Seattle: Hudock; James, McNiel, Jenkins, Watson; Megson, Aunger, Hoggan (Gelvezon 70), Hattrup (Stoddard 65); Gailey, Adair.
California: Rueda; Henry, Annichero, Bruckner (Gomez 74), Collins (Rullo 65); Mann, Robertson (Holocher 69), Ibsen (Jacobsen 82), Louis; Watson, Baena.
Cautions: Collins (C), James (S), Annichero (C), Adair (S), Rueda (C),
Shots: Seattle 18, California 11
Saves: Hudock 4, Rueda 5
Corners: Seattle 4, California 6
Fouls: Seattle 25, California 17
Offside: Seattle 2, California 1
Referee: Mohammed Zharrabi-Kashani
On a sunny, breezy Seattle evening, the Sounders avenged their May 4 loss to California, scoring a goal in each half and blanking the Jaguars 2-0. David Hoggan volleyed in Mike Gailey's cross in the first half, then the pair reversed roles for Gailey's header goal in the second half. Goalkeeper Dusty Hudock and his trusty back four (Bernie James, Bryan McNiel, Scott Jenkins and Mark Watson) earned their league-leading tenth shutout. Hudock's goals against average in league matches is now just 0.65. The match marked the home return of 1995 Sounder star Peter Hattrup, who recently asked to be released from the MLS Dallas Burn. Hattrup started as an outside midfielder.
California's Zak Ibsen forced Hudock's first save in the first minute on what was probably an attempted cross from the right touch line.
Rookie fullback Scott Jenkins took Seattle's first shot, a 25-yarder that missed by a yard. Mike Gailey beat the offside trap and chipped over the onrushing goalkeeper Kevin Rueda, but the shot bounced off the top of the crossbar. Chugger Adair tried a flying, far-post header from Geoff Aunger's cross, but Adair couldn't get all of the ball.
Midway through the half California took the initiative as Mark Baena headed on goal from near the left post, but he couldn't get enough mustard on the shot and Hudock easily caught it. Then Baena worked a wall pass with Richie Louis to earn a 15-yard shot from the left, but Hudock caught the low shot at the near post.
36' Hoggan (Gailey). Gailey took a throw-in from Hattrup and advanced to the goal line on the right, then looped a high cross to the top of the penalty area. Hoggan dipped his left shoulder and got horizontal to volley a low shot through the crowd and into the right corner for the 1-0 lead.
California had their chances to level the score before halftime. Louis got a shot from the left when a ball came through the crowd from a corner kick, but the shot was just over the bar. Jerome Watson was sprung on the left on a counterattack from a botched Seattle corner kick. Watson's cross deserved to be finished, but nobody was there. Seattle 1-0 at the half.
None of the fans hit their halftime shots for prizes, but a seagull took an accurate shot and hit the lady four rows in front of me.
49' Gailey (Hoggan). Early in the second half, Hoggan and Aunger exchanged passes on the left side, then Hoggan held the ball waiting for an opening. He saw one and blasted a cross right at Gailey's head out from the far post. Gailey nodded the ball back across the goal and inside the left post to put Seattle up 2-0 with his eighth league goal of the season.
Seattle saw a golden opportunity to score again six minutes later when
Rueda came outside his penalty area to chase a Seattle forward pass, but
only managed to chest the ball away under pressure. The ball ended up at
Aunger's feet by the right touch line, and he promptly chipped the ball
toward the empty net. Adair came running in to finish, but a defender
got there first to send the ball wide for a corner kick.
The next minute California saw the inviting open goal when Baena took a forward pass, beat his man, and chipped over the onrushing Hudock, but the shot was just wide right.
The complexion of the match changed shortly after Seattle's second goal.
California replaced defender Ryan Collins, who had picked up a yellow card
for a rough foul a few minutes prior, with offensive minded midfielder
Steve Rullo. Later, defender Niels Bruckner was replaced by forward Luis
Gomez as coach Gaspar Silviera tried to crack the Sounders'
The match, which had been physical from the start, got even rougher.
42 fouls were called, 25 committed by Seattle. Aunger and Ibsen cracked
heads going for an air ball, and play was stopped as Ibsen was tended to
on the field. During the stoppage, there was much heated discussion between
the two sides, with the referee trying to put a stop to it, and
ultimately double cautions were issued to Seattle's Bernie James and California's Jason Annichero who were barking at each other. Soon after play restarted, Paul Gelvezon, who had been on the field for Seattle less than a minute, collided with California's Baena as they both went after a loose ball at the top of Seattle's penalty area. They both stayed down during Seattle's counterattack, then play was stopped again for the injuries. Adair earned a yellow card for tripping Ibsen from behind. Gelvezon was pulled down when he got within 25 yards of California's goal.
The offensive substitutions for California gave them some chances. Baena headed wide from Ibsen's cross. Ibsen's 25-yard missile was on goal, but caught by Hudock. Annichero headed into the side netting from an Ibsen free kick. Rullo's 25-yard shot from in front was wide left. In California's best chance, a corner kick was headed on for Rullo, who was collecting garbage. Rullo's 15-yard rocket from the left looked worth a point, but Hudock made a lightning reaction to leap and push the ball just over the bar with one hand for the match's best save.
Seattle's only good chance in all this was the free kick from the pull-down of Gelvezon. Aunger's kick was on goal, but caught by Rueda at the crossbar.
Seattle next plays a pair in the midwest, at Milwaukee July 4 (5.00
pm) and Minnesota July 6 (3.30 pm, televised on Prime Sports Television,
check your local listings). The Sounders are supposed to play the San Francisco
Bay Seals in the second round of the US Open Cup somewhere in the July
1-8 time frame at a location to be determined. The July 18 home match against
Minnesota has been moved to August 18. No Sounders are expected to play
in the A-League All-Star game on July 15, as the Sounders will be in Guatemala
July 15-20 to compete in the quadrangular final round of the CONCACAF Champions
Cup 1996, along with Comunicaciones of Guatemala and Mexico's Necaxa and
Cruz Azul. The next home match will be a full month hence on July 27, when
California returns to Seattle.