Seattle Sounders 2 - 1 El Paso Patriots
(after extra time)
Renton Memorial Stadium, Renton, WA
2' SEA: Baena
2' EP: E. Wilson (S. Mercado)
98' SEA: Baena
Seattle: Preston Burpo; Kieran Barton, Jason Annichero, Craig Waibel; Scott Jenkins, Ian Russell, Ralph Robertson, Sean Henderson, Oliver Heald (Shan Gaw 76); Erik Storkson (Viet Nguyen 82), Mark Baena.
El Paso: Alfredo Estrada; Guillermo McFarlane, Victor Castro, Roberto Delgado; Oscar Mercado, Salvador Mercado, Jose Lomeli, Justin Sells, Cesar Marquez; Raul Moreno (Alberto Mancera 82), Eric Wilson (Omar Mora 75).
This match looked like it would be an offensive show at first when Mark Baena scored from the Seattle Sounders' first shot in the second minute and then Eric Wilson converted the El Paso Patriots' first shot in the same minute. However, neither side could net a go-ahead goal in regulation so it was on to the overtime period. Baena netted the golden goal for Seattle from the only shot taken in eight minutes of overtime.
Randy Mann and Peter Hattrup did not dress for this match. Mann expects to need a couple of weeks to heal his hamstring and Hattrup was seen wearing a knee brace.
Prior to the match the Sounders held a news conference at which an agreement with SV Werder Bremen of Germany's 1 Bundesliga was announced. Introduced was 19-year-old midfielder Alexander Nouri, on loan from Bremen to the Sounders under the terms of the deal. Nouri must wait for P-1 visa approval before he can play.
2' Baena. On Seattle's first attack, Erik Storkson won a corner kick. The corner kick rattled around in front of the goal and caromed off goalkeeper Alfredo Estrada's shin right to Baena, who put away the gift from 5 yards. SEA 1 - 0 EP.
2' E. Wilson (S. Mercado). The home fans didn't get to celebrate the first goal for very long. Inside the same minute, E. Wilson broke from Seattle's square back line to collect a pass from Salvador Mercado and put a shot past keeper Preston Burpo. SEA 1 - 1 EP.
Two minutes later El Paso threatened again when from a corner kick play the ball was dropped to the midfield for a long, low shot which Burpo saved but let rebound from him. Burpo was let off the hook when one of his defenders got to the loose ball first and cleared it.
At 7' Scott Jenkins' far-post cross from the left touch line sailed over the crowd and gave Ian Russell a shot that forced a save by Estrada. Russell, usually a forward, was playing right midfielder this match.
Seattle got plenty of good chances beginning at 19' when Jenkins got a bit of a chance from Baena's cross, but the pressured shot hit the outside of the net.
For El Paso, E. Wilson deftly trapped a cross 15 yards out, turned, and fired a quick, hard shot that would have scored if it hadn't been aimed close to Burpo.
A Seattle penalty kick could have been awarded in the 23rd when Baena was mugged right in front of goal as he was about to control a nice cross from Ian Russell, but no whistle was heard. Jenkins set up a great chance when he was sprung down the left line and crossed from the corner; Storkson's shin shot from 5 yards missed wide when he might have done better. Baena's short passes set up Oliver Heald twice for shots from about 20 yards up the middle; both shots were fired at maximum velocity but cleared the cross bar by a yard. At 38' Baena's header from Heald's long free kick was just wide of the far post.
With a few minutes left, El Paso finally had another chance when E. Wilson tried a quick 30-yarder that was just wide right.
Ralph Robertson earned the last chance for Seattle when his 25-yarder from the left side caught Estrada off his line, but the cross bar soundly rejected the shot.
Halftime: Seattle 1 - 1 El Paso
Seattle nearly got the go-ahead goal 4 minutes into the second half when Robertson's far-post corner kick was headed down and on goal by Storkson. It seemed a sure goal, but S. Mercado, manning the post, cleared the ball with his foot just as the ball was about to bounce on the goal line.
At this point, the offense in the match went absent. El Paso got one good chance in the half when Justin Sells' shot from the left corner of the penalty area rose on Burpo and had to be pushed over the bar.
Seattle's only remaining good shot in the half came from an indirect free kick just outside the penalty area at 70'. Robertson's shot from a short free kick was a yard over the bar. The last 20 minutes of regulation failed to generate any good shots either way.
Regulation Time: Seattle 1 - 1 El Paso
Three minutes into overtime Jenkins gave Baena and Russell a chance when his long cross bounced in front of the goal. Baena missed the ball on his attempted volley and Russell couldn't quite reach the ball.
98' Baena. Substitute Shan Gaw held the ball near the left touch line as three defenders boxed him in. Gaw's attempted cross was blocked and when a defender tried to clear the ball he miskicked it and it bounced right to Baena in front of the goal. Baena was not closely marked and had time to measure his shot before putting it past the advancing Estrada's legs for the golden goal. Much of the El Paso team advanced on the referee arguing that Baena was offside, but to us he looked to be on when Gaw last touched the ball. SEA 2 - 1 EP.
Final: Seattle 2 - 1 El Paso
Shots: SEA 16, EP 13
Saves: Burpo 4, Estrada 4
Fouls: SEA 11, EP 19
Offsides: SEA 2, EP 2
Corner kicks: SEA 5, EP 4
24' Annicchero (SEA) cautioned for kicking an opponent
54' O. Mercado (EP) cautioned for taking down Baena from behind
80' Sells (EP) cautioned for trying to pull down Russell
86' S. Mercado (EP) cautioned for encroachment on a free kick
Referee: Dean Ajir