Orange County 1 - 0 Seattle Sounders
UC-Irvine Stadium, Orange County, CA
Soto (OC) 88
Orange County: Mike Littman; Brian Engesser, Peter Lak, Tayt Ianni, Shawn Saunders; Mark Foster (79' Damon Hughes), Ken Hesse (73' Juan Guerrero), Orlando Perez (45' Mario Sanchez); PJ Polowski, Eddie Soto, Steve Patterson (79' Gustavo Leal).
Seattle: Dusty Hudock; Bernie James, Brandon Prideaux, Randy Mann, Jason Annicchero; Scott Jenkins, Shannon Murray (78 Stoner Tadlock), David Hoggan, Fabian Davis; Mark Baena, Erik Storkson (70' Patrick Beech).
The Zodiac scored off a set play after a Sounders foul. Gustavo Leal lined up to take the free kick, but instead passed it off to Soto who hit his shot around the Sounders wall and into the back of the net. Sounders goalkeeper Dusty Hudock never saw the shot , allowing Orange County to sneak out with a 1-0 victory.
For Seattle it was their second loss in as many days, but unlike the previous night against San Diego, Seattle failed to create as many quality scoring opportunities.
"This was a tough loss," Sounders Head Coach Neil Megson said. "Obviously this was not the result we wanted to come away from this weekend with, but we'll regroup against California Friday."
Both teams struggled to create scoring opportunities in the first half. Soto had the Zodiac's best chance with a 20-yard shot that skipped just by the far post. The Sounders had their best scoring opportunity off a David Hoggan corner kick. Hoggan crossed the ball in to Erik Storkson, who headed the ball on to Shannon Murray, who one-timed a left-footed shot just wide of the goal.
Seattle started slowly but picked up both their offense and work rate in the second half. In the 48th minute, Mark Baena created a one-on-one opportunity with Zodiac goalkeeper Mike Littman. Baena dribbled in and from 15 yards hit a hard shot, but Littman made the save.
In the 75th minute, Murray had a header from seven yards that Littman saved. In the 82nd Brandon Prideaux stole a ball at midfield and stormed forward before passing the ball off to Patrick Beech, who was all alone with Littman, but Beech was unable to get much on his shot and it just rolled to Littman.
Both teams made several substitutions in an attempt to place fresh legs on the field late in the match and this apparently made the difference for Orange County. Gustavo Leal came on in the 79th minute for Steve Patterson and made an immediate impact, assisting on the match-winning goal and just missing a free kick from 18 yards out three minutes earlier that was deflected just wide by Hudock.
The Zodiac played an offside trap, often keeping their defenders on or near the halfway line. The trap was effective as Orange County caught the Sounders offside nine times.
The Sounders next host the California Jaguars Friday, June 19, at 7:05 PM at Memorial Stadium and will play the Colorado Rapids in an MLS friendly Sunday, June 21, at 2:30 PM at Marysville-Pilchuck High School Stadium in Marysville.
Shots: OC 14, Sea 8
Saves: Littman 2, Hudock 6
Corners: OC 7, Sea 5
Fouls: OC 12, Sea 18
Offside: OC 1, Sea 9
85' Mann (Sea) cautioned