Atlanta Ruckus 2 - 0 Seattle Sounders Steenkamp (A) 67' (pen) Wurdack (A) 74'
Seattle: Marcus Hahnemann, James Dunn, Billy Crook, Doug Morrill, Wade Webber, Neil Megson, Dick McCormick, Joey Leonetti (88' Sidney Zanin), Jason Farrell, Chance Fry (49' Nate Daligcon), Jason Dunn.
Cautions: Atlanta - 44' Caleb Suri for taking McCormick down from behind, 90'
Brian Crane for pulling down Farrell.
Offside: Atlanta 3, Seattle 5.
Other Fouls: Atlanta 16, Seattle 11.
Corner Kicks: Atlanta 4, Seattle 8.
Shots: Atlanta 15, Seattle 21.
Saves: Young Yi 2, Hahnemann 5.
Referee: Kevin Terry.
Atlanta opened the game with early pressure on Seattle's goal. Caleb Suri's shot in the 4th minute forced Hahnemann to push the ball wide for a corner kick. At 10' Lenin Steenkamp hit the underside of the crossbar near the upper left corner with a rocket on a free kick play, but the ball's next bounce was in front of the goal line. A few minutes later, Hahnemann pushed a Steenkamp header over the bar and saved a low shot from Steenkamp.
Chance Fry took Seattle's first shot at 16', heading over the bar on a throw-in play. Jason Dunn beat a defender and shot, also over the bar. Dick McCormick sent a nice ball through the defense, but Atlanta goalkeeper Mun Young Yi got to it just before Fry.
Then the ugliness started. Steenkamp tried a bicycle kick shot in the area, but kicked Seattle defender Doug Morrill squarely in the face as Morrill headed the ball. A card was deserved, but not given.
Joey Leonetti earned a 6-yard shot from a throw-in play, but the shot was deflected out for a corner.
At 30' Atlanta defender Tag Gambatese elbowed Chance Fry in the face while challenging him for a header near the edge of the penalty area. Not even a foul was called. Fry left the game with blood streaming down his face from a split just below his right eye. So much for the saying, "No blood, no foul!" Fry would be out ten minutes getting the wound closed with butterfly bandages, then he would miss the first three minutes of the second half getting stitches in the locker room.
Atlanta rookie Chris Faklaris seemed to be provoking tiffs with both Wade Webber and James Dunn, but the extracurricular activity there eventually settled down.
At 44' Caleb Suri received the game's first of two yellow cards for taking McCormick down from behind. Suri had also been shown the yellow card during the previous week's match between these two teams. On the resulting free kick play, Fry got wide open and headed just over the upper right corner. 0-0 at the half.
After getting stitches in his face, Chance Fry entered the second half at 48' after Gambatese shot over for a goal kick. A minute later, Fabian Davis slid into Fry, cleats first, challenging for a 50-50 ball and snapped both of Fry's leg bones above his right ankle. On the replay, I heard the bones break, the sound being picked up by a nearby field microphone. Fry was obviously in great pain. The game stopped for over ten minutes while the medics drove an ambulance onto the field, cut off Fry's boot and socks with a scissors, immobilized his leg, and drove him off to the hospital. Fry is out for the season. Nate Daligcon came on for Fry.
Seattle took no less than 15 shots the rest of the match but none reached the back of the net. At 56' Jason Farrell's shot was saved by Young Yi for a corner. On the corner kick play, Webber's shot was cleared out by a defender at the left post.
Franklin McIntosh's shot up the middle was saved by Hahnemann.
Jason Dunn went after a ball that squirted out of Young Yi's hands just in front of the goal area, but the referee bailed Young Yi out by inexplicably calling a foul on Dunn for a fair charge going after the loose ball. Dunn couldn't believe a foul was called, as the ball was up for grabs right in front of the open goal.
At 66' Atlanta's Faklaris, closely guarded by Morrill, tried to cross the ball and kicked it into Morrill's hand. Clearly a case of the ball going to the hand, not the hand going to the ball, but the linesman wiggled his flag for a PK and Terry bought it, whistling a foul for handling the ball. Hahnemann guessed right with his dive, but Steenkamp's shot had too much mustard on it. 1-0 Atlanta.
At 74' Tom Wurdack notched an insurance goal for Atlanta with the game's best shot. McIntosh sent the ball to Wurdack on a quick free kick. Wurdack dribbled left across the top of the penalty area, then curled a beautiful left-footed chip over Hahnemann, who was guarding the near post, and into the top right corner. 2-0 Atlanta.
Seattle increased their efforts and peppered the goal for a few minutes starting at 77', but were unlucky to not get at least one goal out of it. Neil Megson's cross to Jason Dunn was headed sharply on goal, but pushed wide by a diving Young Yi. On the ensuing corner kick play, Leonetti blasted in an attempted clearance and Wurdack, at the right post, cleared the shot off the goal line. McCormick won the rebound and dropped it to Daligcon, who chipped in a cross from the right. Webber jumped in front of Young Yi at the left post and just got his head on the ball, which was deflected out off Young Yi's arm for another corner. Then Jason Dunn's 23-yard shot was deflected just wide for a corner. McCormick's corner kick was headed on goal by Jason Dunn and again cleared off the line by Wurdack at the right post. Leonetti ricocheted Wurdack's clearance back in but just wide right.
Morrill and Jason Dunn launched a couple more shots in the last minutes, but
at the final whistle Seattle had been shut out 2-0.
The second match report comes courtesy of Atlanta supporter Chris Allen:
All in all a most unusual game which I viewed on TV via NESN from New England, rather than live at Adams.
First, this was _not_ Seattle's night, and it was especially _not_ Chance Fry's night! Not only did he get elbowed by Ruckus defender Tag Gambatese in the first half, resulting in blood streaming down his cheek and causing him to miss 10 minutes of the first half and at least 5 at the start of the second, he also had a much more serious injury later. Poor Chance should have called it a night after getting stiched up at the half, but unfortunately for him, he came back out and within 2 minutes got crunched on a studs-up tackle by Ruckus midfielder Frankline MacIntosh. First, it was a 50-50 ball, but there is no reason why MacIntosh should have come in studs up.
Remember, folks, this is a Ruckus fan writing this match report!!
So, what happened to Fry? A "Joe Theismann-like" fractured tibia, except the broken bone did not protrude through the skin.
Prognosis: Out 6 to 8 MONTHS!
At this point, you might be asking who was refereeing the game?
None other than our old "friend" Kevin Terry from the infamous 'bottle game' at the Meadowlands last Sunday. Earlier this week I jocularly suggested that the next time I wanted to see this guy with a whistle was in the A-League or the USISL and not before 50,000 screaming MLS fans. Well, unfortunately I got my wish.
This was clearly a physical game with a lot of hard but clean challenges, but there were also MANY occasions when yellow cards should have been hauled out, and at least one red. There was one yellow card, but it came in the 90th minute (or the 104th, depending on whether one kept the clock running while the ambulence carted Fry off the pitch early in the 2nd half). This came when a Sounder was hauled down from behind as he was running through midfield, clearly a red card offense, as Dave Johnson noted, based on the 1994 FIFA directive. Unfortunately, Mr. Terry seemed to be operating from the FIFA Laws printed in _1894_!
There were many more rough challenges -- two players had their stomachs stepped on, several hard pushes and shoves between Chris Faklaris and James Dunn -- and Lenin Steenkamp tried a bicycle kick into the head of a Sounder defender, but Terry kept his cards to himself until the 90th minute. Until then, I literally thought he didn't have either a yellow or a red card in his pocket at all!
Clearly Terry has no concept of what is and is not a foul in the modern game of soccer. With what he lets go, the next time I want to see this guy NOW is refereeing in the NFL or NHL! This guy clearly does NOT belong refereeing professional soccer.
Oh yeah, he also missed 2 -- count 'em -- 2 handballs in the penalty area! The first one was noted by his linesman who called it, which resulted in Lenin's PK in the 67th. The second one was in the Ruckus area late in the 2nd half and should have resulted in a Sounders' PK, but Terry missed this one too.
In fact, he also missed what could have been a "Wembley Goal" (as the Germans have called it since 1966) when Steenkamp hit a rocket of a free kick off the crossbar in the first half that could have bounced _inside_ the goal, but the replay was not done from a high enough angle to verify this accurately. For those of you who may have seen Rumania get robbed on Thursday in their game vs Bulgaria, you'll know what I mean.
Speaking of TV cameras, those of you who saw this on TV will know what I'm talking about, who the hell was behind the midfield camera? Whoever it was must have thought he was operating a telescope rather than a TV camera, because on the high midfield shot -- the primary camera -- never showed more than three players on screen at any one time! OK, I'm sort of exaggerating (maybe 5), but this guy's idea of camera work must have consisted of trying to follow the path of the ball with the tightest angle shot possible. Most of the time, it was impossible to even see who received a pass, let alone see if anyone was running off the ball or not. It was literally impossible to know who was going to be at the end of a pass until the camera finally cought up with the ball.
Isn't it possible to see a play's buildup with half the field in view? Apparently not. Watching this game like this -- with ALL shots closeups -- literally gave me a headache!
I'll close on a more positive note -- I _am_ a Ruckus fan, you know -- the 2nd Ruckus goal by midfielder Tom Wurdack came on a nice crossfield run across the top of the box and a left footed 20 yard chip to the top right corner! A real golazo, quite reminiscent of the goal by Ray Houghton in the Ireland - Italy match in the Meadowlands in the 1994 World Cup.