Seattle Sounders 2 - 0 Rochester Rhinos (halftime 0 - 0) 48' Joey Leonetti (S) 52' Jason Dunn (S)
Rochester: Bill Andracki, Marco Rizi (72' Leon Minnott), Yuri Smotrich, Yogi McKay (67' Kopi Debrah), Tommy Tanner (73' Gustavo Villagra), Henry Gutierrez, Danny Kelly, Fuseini Dauda, Hector Marinaro, Lenin Steenkamp, Doug Miller.
Cautions: Seattle - 45' James Dunn (for a foul that looked more like a fair challenge for a 50-50 ball to me), 48' Leonetti (for removing his shirt in celebration of his goal).
Offside: Seattle 1, Rochester 4
Fouls: Seattle 13, Rochester 8
Corner Kicks: Seattle 4, Rochester 4
Shots: Seattle 11, Rochester 16
Saves: Hahnemann 9, Andracki 2
Referee: Mohammed Zarrabi-Kashani
The Rhinos played quite well, outshooting the Sounders 16-11 and putting most of their shots on goal, forcing 9 saves from Marcus Hahnemann, several of them tough saves that Hahnemann made look easier than they were. Hahnemann and the Sounders defense earned their third consecutive shutout.
A welcome sight in the Sounders midfield was 34-year-old Sounders veteran David Hoggan, just returned from retirement. Hoggan showed good touch on the ball for his first game back and took the corner kicks for the Sounders, with two of four corners nearly headed in for goals.
Sounders forward Niall Thompson sat the game out, recovering from food poisoning. There is no truth to the rumor that coach Neil Megson poisoned Thompson's food due to disappointment with Thompson's play in last Friday's televised Montreal-Seattle game.
Hoggan nearly got an assist after just one minute of play this season when Jason Dunn headed a corner kick sharply but just over the bar. For the first 25 minutes, the good opportunities would alternate between the teams.
At 11' Rochester's red-hot goal scorer Doug Miller took what would prove to be his team's best shot on goal, sending a soft chip over an onrushing Hahnemann that slapped the face of the cross bar and rebounded harmlessly to a Sounders defender.
Seattle nearly scored when Doug Morrill hustled in to intercept a lazy Rochester back pass to keeper Bill Andracki. Morrill poked the ball to meg Andracki, but Andracki recovered just in time to block Morrill's shot from 5 yards for a Seattle corner kick.
Lenin Steenkamp's 20-yard blast to the far post was pushed out by Hahnemann. Andracki blocked a 2-yard shot by Jason Dunn and Leonetti missed with the rebound.
The last 20 minutes of the first half was dominated by Rochester. Miller had time to measure a 15-yard blast, which Hahnemann parried and grabbed. Miller then beat Webber on the left touch line, dribbled into the area, and beat Billy Crook for a shot, but Hahnemann saved at the far post. Yogi McKay got loose in the area for a shot, blocked out by Hahnemann for a corner kick.
An entertaining first half, but no goals yet.
Seattle struck early in the second half. Leonetti won two consecutive battles for the ball with Rochester's back line, then quickly launched a 30-yard shot that bent over Andracki, who was poised to rush at Leonetti, and into the top left corner. An unassisted goal created purely by Leonetti's hustle. He stripped off his shirt to celebrate, but referee Mohammed Zarrabi-Kashani was not impressed and awarded Leonetti with a yellow card.
Four minutes later, Farrell's hustle set up Seattle's insurance goal. A Rochester back juggled the ball a bit too high near the right touch line. While he was waiting for the ball to come back down, Farrell surprised him by flying in to cleanly chest the ball towards the corner flag. Farrell crossed nicely and Jason Dunn beat his marker to the ball and tucked it inside the near post from 10 yards out.
At 70' Farrell sent Jason Dunn another nice, low cross, this time from the left side. Dunn grabbed his head in disbelief after placing his open shot just outside the far post from 10 yards. Two minutes later Neil Megson nearly scored from a Hoggan corner kick, but the Rochester defender at the far post cleared the ball off the line.
Rochester took 7 shots in the second half, but they weren't as threatening as their earlier shots. Gustavo Villagra took the best shot of the second half four minutes from time, but Hahnemann pushed the ball away to keep his net clean for the evening.