Seattle Sounders 5 - 1 Tennessee
Memorial Stadium, Seattle
36 SEA - Sawatzky (Howes)
50 SEA - Howes (Steidten)
71 TEN - Sells (Brady)
75 SEA - Sawatzky (Howes)
80 SEA - Sawatzky (Nguyen)
86 SEA - Tomlinson (Howes)
Seattle: Bill May; Ali John Utush, Craig Waibel, Scott Jenkins, Kieran Barton, Tim Steidten (Kei Kinoshita 86); Dick McCormick, Andrew Gregor (Chad Brown 86); Viet Nguyen (Chris Farnsworth 84), Greg Howes (JP Capodanno 86), Darren Sawatzky (Craig Tomlinson 84).
Tennessee: Brian Covey (Eric Green 86); Adam Cohen, Eric Dooley, Ben Fisher, Danny DeVall; Doug Schenkel, Matt Wheatley (Shane Barrett 46), Justin Sells, Jeff Bauer (Chris Brady 46), Steve Marriner (David Moss 61); Pasi Kinturi.
The Seattle Sounders took care of business in a match they were heavily favored to win, defeating the visiting Tennessee Rhythm 5-1. Tennessee, playing their third in five days, made a match of it until late, down just 2-1 with 15 minutes remaining. Darren Sawatzky scored the only goal of the first half and added two more in the second half. Greg Howes scored what would be the match winner early in the second half and he assisted on three other goals. Craig Tomlinson scored soon after entering in his first minutes since arthroscopic surgery on his knee a month earlier. Tennessee were in the match late thanks to Justin Sells' goal in the 71st minute, but Seattle put the match away at the end.
Seattle again used the aggressive 5-2-3 lineup with backs going forth regularly, but it was disguised on the match day roster as a 4-4-2. After being blown out the previous three matches, the Tennessee match day roster listed everyone except the goalkeepers as defenders. Their lineup looked more like a 4-5-1, though.
Seattle's defenders took the first two shots of the match. Scott Jenkins' throw-in was headed way over the bar by Craig Waibel. Viet Nguyen's corner kick from the left to the far post was volleyed by Jenkins but wide of the opposite post.
After a busted Seattle corner kick play, Dick McCormick brought the ball back in and sent a nice cross that was snared by goalkeeper Brian Covey, leaving the goal-crashing Sawatzky swinging from the crossbar. Nguyen got the ball close in on the right and held for a second, then fired a near-post shot that was deflected wide of the far post by Covey.
Midway in the half a Nguyen corner kick was chested down by Howes beyond the far post and his shot was wide.
Tennessee's first shot was taken by Danny DeVall, who was a few yards wide from 35.
For Seattle, sweeper Ali John Utush was compelled to try a long shot from his own half that was caught wide of goal by Covey. Utush soon created a better chance when he was forward to whip in a nice waist-high diagonal cross that three Sounders couldn't quite reach. An Andrew Gregor free kick from the right touch line was volleyed on goal by Howes from 6 yards but Covey made the save.
36' Sawatzky (Howes). A Tennessee throw-in to a back was pressured by Howes and the defender stumbled and coughed up the ball to Howes, who sent in a square cross to Sawatzky 15 yards from goal. Sawatzky put a low shot past Covey, who had been drawn out to cut down the angle on a possible Howes shot. Seattle 1-0.
Seattle had a couple more good chances in the half. Gregor started an attack that led to a Sawatzky shot from 15 that was blocked by Covey. Nguyen just missed the top left corner from 25 yards with a bending shot.
Halftime: Seattle 1 - 0 Tennessee
Seattle continued the pressure in the second half. Howes had a shot in the first minute, a 20-yarder that was a few yards wide of the top near corner. McCormick fed Sawatzky in the arc, and Sawatzky's feint gave him a shot, curled just wide of the top far corner.
50' Howes (Steidten). Tim Steidten's cross from the right side was slightly deflected by a defender and met by Howes five yards from goal. Covey was there to block Howes' first shot, but the rebound was a tap-in for Howes. Seattle 2-0.
Tennessee came back with a few chances. Shane Barrett's header from a corner kick missed the top near corner. Justin Sells' rocket from 25 was aimed at the top near corner, but goalkeeper Bill May flew to push it over with one hand.
For Seattle, Stiedten headed Gregor's free kick on goal, but Covey saved. Howes' headed cross led to confusion as McCormick tried a bicycle kick from the spot and hit Sawtzky's face with the ball, as Sawatzky had been thinking header.
Tennessee's Pasi Kinturi tried a low far poster from inside the penalty area on the left, but May dove to deflect the ball wide with one hand, and Jenkins cleared the rebound.
71' Sells (Brady). On a free kick play from the right side, Chris Brady touched the ball a few yards for Sells, who hit the top far corner accurately with the shot. Seattle 2-1.
75' Sawatzky (Howes). Howes' free kick from the left side was bent waist-high on goal. Sawatzky met the ball 10 yards from goal and stuck out his foot to redirect the ball past Covey and inside the far post. Seattle 3-1.
80' Sawatzky (Nguyen). Howes fed the ball from the left side to Nguyen inside the penalty area. Nguyen curled to the outside and drew the goalkeeper, then Nguyen sent a low cross through the goal area. Sawatzky slid in feet first to poke the ball in at the far post. Seattle 4-1.
A minute later Howes was put through on the left side and as he got free he was tripped by goalkeeper Covey. McCormick took the penalty kick and hit the outside of the left post.
86' Tomlinson (Howes). Jenkins curled in a cross from the left side to Howes near the spot. Howes touched the ball to the left side and Tomlinson claimed it, firing a shot past Covey from 8 yards. Seattle 5-1.
Final: Seattle 5 - 1 Tennessee
Referee: Sandy Hunt; Asst. Ref: Mohammed Zarrabi-Kashani, Erik Knudsen; 4th Official: Jeff Jarvis.