2007 Jun 28

Seattle Sounders 1 - 0 Miami FC
Qwest Field, Seattle, WA

Seattle: Chris Eylander; Noah Merl, Zach Scott, Jake Besagno (Andre Schmid 24'); Kenji Treschuk, Kevin Sakuda, Hugo Alcaraz-Cuellar (Gabe Sturm 78'), Josh Gardner, Roger Levesque; Sebastien Le Toux (Adam West 89'), Greg Howes. Substitutes not used: Ben Dragavon, Santa Maria Rivera, Nate Boyden, Craig Tomlinson.

Miami: Pat Hannigan; Stephane Guillame, Cristiano Dias, Chris Williams, Luis Calix (Nico Mosquera 74'); Jean-Jacques Jamil, John Pulido (Sergio Van Kanten 77'), Douglas Gonçalves (Rachid Didouh 82'), Zinho; Eric Vasquez (Sean Fraser 45'), Luchi Gonzalez. Substitutes not used: Kristian Gonzalez, Gerghiny Obas.

44' SEA: Scott (Alcaraz-Cuellar)

Additional match reports: Seattle Times, Seattle P-I, Sounders, Miami FC.

Match report by Ron Stickney:

Every season seems to produce at least one match won by the defenders. That is what happened this evening, as right back Kevin Sakuda set up the lone goal, left back Zach Scott scored it, and goalkeeper Chris Eylander made 10 saves facing 13 shots to earn the shutout. Along the way, critical plays were turned in by sweeper Noah Merl and defensive midfielder (seeming sometimes like a center back) Kenji Treschuk. The score was 1 goal to the host Seattle Sounders and none in a valiant effort by Miami FC.

First Half

The match opened with Seattle midfielders giving the ball away often due to errant passes, leading to a Miami corner kick and a couple of dangerous crosses, but no shots. Miami eventually earned the first shot of the match with Douglas Gonçalves volleying a cleared cross well over the bar. Seattle midfielders and forwards would continue to pass poorly throughout the match.

In the 9th minute Seattle pressure on the Miami goal gave Roger Levesque a header that was stopped by goalkeeper Pat Hannigan, but Greg Howes got the rebound in front of goal and tried to get free for a shot, but good defending by Miami conceded only a corner. In the 14th a Treschuk throw-in play let Levesque try to chip over Hannigan, but Hannigan easily saved overhead.

First blood was drawn in the 16th when Josh Gardner's long free kick to the far post resulted in a 50-50 air ball, and Hannigan punched it clear, getting the charging Jake Besagno in the forehead simultaneously. It was a fair play by Hannigan and unfortunate for Besagno, who left to get 7 stitches. After 8 minutes of waiting, Andre Schmid came on for Besagno and Sakuda took over for Besagno as right back. Two days earlier Leighton O'Brien got 7 stitches after being kneed in the back of the head by a Portland attacker. If one more Sounder gets 7 stitches, the whole team should take a trip to Las Vegas to try their luck at the slots.

Miami's first good chance came in the 23rd when Zinho's 25-yard free kick was shot hard at Eylander's feet, and Eylander did well with a forward dive to take it with no rebound.

At 26' Hugo Alcaraz-Cuellar had a chance from 8 yards when a ball bounced past the goal mouth, but he skied the quick shot. Levesque got a header from a prayer ball popped into the penalty area by Treschuk, but Hannigan saved easily.

In the 31st minute the match was interrupted when the Sounders promotional staff threw balls into the stands during play and 6 balls were thrown onto the pitch. The Sounders front office should get a clue -- save it for halftime.

A long Seattle free kick from Gardner in the 34th gave Scott his first chance, and the header was just inches wide of the far post.

For Miami, a long free kick was headed by Jean-Jacques Jamil looping to the top far corner, and Eylander was there for the save.

In the 43rd, a Gardner corner kick to the far post was headed hard by Scott off the far post and out.

44' SEA: Scott (Alcaraz-Cuellar). Alcaraz-Cuellar's corner kick from the left went to the near post in the air, where Sakuda challenged for it and prevented goalkeeper Hannigan from getting a good play on it. The ball possibly touched Sakuda's head and was touched by Hannigan, but it continued to the far post where Scott used his cleats to poke it home. Why the far post was unmanned is a mystery for the Miami coaching staff to figure out. 1-0 Seattle.

Halftime: Seattle 1 - 0 Miami

Seattle came close just after the start of the second half when Sebastien Le Toux ran by 3 defenders to win a through ball and earned a chip shot from 12 yards, but it went wide of the near post by a yard.

A minute later Miami defender Stephane Guillame won a shot from 23 yards and forced a diving save at the near post by Eylander.

At 57' a Miami cross from the right gave Zinho a well taken header 6 yards out from the far post, and Eylander collapsed to make a fine save, pushing the ball wide. On the resulting corner kick play, substitute Sean Fraser's header was too high. Next it was Zinho again, forcing Eylander to push a 20-yard shot wide.

Seattle substitute Andre Schmid, playing up front, won a through ball and was a half step ahead for a shot from 15 yards, but he fired it well over the goal.

At 65' a string of nice Miami passes gave Luchi Gonzalez a shot from 10 yards on the right, and Eylander dove to push it wide of the near post.

At 67', a long Seattle free kick from Gardner found Howes open for a shot from 15 yards that missed the near post by a yard.

At 72' L Gonzalez won a 20-yard try and forced a diving save by Eylander at the corner.

Then Miami had all the chances for the final 15 minutes as Seattle seemed content to defend their one-goal lead. A ball popped up by a Seattle defender gave Fraser a header from the penalty spot, but he bounced it easily to Eylander in the middle of the goal mouth.

In the 84th Eylander made a stunning double save. First, Fraser's rocket shot from the right end of the arc forced a diving save, and the rebound went to L Gonzalez all alone near goal for a shot that it seemed he wouldn't miss, but Eylander while still on the ground got his wrist on the ball and deflected it up and over the bar. That would be Miami's last threat.

Final: Seattle 1 - 0 Miami

          Seattle    Miami
Shots:       13        13
Saves:       10         3
Corners:      9         5
Fouls:       14        18
Offsides:     0         2

40' SEA: Sakuda cautioned for a tactical foul
45' MIA: Vasquez cautioned for a two-handed push into Howes' chest after being whistled for a foul
63' MIA: Dias cautioned
73' MIA: Pulido cautioned for a foul on Howes in Seattle's end
76' SEA: Scott cautioned for a tactical foul at the touch line

Referees: Will Niccolls; Scott Lawrence, Josh Wilkins; Cory Dean.

Attendance: 2,078