2008 Jun 20
Seattle Sounders 0 - 0 Miami FC Blues
Starfire Sports Complex, Tukwila, WA
Seattle: Chris Eylander; Taylor Graham, Zach Scott, Kevin Sakuda, Noah Merl (Michael Rodríguez 76'); Kenji Treschuk, John Fishbaugher (Roger Levesque 51', Nik Besagno 90'), Josh Gardner, Leighton O'Brien; Hugo Alcaraz-Cuellar (Andre Schmid 89'), Sébastien Le Toux. Substitutes not used: Ben Dragavon, Craig Tomlinson, Jason Cascio.
Miami: Josh Saunders; Chris Williams, Cristiano Dias, John Avery, Walter Ramirez; Jarryd Goldberg, Cauę da Mata (John Pulido 86'), Sean Cameron, Leo Inácio Nunes (Eric Vasquez 35'); Sean Fraser (Juan Pablo Galavis 76'), Alex Afonso. Substitutes not used: Sam Reynolds, Eric Brunner, Ricardo Calvacante, Willie Sims.
Additional match reports: Sounders, Blues, Seattle P-I, Seattle Times.
Match report from Ron Stickney:
The Seattle Sounders could not break down the defense of the visiting Miami FC Blues, and in the end it was a scoreless draw. Miami extended their streak to six consecutive shutouts in league play. Notching the shutouts were Miami goalkeeper Josh Saunders and Seattle's Chris Eylander.
Getting their first minutes in a Sounders league match were newcomers Michael Rodríguez and Nik Besagno. Rodríguez recently received his visa and is signed with the USL Sounders. He is a candidate for the MLS side. Both players have national team experience, Besagno with the USA youth teams and Rodríguez with the Costa Rican team from the 2006 World Cup.
An early chance for Seattle went begging as a long free kick by Josh Gardner was allowed to bounce in front of goal in a crowd, and Saunders fielded it on the hop.
Miami's early shots came from Leo Inácio and Sean Cameron, both clearing the bar by a yard or two from just outside the penalty area.
Midway in the first half Seattle defender Zach Scott intercepted a ball at the halfway line and fired a rocket from 45 yards in a worthy effort, but it bent the wrong way and missed by a yard.
At 25' Miami hit the woodwork. After a Seattle turnover in their own half, Inácio served a nice cross to Cauę da Mata, whose blast hit the wrong side of the top near corner. A minute later Cameron just missed the lower far corner from 25 yards.
The match got rough in the 33rd minute. Seattle's Hugo Alcaraz-Cuellar was cautioned for throwing an elbow, and as a result Inácio had to leave the match with a bloody head. Eric Vasquez came on for Inácio.
In the final minute before intermission Seattle was awarded a free kick from near the right end of the arc after Leighton O'Brien was taken down. Gardner bent a nice free kick around the end of the wall, but Saunders dove sideways to make the save.
Saunders made a diving save again at 60' when Sébastien Le Toux headed Alcaraz-Cuellar's chip serve towards the near post from 8 yards.
Miami's defense came close to an own goal twice in the final quarter of the match, an attempted clearance just missing the top far corner and a misplayed ball forcing a "save" by Saunders at the bar.
It looked like one goal would be enough to win this match, and at 72' Miami nearly had one from a nice 20-yard shot by da Mata, slapped just over the bar by Eylander.
For the Sounders at 76', substitute Roger Levesque received a square cross from Le Toux and headed nicely at the lower far corner, but Saunders made it there for another fine save. At 83' Gardner got open 15 yards to the left of goal and fired a hard shot that hit the wrong side of the top near corner.
Another Miami starter, da Mata, went down with a bleeding head at 86' and had to leave the match.
The last chance to win was Miami's at 88' when Juan Pablo Galavis aimed a 20-yard shot nicely at the lower near corner, but Eylander made the diving save.
In added time it was the Sounders' Levesque who had to leave injured after he was kicked in the back of the ankle.
If these two sides meet again this year, the host should order two ambulances on standby.
Zach Scott picked up his 5th yellow card of the season and will probably have to sit out the next league match, against Montreal.
Shots: 13 9
Saves: 3 5
Corners: 10 3
Fouls: 12 14
Offsides: 2 1
33' SEA: Alcaraz-Cuellar cautioned
45' MIA: Vasquez cautioned
61' SEA: Scott cautioned
89' SEA: O'Brien cautioned
90' MIA: Williams cautioned
Referees: Yader Reyes; Kevin O'Daniel, Soo-Hui Um; Scott Lawrence