1999 May 1
 
Vancouver Eighty-Sixers 1 - 2 Seattle Sounders
Swangard Stadium, Burnaby, BC
 
33 SEA: Baena (Megson)
41 SEA: Baena (Mann)
43 VAN: Sulentic
 
VAN:  Didar Sandhu; Carl Valentine (Nico Berg 45), Tom Hardy, Steve MacDonald; Jeff Skinner, Paul Dailly, Niall Thompson (Ian Clarke 75), Chris Franks (Chris Clarke 83), Johnny Sulentic; Eduardo Sebrango, Jason Jordan (Martin Nash 45).
 
SEA: Preston Burpo; Bernie James, Craig Waibel, Randy Mann; Neil Megson (Peter Hattrup 63), Scott Jenkins, Kieran Barton, Troya Cowell; Ian Russell, Viet Nguyen, Mark Baena.
 


Match report by Ron Stickney:
 
In the season opener for both sides, the Seattle Sounders beat the host Vancouver 86ers behind a pair of first-half goals by last year's A-League MVP Mark Baena. Johnny Sulentic scored directly from a 20-yard free kick late in the first half to cut Seattle's lead to a goal, but that lead held until the final whistle.
 
Seattle came out with a rather optimistic 3-4-3 formation, putting Baena up front with ex-UW-Huskies Ian Russell, in his second year, and Viet Nguyen, a rookie. Troya Cowell and Coach Neil Megson played center mid, with Kieran Barton at right mid and Scott Jenkins at left. Preston Burpo got the nod in goal with Bernie James sweeping and Randy Mann and rookie Craig Waibel as backs. Jason Annicchero sat out the match serving a suspension for unfriendly words said to the referee after Seattle's final playoff loss to Minnesota last September.
 
Vancouver countered with a 3-5-2 with the Cuban Eduardo Sebrango up front along with Jason Jordan. In the midfield were Sulentic, Niall Thompson, Paul Dailly, Chris Franks, and Jeff Skinner. Didar Sandhu played in goal behind rookie Tom Hardy from Seattle U, Steve MacDonald and Coach Carl Valentine.
 
First Half
 
Vancouver had the early chances. First Jordan, always a scoring threat, got around the defense on the left side for a shot from the side of the goal area, but Waibel got there just in time to block the shot out with his leg for a corner kick. Then Sulentic beat his man in the middle for a low 20-yarder, gobbled up by Burpo.
 
Baena created Seattle's first chance 8 minutes in when he tried a cross/shot from the right, but Sandhu did well to pluck it from the air.
 
Thompson got his head on Dailly's free kick from the right, but sent the ball well over the Seattle goal.
 
Seattle Coach Megson tried a volley from 25 yards but curled it well wide. Barton sent in a nice cross from the right that rolled along the entire length of the 6-yard line in a crowd, but nobody could finish it.
 
33' Baena (Megson). At Seattle's end, Thompson's 35-yard free kick was caught by Burpo. On the counterattack Megson ended up with the ball on the right side with an acre of space. He carried the ball into the penalty area and could have shot, but instead curled a nice cross right to Baena's head 8 yards out from the far post. Baena headed down to beat the diving Sandhu and scored on the first bounce giving Seattle the 1-0 lead.
 
A few minutes later the tide was back in Vancouver's favor as Dailly used some fancy footwork to get in close on the right for a shot that was deflected into the side netting for a corner kick. Sebrango put a move on James to earn a 15-yard shot from the right that was just over the bar.
 
41' Baena (Mann). From just over the halfway line, Mann sent a diagonal ball over Baena and the marking back. Baena figured out where the ball would go while the back got caught backpedaling. Baena was open when he got to the ball just inside the top left corner of the penalty area and he blasted an awesome left-footed shot that bent over the leaping Sandhu and into the top right corner of the goal, putting Seattle up 2-0.
 
43' Sulentic. Just outside Seattle's penalty area, Megson was whistled for what the referee thought was elbowing as he made space to head an air ball. Sulentic took the free kick from the top of the arc and bent it perfectly over the wall and into the top right corner to pull Vancouver within a goal.
 
Halftime: Vancouver 1 2 Seattle
 
Vancouver sent in two fresh warriors at the half, with Martin Nash and Nico Berg replacing Jordan and Coach Valentine.
 
Russell earned the first good shot of the half when he was put through with a ball behind the defense. With only Sandhu to beat, Russell shot low and Sandhu made the save, sliding down to deflect the ball out for a corner.
 
Midway in the half, Peter Hattrup replaced Coach Megson for Seattle's only substitution. On his first possession, Hattrup nearly had an assist when he passed ahead to Russell, who beat his marker at the arc and shot low to the right corner. Sandhu made a diving save to deflect the ball out for a corner. Baena had a chance at a hat trick when he was put free in the right side of the penalty area with only Sandhu to beat, but the charging Sandhu forced Baena to shoot just wide of the far post. Russell earned another chance when he received a pass 15 yards inside his own half, beat a couple of defenders, and outran everyone up the center of the pitch to go in on Sandhu 1 v 1. Russell's chip over the sliding Sandhu sailed harmlessly wide of the far post.
 
The final ten minutes saw Nash try to level the score with a couple of 25-30 yard shots, the first just wide of the far post and the second over the bar.
 
Final: Vancouver 1 2 Seattle
 
Statistics:
Shots: VAN 15, SEA  12
Saves: Sandhu 3, Burpo 5
Corners: VAN 9, SEA  9
Fouls: VAN 11, SEA  20
Offside: VAN 0, SEA 1
 
Misconduct:
25 Mann (SEA) cautioned for complaining about an obstruction call
78 MacDonald (VAN) cautioned for a foul from behind
 
Referee: Rene Parra
Attendance: 5,144