2000 Jun 16
Seattle Sounders 2 - 1 San Diego Flash
Seattle Memorial Stadium, Seattle, WA
7 SD - AJ Utush own goal
32 SEA - Howes
45 SEA - Sawatzky (Jenkins)
Seattle: Preston Burpo; Bernie James, Scott Jenkins, Craig Waibel, Ali John Utush; Dick McCormick, Sean Henderson, Greg Howes (Brian Wood 64), Viet Nguyen (Rashid Utush 74); Darren Sawatzky, Craig Tomlinson (Kei Kinoshita 79).

San Diego: Thomas Tate; PJ Brown, Jason Annicchero, Jamie Munro; Leighton O'Brien, Anthony Farace (Geoff Huber 86), Kevin Legg, Carlos Farias; Chugger Adair (Jerome Watson 73), Guillermo Jara (Mugurel Dumitru 64), Shandley Phillips (Carlos Calderson 64).

Match report by Ron Stickney:
After spotting the San Diego Flash an early 1-0 lead from a Seattle own goal, the Sounders fought back to win 2-1 behind excellent shots by rookie Greg Howes and team goal leader Darren Sawatzky, the match winner coming in added time at the end of the first half. Early in the second half an undeserved penalty kick was awarded to San Diego, but Sounders goalkeeper Preston Burpo stepped into the spotlight and saved Kevin Legg's PK. Burpo has faced three PKs this season and he has saved them all!

Seattle were without Andrew Gregor, suspended for yellow card points, Kieran Barton, suspended for a red card, and Erik Storkson, who injured his ankle in the US Open Cup match in Los Angeles two nights earlier. San Diego's lineup included several players with local ties. Ex-Sounders Chugger Adair and Jason Annicchero started, as did Leighton O'Brien and PJ Brown, who have lived in the area. Ex-Sounder Mark Baena sat on the bench due to an ankle injury from San Diego's Open Cup match this week. Anthony Farace, who was traded by San Diego to Seattle for Mark Baena but refused to go, started for the visitors after playing earlier in the season for Orange County.

First Half

Farace earned the first shot of the match in the 4th minute when he fired from the arc on a busted corner kick play, but right into Burpo's bread basket.

7' AJ Utush own goal. O'Brien on the right side sent in a ball that Adair headed for Guillermo Jara. Ali John Utush intercepted the ball and headed it towards the right post for Burpo, but Burpo had come out and couldn't get back in time to stop the ball from entering the goal. San Diego had the early lead, 1-0.

The next good chance was San Diego's in the 18th minute when Jara received an air ball close to goal while loosely marked. He tried to head the ball over the onrushing Burpo, but the keeper got enough of his fingertips on it to push it over the bar for a corner kick.

In the 18th minute Seattle finally got a chance when Sawatzky dropped for Dick McCormick, but he skied the 25-yard shot.

32' Howes. Sawatzky tried to chip over San Diego keeper Thomas Tate, but the shot was just over the bar and Tate gave it a touch to be sure, yielding a corner. The corner kick was cleared out but sent back in. A ball was deflected along the 18-yard line by a defender and Howes saw the left piece of the goal through the crowd and accurately fired a bullet straight ahead and inside the left post. Match even at 1-1.

The teams traded chances for the rest of the half. For the Flash, Jara fed Legg on the run on the right side, but Legg bent his shot the wrong way and just missed the top near corner. For Seattle, Craig Tomlinson fed ahead to Sawatzky, but Tate met Sawatzky to block the shot and the rebound, bouncing towards goal, was cleared by a defender. For San Diego, the dangerous Carlos Farias was open for a 25-yard blast that just missed the bottom far corner.

45' Sawatzky (Jenkins). Defender Scott Jenkins overlapped on the left and carried the ball inside the penalty area. He crossed to Sawatzky, who was centered 15 yards from goal. With his back to goal, Sawatzky trapped the ball, spun around and quickly fired the match winner inside the left post out of Tate's reach.

In added time, a 30-yard San Diego free kick was touched to Farias, who shot accurately to the lower far corner, but Burpo dove nicely and made the save.

Halftime: Seattle 2 - 1 San Diego

Just 2 minutes into the second half, San Diego sent in a cross from the left with a lone target near goal, marked by Craig Waibel. It looked like Waibel would comfortably head the ball away, but he was pushed hard from behind and his arm flew out and hit the ball. Young referee Cory Dean apparently turned too late to see the push and saw just the ball hitting Waibel's hand. Instead of a foul for the push or a no-call, Dean whistled and pointed to the spot for a penalty kick! Everyone else in the stadium saw the push, probably including assistant referee Doug Pinski, but Dean failed to check with Pinski. Legg sent the penalty kick to his left about shoulder high, and Burpo dove to smack the ball with his right hand to stop its forward progress. Waibel was first to the rebound while Burpo was on the ground, and Waibel cleared the ball from danger.

Seattle had all the chances for the next half hour. A Seattle free kick near the left corner of the penalty area was touched to Howes and rocketed on goal, where it could only be parried by Tate, then it was cleared by the defense. Tomlinson dummied, ducking under a square air ball and leaving the ball for Howes. Tomlinson sprinted up the middle and took a pass from Howes and fired low to the right from 10 yards, but Tate made the diving catch. Sean Henderson was well over from 35 yards. AJ Utush's long cross/shot was caught by Tate at the far post. Sawatzky got a foot on a defender's pass and the ball popped into the penalty area where Sawatzky collected it, but the defense recovered in time to prevent a shot.

San Diego's first good shot since the PK came in the 78th from substitute Jerome Watson, who volleyed a cross from 10 yards out from the near post. The hard shot bent at the top right corner, but Burpo leaped to push the shot over the bar for another remarkable save.

Seattle sub Brian Wood stole the ball from Farias and sent it way up the right touch line for sub Kei Kinoshita, who earned a cross from the right that Wood received about 15 yards from goal. Wood trapped the ball and turned, but a defender recovered in time to block the shot.

In the 83rd, San Diego free kick specialist Farias missed the top near corner by a yard from 30.

In the final minute, Sawatzky sent a long pass ahead for substitute Rashid Utush, whose 25-yard shot from the left was well over.

San Diego had one last chance in added time when, after a Seattle offside call, the long free kick was headed on goal by Annicchero, but Burpo leaped for the save.

Final: Seattle 2 - 1 San Diego
Seattle San Diego
Shots: 13 13
Saves: 6 6
Corners: 3 5
Fouls: 15 18
Offsides: 2 1
13 Annicchero (SD) cautioned for knocking Tomlinson down after the ball went over the touch line.
80 Jenkins (SEA) cautioned for a foul at the touch line.
88 O'Brien (SD) cautioned for pulling R Utush down from behind.
Referee: Cory Dean, Asst Refs: Kevin O'Brien, Doug Pinski 4th Official: Ryan Ottele
Attendance: 1,534