2005 Sep 25

Playoffs, semifinals, second leg:
Montreal Impact  1 - 2  Seattle Sounders
Claude Robillard Sports Complex, Montreal, QE

Montreal: Greg Sutton; Gabriel Gervais, Nevio Pizzolitto, Mauricio Vincello, Adam Braz (Charles Gbeke 66'); David DiPlacido (Joel Bailey 46'), Pat Leduc, Antonio Ribeiro, Mesut Mert (Masahiro Fukasawa 56'); Mauro Biello, Eddie Sebrango. Substitutes not used: Andrew Olivieri, Adrian Cann, Lars Lyssand, Darko Kolic.

Seattle: Preston Burpo; Taylor Graham, Billy Sleeth, Ryan Edwards, Scott Jenkins; Kevin Sakuda, CJ Klaas, Andrew Gregor, Gabe Sturm (Jake Sagare 82'); Roger Levesque (Chad Brown 90'), Brent Whitfield (Ben Somoza 63'). Substitutes not used: James Ward, Brett Wiesner, Franklin Chacon.

59' SEA - Whitfield (Sturm)

72' MON - Gbeke (Vincello)
90' SEA - Levesque (Gregor)

Additional match reports: Montreal fan Max Julien, King County Journal, Seattle Times, Seattle P-I, Slam! Sports, Montreal Gazette, Impact.

Match report from the Sounders:

A goal by Sounders forward Roger Levesque in the 90th minute allowed the Sounders to beat the Montreal Impact 2-1 Sunday in front of 10,124 spectators at the Claude-Robillard Sports Complex.

With the victory, the Sounders advance to the United Soccer Leagues First Division Championship Match for the second consecutive year. They will host the Richmond Kickers on Saturday, October 1st, 8 PM (PT) at Qwest Field, pending United Soccer Leagues approval early Monday morning. The match will be broadcast live on Fox Soccer Channel.

The Sounders, who came away from the first leg of the semifinals series with a 2-2 draw versus Montreal at home, defeated the Impact in Montreal 2-1 on Sunday, which eliminated Montreal 4-3 aggregately. With Sunday's win Seattle avenged last season's 2-0 championship defeat in Montreal while advancing to the final.

Heading into Sunday's second match of the home and away series the Sounders gave up two goals in last four minutes of the match on Friday night. Head Coach Brian Schmetzer had to rally his troops to pull off the huge upset against number one seed Montreal. The Sounders were without three key starters in Montreal on Sunday: Leighton O'Brien (playoff yellow card accumulation-suspension), Maykel Galindo (no photo ID allowing to travel) and Zach Scott (wife expecting first child).

Match Recap

The Sounders opened the scoring in the 59th minute when forward Brent Whitfield jumped on a rebound following Gabe Sturm's shot, sliding to push the ball into an empty net.

The Impact tied the score in the 72nd minute, when Charles Gbeke redirected a centering pass from defender Mauricio Vincello with a header. It was his third goal in two playoff matches.

On the winning goal, Levesque took a shot from 25 yards out that deflected off Nevio Pizzolitto's foot and dipped over goalkeeper Greg Sutton, who was caught flat-footed. It was Levesque's fourth goal in the 2005 playoffs. The assist was credited to midfielder Andrew Gregor.

The Sounders now advance to the USL Championship Final, which will take place October 1, against the Richmond Kickers. The Kickers defeated the Rochester Raging Rhinos 4-2 aggregately in the other USL First Division semifinal playoff series.

Championship Weekend Live on Fox Soccer Channel

The Seattle-Richmond match will be held in Seattle at Qwest Field on Saturday, October 1st. Kickoff is set for 8 PM Pacific Time and will be broadcast live on Fox Soccer Channel. Tickets for the championship match will go on sale at 10 AM Monday. Reserved seats are $20 and general admission seats are $15 and group tickets are available by calling the Sounders (reserved $15, general admission $10). Call 206.622.3415 or visit www.seattlesounders.net to purchase tickets.

Sounders-Richmond History

The Sounders matched up against the Kickers for the first time in 2005 on June 3rd in Richmond. The Sounders defeated the Kickers 2-0 on goals from Ryan Edwards and Welton Melo. Both assists came from rookie midfielder and USL rookie of the year nominee CJ Klaas.

In their second meeting on August 13th at Qwest Field in Seattle, the Kickers came from behind in the 89th minute to tie the Sounders 1-1. Brent Whitfield scored on a Kevin Sakuda assist for the Sounders and Peter Luzak scored for the Kickers off Burke's assist.

Richmond finished the 2005 regular season in sixth place with 39 points, 28 goals for and 30 goals against. They defeated the Vancouver Whitecaps in the first round of USL playoffs 5-4 aggregately to advance to the semifinals. In the semifinals they defeated Rochester 4-2 aggregately to advance to the championship match. Defender Peter Luzak was named Second Team All-USL.

The Kickers will be without forward McColm Cephas in the championship game due to red card ejection in the semifinal match. Cephas has played in 21 regular season matches tallying one goal for the Kickers.

Seattle finished in fourth place with 44 points, 33 goals for and 25 goals against in the 2005 regular season. They defeated the Portland Timbers in the first round of USL playoffs 3-0 aggregately; forward Roger Levesque scored all three goals. The Sounders advanced to the semifinals where they defeated the Montreal Impact 4-3 to advance to the championship match.

Sounders' Taylor Graham was named First Team All-USL and goalkeeper Preston Burpo was named Second Team All-USL. CJ Klaas is a contender for USL's Rookie of the Year and Taylor Graham is a contender for USL Defender of the Year. The USL awards will be announced at the Championship match banquet.

          Montreal  Seattle
Shots:      12         8
Saves:       4         4
Corners:    14         2
Fouls:      17        15
Offsides:    2         0

28' MON - Pizzolitto cautioned
32' SEA - Edwards cautioned
52' SEA - Levesque cautioned
67' MON - Gervais cautioned
78' SEA - Gregor cautioned
90' SEA - Sakuda cautioned

Referees: Silviu Petrescu; Amato DeLuca, Jean-François Corrivault; Daniel Belleau

Attendance: 10,124