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   2002 Jul 6

Seattle Sounders  4 - 1  Indiana Blast
Memorial Stadium, Seattle, WA

Goals:
3' SEA - Sawatzky (Nguyen)
33' SEA - Ching (Boyce)
79' IND - Prosser (Sweet)
83' SEA - Gregor (O'Brien)
89' SEA - Ching (Sawatzky)

Seattle: Preston Burpo; Kieran Barton, Scott Jenkins, Ryan Edwards (Zach Scott 88'); Chad Brown, Andrew Gregor, Leighton O'Brien, Jason Boyce (Nate Daligcon 73'), Viet Nguyen (Greg Foisie 73'); Darren Sawatzky, Brian Ching.

Indiana: Josh Lynk; Mark Allen, Gino DiGuardi (Ezzy Ihekoronye 78'), Jeff Samples, Vorgen Less (Peter Baah 55'); Distin Ottesen, Jeremy Sweet, Ricky Camarena (Myron Vaughn 62'); Godfrey Tenoff, Rodrigo Costa (James Prosser 62'), Tommy Keenan.


Match report by Ron Stickney:

Both teams were tired from road trips and fixture congestion, but the Seattle Sounders got the job done with a 4-1 win over the visiting Indiana Blast. Darren Sawatzky scored early and Brian Ching added a goal for a 2-0 halftime lead. Indiana's Godfrey Tenoff was sent off near the end of the first half for some foolishness. James Prosser brought Indiana within a goal with 10 minutes left, then Seattle scored a pair of late goals by Andrew Gregor and Ching for the final margin. Indiana Coach Eric Descombes was dismissed in the 90th minute for what he said after a Seattle goal and a caution for dissent to Mark Allen.

Newcomer Jason Boyce started his first home match for Seattle after starting two road matches.

First Half

3' Sawatzky (Nguyen). The first foul of the match gave Leighton O'Brien a free kick from the left 40 yards out that dropped just wide of the far post. Three Sounders crashed the goal on the free kick, and Ching couldn't quite reach the ball, but Viet Nguyen was near the bye line to send the ball in front of goal, where Sawatzky was open for a chance. The shot hit the cross bar, bounced down just behind the goal line, and jumped back out due to back spin. Assistant referee David Simon raised his flag, then sprinted towards the halfway line, indicating a goal. 1-0 Seattle.

A minute later Ching netted one from the arc, but he was whistled for a foul that occurred before he received the ball.

Indiana's first shot came in the 5th minute and was weakly struck for an easy save. Tommy Keenan's quick throw-in in the 16th gave Tenoff a shot from 15 on the right, sent a yard wide of the far post. Rodrigo Costa was upended after heading a ball in Seattle's penalty area, and he got the ball back while still on the ground, and his shot from the supine position was a yard wide of the far post. A throw-in to Mark Allen's head was punched clear by goalkeeper Preston Burpo just before Allen could head it. Costa got through on the left when Kieran Barton couldn't quite clear the ball, but Costa's low shot was right at Burpo.

33' Ching (Boyce). Boyce sped through into the area on the left and crossed in front of goal. Allen tried to clear it and bounced it off his own goalkeeper. Ching was first to the sitter and tapped it in easily from 3 yards. 2-0 Seattle.

Four minutes later Boyce again sped through on the left and got in close to goal. He could have shot, but passed towards the far post for an easy finish by Sawatzky, who was flagged just barely offside on the play. Before the free kick was taken, goalkeeper Josh Lynk was surprisingly cautioned for dissent even though the call went his way.

For Indiana, Ricky Camarena was open for a cross 8 yards out from the far post, and he bounced his header just over the bar, but Burpo's hand would have swatted away a lower shot.

In the 43rd Tenoff, who had been playing well, lost his cool when Seattle were awarded a throw-in near the halfway line. Tenoff held the ball and complained persistently to assistant referee Cory Dean, earning a caution from center referee Jesse Johnson. As play was resuming, Tenoff showed his middle finger to Dean and earned a red card for abusive sign language. Indiana would play the rest of the match a man short.

In the 45th minute the Sounders had taken only the two shots that scored, not counting a few shots cancelled by a foul or offside call. Ching and Gregor each took a shot in the 45th, but neither was close.

Halftime: Seattle 2 - 0 Indiana

The Blast tried first in the second half when Costa raced by the defense on the left to receive, but his 15-yard shot was comfortably saved by Burpo.

A Seattle counterattack after an Indiana corner kick gave Ching a shot from the arc, but he missed by a mile. Ching's next shot in the 60th was spectacular. He had the ball wide left and crossed all the way to the right side of the area to Nguyen, who returned a cross past goal for a powerful sideways volley by Ching, equalled by Lynk's amazing save when he dove sideways to bat the shot over the bar.

For Indiana, DiGuardi's low shot from the right side of the area in the 65th went through a crowd untouched and rolled harmlessly a yard wide of the far post.

Nguyen got inside the penalty area on the right and was knocked over as he shot, but there would be no PK with a 2-0 lead and a man advantage. O'Brien's square cross into the goal area in the 72nd gave Ching a touch on goal, but Lynk had it covered. Ching beat Lynk to a through ball on the left side and sent his 20-yard attempt just wide of the far post. Another O'Brien cross in the 77th was chest-trapped by Ching for a shot, but it was too weak and easily saved by Lynk.

79' Prosser (Sweet). Seattle couldn't clear the ball from their penalty area and after several Indiana touches ex-Sounder Jeremy Sweet carried square to the arc and sent a pass forward for Prosser, 12 yards from goal. Prosser turned and fired an accurate shot just inside the left post, beating a diving Burpo. 2-1 Seattle.

For Seattle, substitute Greg Foisie dropped a nice ball to Gregor, who shot right at Lynk from 20.

Indiana came inches from tying it up in the 83rd when Tommy Keenan's 10-yard header from the left was targeted for the top far corner, but Burpo scrambled along the post to post route to swat the ball wide for a corner.

83' Gregor (O'Brien). Gregor broke through the offside line with the ball, 40 yards from goal, and a few passes put the ball at O'Brien's foot in the arc. O'Brien tried to pass to Sawatzky, but a defender's foot deflected the ball square to the left where Gregor was unmarked. Gregor put a low shot past Lynk into the lower far corner and Seattle had a comfortable 3-1 lead.

89' Ching (Sawatzky). A Gregor cross from the left gave Sawatzky a chance from inside the goal area, but a defender's foot blocked the shot attempt and Sawatzky was knocked down. O'Brien was right behind but hit the ball into Sawatzky. The rebound went to Ching 6 yards out, who knocked it in off the base of the right post. 4-1 Seattle.

Allen didn't like something about the last goal and was cautioned for dissent. Then Indiana coach Eric Descombes joined in with dissent, using language that earned him a dismissal.

Final: Seattle 4 - 1 Indiana

Statistics:
        Seattle  Indiana
Shots:     17       10
Saves:      4        4
Corners:    6        2
Fouls:     12        9
Offsides:   9        3

Misconduct:
37' IND - Lynk cautioned for dissent after a Seattle goal was disallowed due to offside. We have no idea why he would mouth off when the call went his way.
43' IND - Tenoff cautioned for dissent aimed at assistant referee Dean when Seattle were awarded a throw-in near the halfway line.
43' IND - Tenoff sent off for showing his middle finger to Dean after being cautioned.
90' IND - Allen cautioned for dissent after Seattle's last goal.
90' IND - Coach Eric Descombes dismissed from the field for abusive language after Allen was cautioned.

Referee: Jesse Johnson; Cory Dean, David Simon; Fariborz Khadem.
Attendance: 1,837