2008 May 14
Seattle Sounders 1 - 1 Rochester Rhinos
Starfire Sports Complex, Tukwila, WA
Seattle: Chris Eylander; Danny Jackson, Taylor Graham, Zach Scott, Kevin Sakuda; Kenji Treschuk, Leighton O'Brien (Youssouf Kante 57'), John Fishbaugher (Noah Merl 79'), Josh Gardner; Roger Levesque (Jason Cascio 65'), Sebastien Le Toux. Substitutes not used: Ben Dragavon, Hugo Alcaraz-Cuellar, Andre Schmid, Craig Tomlinson.
Rochester: Scott Vallow; Atiba Charles, Nate Craft (John Ball 68'), Alfonso Loera, Scott Palguta; Tiger Fitzpatrick (Matthew Delicâte 84'), Ze Roberto, Luke Kreamalmeyer, Johnny Menyongar; Hamed Diallo, Mauricio Salles. Substitutes not used: Chase Harrison, Tenywa Bonseu, Leigh Sembaluk, Evan Milward, Chad Severs.
76' SEA: Scott (Gardner)
90' ROC: Palguta
Additional match reports: Seattle P-I, Seattle Times, Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, Rhinos.
Match report from the Sounders:
The Seattle Sounders ended their 190-minute scoreless streak on Wednesday night.
And it took a defender to do it.
But a Rochester defender likewise ended his team's long scoreless streak -- one which stretched to 450 minutes over the first five games of the season. As a result, the Sounders wound up having to settle for a 1-1 tie with the Rhinos in their United Soccer Leagues First Division season debut at Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila.
Zach Scott headed in a corner kick from Josh Gardner at the 75:20 mark, putting the Sounders on the board for the first time since the 65th minute of their 2-0 victory at Atlanta on May 2.
But just as the clock clicked to 90 minutes in front of 1,861 fans, Rhinos defender Scott Palguta picked up a loose ball on a play that started as a corner kick from the left quadrant and launched it off his shoe top into the upper right corner past Sounder goalkeeper Chris Eylander.
That ended another scoreless streak for Seattle -- 284 minutes of not allowing a goal.
So instead of three points for what would have been their second victory of the season, the Sounders had to settle for a single point as their record went to 1-1-3 with 6 points. Rochester, playing the final contest of a season-opening five-game road stretch, is now 0-3-2 with 2 points.
For Scott, who was named to last week's USL First Division team of the Week, it was bittersweet at best.
"It couldn't have been any more disappointing," he said. "A goal is a goal. But at the end, three points is all you want. That's where we're struggling."
Scott added that Wednesday's goal -- just the fourth this season for the Sounders and the third off a set piece -- might be just what Seattle needed.
"Maybe that's what gets us going in the right direction," he said. "Maybe that's the end of our starting out slow and good things are to come. Fortunately, we have another game to come immediately (Sunday night at 7 at Starfire against the Atlanta Silverbacks). We have to put this one behind us and go out and look for our second win of the season."
The Sounders had the run of play for most of the second half, and finally converted. One corner kick from the right wing quadrant by Gardner had been headed clear, giving him another one from the same side. He sent it toward goalkeeper Scott Vallow's 6-yard box, and Scott went up for the header into the back left side.
Rochester's corner kick came from the left side late in the 90th minute. Johnny Menyongar floated it all the way across the box, where it appeared to be nothing dangerous. But it was held in and knocked back toward the left side, and Palguta shot it on the half-volley past Eylander to the back right side.
The Sounders, trying to get back on the board after several solid chances came up empty in last Saturday's home opener against Portland, had five near-misses during the first half on Wednesday.
Roger Levesque, returning to the lineup after missing two games with an ankle sprain, had the first, when his header from the right post zinged across the goalmouth, but was deflected away at the nine-minute mark.
Leighton O'Brien bent a 23-yard free kick from the left wing side around a five-man Rhinos wall toward the right post, only to see Rochester goalkeeper Vallow dive to his left for the save.
A target ball by Kevin Sakuda from the right wing floated toward Levesque stationed on the far corner of the 6-yard box. But Levesque's header went just wide of the far post.
Gardner uncorked a hard 16-yarder from the left of the penalty area at the 28:35 mark, but it was kicked away by a Rochester defender. Then, eight minutes later, Sebastien Le Toux turned around at the top of the arc, got his foot on the ball and fired, but was denied by Vallow.
The Rhinos, looking to score for the first time this season, had two solid opportunities of their own during the first 45 minutes. Mauricio Salles drilled a free kick from 30 yards straight in front toward the right post, but Sounders goalkeeper Chris Eylander dove to his left for the save at the 32-minute mark. Then, a header by Hamed Diallo on Eylander's front porch zinged just wide right at 34:40.
QUICK KICKS -- Seattle still leads the all-time series against Rochester, 7-6-3. … Andre Schmid sustained a possible broken nose during practice on Monday and did not play Wednesday, although he was on the active roster.
Shots: 17 17
Saves: 4 7
Corners: 8 6
Fouls: 13 16
Offsides: 2 1
12' ROC: Menyongar cautioned
82' ROC: Salles cautioned
Referees: Jeremy Vehar; Jeff Hosking, Josh Wilkens; Mike Rottersman