN - Holness cautioned for tripping Pillay 25 yards from goal.
Referee: Ramon Hernandez; Asst Refs: Mac Pinski, Cory Dean; 4th: Mike