1999 June 7
Seattle Sounders 0 - 0 San Jose Clash (San Jose wins CrapShootout)
Renton Memorial Stadium, Renton, WA
SEA: Preston Burpo (Bill May 45); Bernie James, Craig Waibel, Jason Annicchero, Kieran Barton (Viet Nguyen 61); Oliver Heald (Troya Cowell 45), Shan Gaw, Christian Michner; Erik Storkson, Ian Russell, Mark Baena.

SJ: Joe Cannon; Mauricio Wright (John Doyle 45), Adam Frye, Jimmy Conrad; Caleb Porter (Wade Barrett 45), Leighton O'Brien (Braeden Cloutier 16), Joey Martinez, Richard Mulrooney, Dario Brose (Jeff Baicher 25); Scott Bower, Raul Diaz Arce (Ronald Cerritos 68).

Match report by Ron Stickney:
As happened two years ago, the obligatory exhibition match between the host Seattle Sounders and the MLS San Jose Clash ended in a scoreless draw after a match that was entertaining nonetheless. Seattle had a goal called back 20 seconds before the end of the first half when, on a close call, the assistant referee wasn't sure whether to call offside or not and ended up raising his flag late. After Ian Russell was put through and beat goalkeeper Joe Cannon with a low shot, the referee nullified the goal and honored the assistant's late flag.

Near the end of the match, the stadium announcer promised that if the match ended in a draw, there would be no shootout, leading to cheers from the Pod and a chant of "Ban the shootout," enthusiastically repeated many times over. A few minutes later, the announcer recanted, leading to boos and another round of "Ban the shootout." The woodwork was kinder to San Jose in the CrapShootout, deflecting John Doyle's shot in off the post and deflecting Russell's shot out off the crossbar, and San Jose won the meaningless CrapShootout.

Most impressive for the Sounders were defender Jason Annicchero and forward Russell. Annicchero defended skillfully from one touch line to the other, while Russell frequently got past the Clash defense to create danger. Preston Burpo and Bill May played well in goal for the shoutout, with May having to make more saves.

First Half

San Jose nearly scored on the first shot of the match in the 6th minute when Richard Mulrooney's corner kick curled to the 6-yard line and was headed goalward on a bounce by Adam Frye. Seattle goalkeeper Burpo leaned back on his heels and with the ball about to break the goal plane he swatted it clear with his wrist for what would prove to be the save of the match.
San Jose lost a couple of players to injury very early, although we didn't see the cause of the injuries. Leighton O'Brien, the rookie from Federal Way (a couple of miles from the stadium), limped off at 16', replaced by Braeden Cloutier. Then Dario Brose limped off in the 25th, replaced by Jeff Baicher.

Newly-signed midfielder Christian Michner saw his first action for the Sounders and made his presence known by taking Seattle's first shot at 22 minutes, a long try from a broken free kick play that goalkeeper Joe Cannon easily saved on the first bounce. Russell created Seattle's first good chance at 33' when he was put through on the left, held the ball waiting for more attackers, and got around his marker to curl a beautiful far-post cross out of reach of Cannon. Unfortunately, nobody made the far-post run on time and the ball was a yard in front of Erik Storkson.

Jimmy Conrad carried the ball up the middle on a San Jose attack with support, drew the sweeper, and dished right for Scott Bower, who curled his shot the wrong way and missed the near post.

Russell soon had another chance for Seattle when he beat his marker near the left touch line and took a shot from 25 yards to the bottom near corner. Cannon dove to his right to push the ball wide for a corner kick. Three minutes later Russell stole the ball near the halfway line and passed to Oliver Heald (an ex-86er apparently trying out for the Sounders), and Heald gave it right back to the sprinting Russell who saw Cannon halfway out and attempted to chip over him, sending the ball just over the top far post. Storkson's flick-on header almost gave the speedy Russell another shot with a minute left, but Cannon came out to the 18-yard line to claim the ball just before Russell got to it.

Then in the final minute a moment of referee indecision ended the half on a sour note. Russell was sprung from the 40-yard line to go in alone on Cannon. Russell had been even with his marker when the pass was made, so a check of assistant referee Mac Pinski found him with flag down, sprinting goalward along with the ball. Russell beat the charging Cannon with a low shot that rolled in with 20 seconds left on the countdown clock. The fans' celebration was cut short, though, as Pinski raised a late flag and center referee Kari Seitz honored it, nullifying the goal. Now, directions from FIFA say that if there is any doubt, the attacker should get the benefit of the doubt. In this case, it was a close call, there was clearly doubt as evidenced by the late flag, so in the opinion of this fan the flag should have been left down and the goal allowed.

Halftime: Seattle 0 - 0 San Jose
While Seattle had outshot San Jose 5-3 the first half, the second saw the teams trade shots. The first good chance was Seattle's after Russell was taken down outside the left corner of the penalty area to prevent him from shooting while Cannon was out of the goal mouth. Baena took the free kick and aimed it nicely inside the near post, but Cannon dove to make the fine save.

A defensive turnover by Seattle just outside their penalty area gave Raul Diaz Arce the ball with support. He drew the last defender and passed to his right for Baicher, whose blast from 15 yards to the near post was blocked out by goalkeeper May, who had come on at the half. On the counterattack from San Jose's resulting corner kick play, Russell was set free again, this time on the right side, but his early attempt to chip over Cannon sailed well over the top right corner.

Then it was Diaz Arce's turn again, a quick shot from 25 yards up the middle that was two yards over the bar.

Russell again was put through on the right and this time tried to shoot under the keeper, but Cannon collapsed to block the ball away for a save. Troya Cowell, who had entered at the half, was just wide right from the left corner of the area after substitute Viet Nguyen nodded back Michner's long cross.

A ball rejected from Seattle's penalty area was put back on goal by Joey Martinez and caught at the top near corner for another save by May.

San Jose's last shot was taken by Cloutier after a free kick at the top of the arc was laid square for him. Cloutier sent the ball hard and low up the middle but May collapsed and smothered the shot.

One more chance came Seattle's way when Michner's throw-in was allowed to bounce in front of San Jose's goal, but a defender cleared it out before a Sounder could get a touch on it.

Final: Seattle 0 - 0 San Jose

Why they even bother with a CrapShootout at these friendlies is beyond me, as an ever growing number of fans, players and coaches are sick of them. Anyway, the CrapShootout was won by San Jose this time.

     San Jose                   Seattle
     --------                   -------
     Cerritos - 0 (saved)       James - 0 (wide right)
     Martinez - 0 (wide right)  Baena - 1
     Baicher - 1                Gaw - 0 (saved)
     Doyle - 1                  Russell - 0 (hit crossbar)
     Mulrooney - 1

Shots: SEA 10, SJ 3
Saves: Burpo 1, May 3; Cannon 3
Corners: SEA 4, SJ 3
Fouls: SEA 16, SJ 11
Offside: SEA 3, SJ 3
53 Barton (SEA) cautioned for a foul at the touch line
57 Conrad (SJ) cautioned for taking down Russell at the corner of the PA when the keeper was out of position
74 Doyle (SJ) cautioned for elbowing Storkson during an aerial challenge

Referee: Kari Seitz; Assistant Referees: Mac Pinski, Mohammed Zarrabi-Kashani
Attendance: 2,002