Orange County Zodiac 0 - 1 Seattle Sounders
Anteater Stadium, Irvine, California
Beech (S) 37'
OC: Mike Littman, Tayt Ianni, Peter Lak (80' Ken Hesse),
Mark Foster, Mario Sanchez (73' Damon Hughes), Eddie Soto (77' Gustavo
Leal), Brad Wilson, Mike Matson, PJ Polowski, Steve Patterson.
Sea: Dusty Hudock, Bernie James, Scott Jenkins, Brandon
Annicchero, David Hoggan, Gerry Laterza (62' Paul Gelvezon), Stoner
Tadlock, Fabian Davis, Erik Storkson, Patrick Beech.
Match report from Ron Stickney
, who listened to the match on KOL 1300 AM
in Seattle, and thanks the Sounders and their sponsors for making the
radio broadcast available to the Sounders' faithful.
In the season opener for both host Orange County Zodiac
and the visiting
Sounders, Seattle's Jamaicans combined for the game's lone goal in the
first half, midfielder Fabian Davis sending a pass to forward Patrick
Beech, who finished with a first-touch shot from a difficult angle.
Orange County was to have played the San Diego Flash last Saturday, but
rain and a flooded field postponed that match. A physical game got
especially rough in the final minutes of the first half, with two Zodiac
forwards being shown the red card, first Steve Patterson for striking
Jason Annicchero, then PJ Polowski for taking rookie Brandon Prideaux
down hard from behind. Prideaux had seen the yellow card for a tackle
from behind in the second minute, and Annicchero saw yellow for the hard
foul that provoked Patterson's retaliation.
The best early chance at goal came in the 13th when Seattle
Hudock had to scramble to prevent a miskick by sweeper Bernie James from
becoming an own goal. Beech had the game's first good shot, sending a
free kick straight at goal, but Orange County goalkeeper Mike Littman
caught the ball for the save.
At 24' Patterson had a good look at some open net, but
headed a cross
just wide. Hoggan sent a Seattle free kick over the bar, then Brad
Wilson did the same for Orange County.
37' Beech (Davis). On a fast Seattle attack, Davis penetrated
defense, then sent a diagonal pass forward to Beech, who beat Littman
with a first-touch shot from a narrow angle.
After Orange County was reduced to nine players, Beech
took one last
shot in the half, his first-touch shot rebounding off the crossbar.
Early in the second half, Davis trapped a forward pass
Hoggan, turned and took a good shot, just missing the goal. The Zodiac
came right back, Eddie Soto centering for Wilson, who was just wide with
a header. Another Soto cross was just beyond the reach of the onrushing
Midway in the half, Beech showed his dribbling skills
when he beat a man
in the corner and got around the keeper, but a defender recovered just
in time to clear the ball. Paul Gelvezon, on for Gerry Laterza at left
midfield, sent a cross to Beech, whose header sailed over the bar.
Orange County earned a good chance when Peter Lak pounced
on a loose
ball near the edge of the penalty area and sent a shot past the keeper
but also past the goal mouth and out for a goal kick. At the other end
Stoner Tadlock centered the ball for Erik Storkson, whose right-footed
shot at the open goal went over the bar.
Annicchero came up limping after apparently turning his
down from a challenge for an air ball, but he stayed in the game for the
final 15 minutes.
For most of the half, Orange County had been content to
within 45 yards of their goal, and Seattle had been content to pass the
ball around and patiently set up their attacks. At 77' forward Gustavo
Leal came on for Soto and Orange County pressed, trying to gain the
equalizing goal, but Seattle's defense held firm and denied any good
Zodiac chances at goal.
Tadlock carried the ball into the area for Seattle's last
good chance at
goal, but the Zodiac defense deflected the shot out for a corner kick.
Even though they couldn't score with a 2-man advantage
the whole second
half, Seattle will be content with the full three points from their
season opener. The Sounders will continue the California trip, at the
San Diego Flash Friday night (7:30 pm on KOL 1300 AM) and at the
California Jaguars Sunday afternoon (2:00 pm on KOL 1300 AM). The Friday
game will be San Diego's season opener, while California has staked an
early claim to the division cellar with losses to San Francisco Bay and
Shots: OC 7, Sea 14
Saves: OC 1, Sea 1
Corners: OC 3, Sea 4
Fouls: OC 11, Sea 14
Offside: OC 1, Sea 3
2' Prideaux (S) cautioned for a tackle from behind.
42' Patterson (OC) sent off for punching Annicchero in the head after a hard
foul by Annicchero.
42' Annicchero (S) cautioned for the above hard foul on Patterson.
44' Polowski (OC) sent off for taking Prideaux down hard from behind.