Seattle Sounders 1 - 2 Orange County Zodiac
Memorial Stadium, Seattle
Lamey (S) 28
Hesse (OC) 85
Soto (OC) 88
Sea: Dusty Hudock; Bernie James, Scott Jenkins, Brandon Prideaux, Jason Annicchero; Neil Megson, Paul Gelvezon, Fabian Davis, David Hoggan; Kevin Lamey (79 Stoner Tadlock), Patrick Beech (82 Erik Storkson).
OC: Mike Littman; Damon Hughes, Brian Engesser, Shawn
Saunders, Ken Hesse; Juan Guerrero, Mike Matson, Eddie Soto, P.J. Polowski;
Mark Foster, Steve Patterson.
This was a game with two totally different halves. The Seattle Sounders had the better of the first half, taking a 1-0 lead over the Orange County Zodiac when Kevin Lamey, just in town after leading Waterhouse to the Jamaican Championship, headed in a cross from Gelvezon. The second half looked nothing like the first, though, as Orange County outshot Seattle 16-2 while the Sounders outfouled the Zodiac 14-3. Orange County bagged two goals in the final five minutes with Seattle playing a man down after Jenkins was sent off for his second yellow card of the match. Hesse converted a Sounder turnover into the tying goal when he shot perfectly into the top right corner. Soto turned and shot just as accurately into the top left corner for the match winner in the 88th minute.
Just two minutes in, rookie back Prideaux worked a wall pass with Hoggan up the right side to earn the game's first shot, sent wide of the near post. A minute later Seattle's Gelvezon drew the first of what would prove to be many yellow cards with a late trip as Orange County advanced up the right line.
Orange County threatened only weakly in the opening minutes. Soto took their first shot but miskicked. Polowski's cross from the left corner was dangerous, but Hudock dove out to intercept it.
At 14' referee Ricardo Valenzuela finally changed to a jersey color different from the Zodiac. He should have changed shorts, too, as he looked dreadful in his red jersey and teal shorts. Valenzuela next saw fit to show his yellow card to Orange County defender Hughes.
Newcomer Lamey earned his first shot as a Sounder when he took a forward pass in traffic, turned with the ball and skinned the outside of the left post from 18 yards. His next shot forced Zodiac goalkeeper Littman to dive and parry the ball to keep it out of the lower left corner. Beech challenged Littman for the loose ball near the post and the ball went out off Littman for a corner. Hoggan's corner kick was cleared out, then sent back in by Davis, but a bit too far for Lamey, whose steep shot was easily caught by Littman.
28' Lamey (Gelvezon). Gelvezon got the ball with space on the left wing, carried the ball close to the corner, and curled a cross to the near post. Lamey flashed in and headed the ball down and bounced it into the goal to notch his first goal for the Sounders.
Orange County went into second gear after the goal. From a drop pass, Hesse sent a 25-yard blast up the middle but a yard over the bar. Soto took a shot at goal from a 35-yard free kick and missed the top corner by 2 yards. On a counterattack, Foster took a long pass and curled a shot by the top near corner. For the Zodiac's best chance yet, Foster sent in a low cross from the right corner to set up Patterson, but Patterson sent the ball over the bar when he could have put it on goal.
On a Seattle attack, Davis was set free on the right but his near post shot was covered by Littman and deflected out for a corner.
One of many Seattle fouls gave Orange County a direct free kick from inside the arc. The shot was well taken and was headed just over the bar by the wall; otherwise it might have found the back of the net.
In the final minute Beech carried the ball up the middle at speed and tried a 25-yarder, but shot too high.
Halftime: Seattle 1 - 0 Orange County
Whatever halftime speech Sounders coach Megson used, he should throw it in the recycle bin. The second half started out with the momentum in Orange County's favor, then things went downhill from there for the Sounders. Zodiac defender Hughes got loose in the middle with only sweeper James to beat, but James deflected the shot wide for a corner.
Jenkins soon earned the first of his yellow cards when he missed the ball on an attempted slide tackle and took out Soto's legs. Hesse sent the 30-yard free kick over the bar.
Patterson evened the yellow card count when he pushed Annicchero down from behind. In the previous match between these teams, Patterson had earned a red card during an altercation with Annicchero.
From Polowski's feed, Soto got over the ball to bend a nice 30-yarder over Hudock, but just over the bar, too. After James had to play the ball out at the touch line deep in Seattle's end, Patterson was inexplicably left unmarked in front of the goal on the throw-in play and the ball was thrown to him. Hudock could only bother Patterson's shot, but it was enough to cause Patterson to miss the goal, the ball ending up crossing the far touch line. Saunders tried a low 40-yarder to the near post, but Hudock covered it.
Midway in the half, Hoggan sent an air ball to the opposite side where Megson was wide open in Orange County's penalty area, but the long pass gave the defense time to recover and deflect Megson's shot out for a corner.
Seattle were still game for some cards. Davis earned one for sliding into Matson from behind. Saunders sent the 35-yard free kick over the bar. Then at 83' Jenkins again missed the ball and tripped the attacker, earning his second yellow card and a trip to the showers.
Seattle held well for their first ten minutes with ten players. They gave Patterson a chance with a 35-yarder and he just missed the top near corner. At the other end Littman came out of his area to play the ball but miskicked his attempted clearance. Hoggan claimed the ball and had a shot at a net guarded only by a retreating defender, but Hoggan failed to get his shot past that defender.
Tadlock came on for forward Lamey as Megson tried to bolster his defense for the final ten minutes.
Orange County started firing on all cylinders as Seattle tried desperately to cling to the 1-0 lead. Foster aimed a shot from the right at the top far corner, but the ball bent sharply and eluded both the goal and Hudock. A Zodiac attacker got to the loose ball and shot past Hudock and on goal, but Prideaux had retreated to cover for Hudock and did well to volley the shot up and away just as the ball reached the plane of the goal mouth.
Annicchero earned yet another yellow card for Seattle. On the resulting 35-yard free kick play, the ball was rolled sideways and Matson sent a blast toward the lower far corner, forcing a fine diving save by Hudock as he pushed the ball wide.
From Foster's cross, Patterson got a look at a large portion of open net from 7 yards out, but his uncontested header went wide of the far post.
Storkson came on for Beech with eight minutes left.
85' Hesse. Seattle's Tadlock gave Orange County a gift when he tried to head trap a ball but instead turned it over to Hesse, who took a touch or two and fired up the middle from 25 yards, hitting the top right corner perfectly to beat the leaping Hudock. Orange County had leveled the score at one apiece, but they still had plenty of momentum. Hughes tried a 35-yarder from a cleared free kick and was just over.
88' Soto (?). 25 yards out from the middle of the goal, Soto took a short pass, turned and fired accurately into the upper left corner as Hudock again leaped in vain.
The final two minutes ticked away and Orange County walked off the field with a 2-1 victory. Seattle had managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. As in the previous match, the loss occurred late, after a defender was sent off.
In the A-League, suspensions are served beginning a week after the misconduct. Jenkins should play this Sunday, then miss the Montreal match. James will sit out Sunday's match against San Diego, and it wouldn't be a surprise if sits out two more for his transgressions in the previous match against Vancouver.
Shots: Sea 10, OC 24
Saves: Hudock 4, Littman 2
Corners: Sea 4, OC 3
Fouls: Sea 24, OC 6
Offside: Sea 0, OC 1
3 Gelvezon (S) cautioned
17 Hughes (OC) cautioned
50 Jenkins (S) cautioned
52 Patterson (OC) cautioned
70 Davis (S) cautioned
73 Jenkins (S) second caution, sent off
80 Annicchero (S) cautioned
Referee: Ricardo Valenzuela
Attendance: 700 (estimate - the official count will no doubt be higher; the Sounders were up against a Sonics-Lakers playoff game on TV and Randy Johnson pitching in the Kingdome)