Seattle Sounders 3 - 0 San Francisco Bay Seals
Renton Memrial Stadium, Renton, WA
16' SEA: Russell (Baena)
22' SEA: Annicchero (Robertson)
74' SEA: Russell (Henderson)
Seattle: Preston Burpo (Bill May 46); Kieran Barton, Jason Annicchero, Craig Waibel, Scott Jenkins; Shan Gaw, Sean Henderson, Ralph Robertson, Ian Russell (Viet Nguyen 78); Erik Storkson (Randy Mann 67), Mark Baena.
San Francisco Bay: JJ Wozniak; Todd Duncan, Geoff Huber (Adam Siegman 26), Joel Hurd, Jay Gore; John Cairel, Angelo Sablo, Keith Ratzburg (Tomis Babic 52), Jeremy Schultz, Shani Simpson; Clay Harty.
Ian Russell notched a pair of goals to lead the Seattle Sounders to a 3-0 win over the visiting San Francisco Bay Seals. Defender Jason Annicchero headed in a throw-in for his first goal as a Sounder. Backup goalkeeper Bill May came on for the second half to play his first minutes in a 1999 league match and became a hero when he saved a penalty kick after a questionable foul was called.
Oliver Heald sat the match out on a 1-game suspension for his red card from the previous match. The injured Alex Nouri showed up for a team picture but unfortunately was still limping. For San Francisco Bay, ex-Sounder and ex-Husky Ryan Edwards couldn't play after being injured in Vancouver two nights earlier. Ex-Husky Joel Hurd played the full 90 for the visitors.
It looked like Seattle would score in the opening minute when Scott Jenkins' cross from the left looked like it would find Erik Storkson unmarked at the far post, but a San Francisco Bay defender deflected the ball just behind the charging Storkson.
The next minute SF Bay's Angelo Sablo beat a man to cross from the end line, giving the unmarked Keith Ratzburg a shot from 15 yards that was miskicked wide.
At 6' Sean Henderson's short pass inside the penalty area gave Mark Baena the opportunity to take Seattle's first shot, a pressured shot sent wide. Baena put a cleared ball back into the area for Russell, whose quick shot from 15 was right at goalkeeper JJ Wozniak.
SF Bay's Jeremy Schultz took a forward pass from Clay Harty and got an excellent chance from the D at 13' when defender Craig Waibel stumbled and fell. Schultz powered a shot that tried to dive under the crossbar, but Preston Burpo got both hands on the ball and deflected it over the bar for one of SF Bay's 6 corner kicks in the half.
16' Russell (Baena). Baena got loose with the ball to the left of the penalty area and found time to look up and then slide an accurate pass to Russell near the spot. Russell used the inside of his right foot to aim a first-time shot into the right side netting, giving the Sounders the early lead.
SF Bay's John Cairel got a chance from 18 when Annicchero could only head a cross to the edge of the area. Cairel's shot curled just wide of the top far corner.
22' Annicchero (Robertson). Ralph Robertson took a throw-in from the right side and threw the ball halfway to goal. Annicchero, up for the set play, flicked the ball on with his head and it went past Wozniak and in for Annicchero's first goal of the season.
At 26' Wozniak collided in the air with his own man, Geoff Huber, who stayed down for medical attention, was helped off the pitch, and was replaced by Adam Siegman.
Seattle's sweeper Kieran Barton tested his own keeper's heart by kicking an enemy cross onto the near post. Burpo had to kick the short rebound out for a corner kick.
The Sounders seemed back on their heels, but still came away with the only good chances during the last 15 minutes in the half. Robertson's nice cross from the right was headed just barely over the bar by Baena. Russell's long header from Jenkins' cross was watched past the post by Wozniak. And in the final seconds a 35-yard free kick by Shan Gaw was headed over the bar by Storkson.
Halftime: Seattle 2 - 0 San Francisco Bay
Backup goalkeeper May came on for the second half, as Burpo left with a sore shoulder after being hit hard going after an air ball in the first half. May was tested, as SF Bay found some offense to start the half. Cairel put a low shot up the middle, but May smothered it. Schultz was nearly sprung free on the right, but Annicchero recovered to pop the ball up, then May punched it out of danger as it was coming down towards Schultz' head.
At 56' a ball was sent into a crowd inside Seattle's penalty area. Harty, who had his back to goal, turned and went down at the spot. Referee David Bragg saw a foul that it seemed nobody else saw, and a penalty kick was whistled. Harty took the spot kick and sent it to the lower left corner, but May had guessed correctly and dove all the way to the post to deflect the shot wide for a corner kick. We'll give Harty a 10 for the dive that drew the whistle, and we'll give May a 10 for the dive that saved Harty's PK.
With a skillful move, Jenkins executed a slide tackle and came away with both the ball and Shani Simpson's boot!
At 67' Randy Mann entered the midfield, replacing forward Storkson, and Seattle's offense was instantly rejuvenated. Russell broke free down the right side and rolled a cross for Baena's far-post run, but Wozniak slid out to block Baena's shot. On Seattle's first corner kick, Baena tried to poke in Gaw's kick to the near post, but Wozniak saved.
74' Russell (Henderson). Henderson carried the ball up the right side and rolled a cross to the near post. Russell ran onto it and shot the ball past Wozniak and into the ceiling of the net for a 3-0 lead.
Seattle continued to get the good chances. Henderson served a through ball to Baena, whose shot was deflected barely wide of the far post. Substitute Viet Nguyen beat a man to earn a cross from the right for Mann, whose header was well over the bar. Mann tried a 25-yarder, but Wozniak was at home to make the save.
SF Bay earned the final shot. Substitute Tomis Babic's well-struck header was helped around the far post by May for a corner kick.
Final: Seattle 3 - 0 San Francisco Bay
Shots: SEA 22, SFB 13
Saves: Burpo 1, May 4; Wozniak 6
Corners: SEA 2, SFB 9
Fouls: SEA 20, SFB 10
Offsides: SEA 3, SFB 2
77' Annicchero (SEA) cautioned for picking up the ball to prevent a quick free kick
82' Mann (SEA) cautioned for a cleats-first foul
88' Harty (SFB) cautioned for a late trip on Nguyen
Referee: David Bragg; Asistant Refs: Mohammed Zarrabi-Kashani, Jeff Jarvis; 4th Official: Scott Lawrence