Play was predictably a bit sloppy at times, this being the first preseason
match for both sides. There were more new players than returning players
on the pitch. Both Vancouver and Seattle were testing potential additions
to their rosters. The weather was rather nasty, with a chilly wind blowing
and the skies on the verge of raining the whole match.
Both sides had their chances but Vancouver came away with all the goals thanks to some nice saves by Jason Bekar in the first half. Vancouver scored in the 30th when rookie Stan Thesenvitz, from Seattle University and passed over by the Sounders, sent in a cross from the left side and Niall Thompson headed it into the top corner from 14 yards out. This is the same Niall Thompson who played forward for the Sounders in 1996 and then headed to Europe. We remember Thompson as a relentless attacker; he is our pick to lead the 86ers in both goals and cards.
Thompson notched his second goal at 78' when he corkscrewed a 30-yard free kick past the wall and just inside the near post, beating rookie goalkeeper Peter Van de Ven.
Kevin Baena, brother of the absent Mark Baena, came on as a forward late in the match and fired a nice, low, far-post shot that was stopped only by the post.
With ten seconds left a collision between Seattle's last defender and a Vancouver attacker left the ball for an undefended Ian Sherman, who dribbled in from the center circle and rolled the ball past the onrushing Van de Ven. The ball rolled over the goal line with one second left on the countdown clock, giving Vancouver three goals for the night.
The Sounders play again on Sunday and plan to give some playing time
to about eight others from the tryouts earlier this week. Kickoff is at
5:00 at Renton Memorial Stadium; the opponent is the Seattle Sounders Selects.