2001 Apr 22

Seattle Sounders  2 - 1  Portland Timbers
Preseason match, Interlake High School, Bellevue, WA

14' POR - Costigan
63' SEA - Smith (Bettinger)
68' SEA - Sweet (Farrell)

Seattle: Carlos Castellanos; Kieran Barton, Craig Waibel, Ryan Edwards (Rees Bettinger 45'); Scott Jenkins, Leighton O'Brien (Mike Casale 78'), Jeremy Sweet (Mark Hogenhout 68'), Jason Farrell (Casey Barber 80'); Viet Nguyen, Kyle Smith (Chad Brown 63'), Christer Forsberg (Chris Farnsworth 85').

Portland: Matt Napoleon (Johann Noetzel 45'); Brent Sancho, Neil Ryan, Scott Benedetti; Jesus Ochoa, Keith Costigan, Gavin Wilkinson, Vadim Tolstolutsky; Mbouh Emile (Tony McPeake 45'), Darren Sawatzky, Mark Baena.

Match report by Ron Stickney:

The Portland Timbers took the early lead on this drizzly evening in Bellevue, but the Seattle Sounders won the second half and the preseason match, 2-1. Portland's lead came courtesy of a nice 20-yard free kick by Keith Costigan. Seattle's eventual replies came from offensive forays finished by Kyle Smith and Jeremy Sweet.

It was the first preseason match Jason Farrell and Craig Waibel, and the pair of veterans made a difference for the Sounders.

First Half

14' Costigan. The first good chance for either side came when Seattle defenders missed their attempts at stopping a through ball, allowing Mark Baena to gain possession 25 yards from goal a step free of the offside line. As Baena started to accelerate on a 45-degree angle to his left, Scott Jenkins clipped Baena's heel and down went the unhappy striker. Some Portlanders probably felt that a red card was warranted, but Jenkins got the benefit of the doubt, referee Kevin Boisen probably ruling that Baena wasn't advancing directly at goal. Costigan got revenge for Baena, curling the 20-yard free kick perfectly around the wall and just inside the far post. 0-1 Portland.

Seattle's early attack consisted of long air balls served into the penalty area for first Smith, then Farrell to head on goal, but Matt Napoleon snared the shots comfortably. Jenkins' shot-cross from the left was looking for the top far corner, but Napoleon intercepted.

Inside shots by Seattle came late in the half. First, Viet Nguyen dropped a short diagonal ball that Leighton O'Brien blasted just wide of the lower far corner. Then Farrell trapped a long pass into the area, stepped into space, and fired a shot that was well-saved overhead by Napoleon.

In added time, Jesus Ochoa juked a defender and fired from 30-yards, just wide of the near post. It was Portland's only shot of the half other than the goal.

Halftime: Seattle 0 - 1 Portland

At the half, Seattle native Johann Noetzel took over in goal for Portland. With Portland's recent decision to make Napoleon their #1 'keeper, Noetzel may now be interested in trying out for the Sounders.

Seattle rearranged by bringing in forward Rees Bettinger for defender Ryan Edwards, moving Jenkins backwards from left mid, moving Farrell from right mid to left, and moving Nguyen from the front to right mid. Farrell on the left would end up making the difference in the match.

63' Smith (Bettinger). Farrell's cross from the left end line to the far post was controlled by Bettinger and shot at the left post. The shot may have been deflected, and it looked like it was going to hit the wrong side of the base of the post, but Smith came flying in feet first to volley the ball into the back of the net. 1-1.

Darren Sawatzky tried to answer for Portland with a 30-yard blast, but he just missed the far post.

Nguyen's nicely-paced through ball put Christer Forsberg through at the 18, but the Swedish striker's left-footer was struck too softly and Noetzel gobbled it up.

68' Sweet (Farrell). From near the left flag on the run, Farrell's cross was doubly sweet. It started out heading at goal, putting Noetzel on his line, then hooked away from goal. Jeremy Sweet ran up the middle and did the mental calculus to determine the ball's flight better than anyone else, and his pony tail went flying as he headed the ball into the lower right corner. 2-1 Seattle.

Portland's Vadim Tolstolutsky was fouled at the top of the arc to give the Timbers another prime free kick. Sawatzky took this one and it bent over the wall and just wide of the left post, apparently deflected slightly by the wall since a corner kick was awarded. A later corner kick was nicely pulled off Brent Sancho's head by Carlos Castellanos out from the far post.

The 90th minute saw one last chance for Seattle when substitute Casey Barber's blasted cross from the left couldn't be cleared and the loose ball fell for Nguyen, whose shot from 15 missed the far post.

Final: Seattle 2 - 1 Portland

          Seattle  Portland
Shots:      11        7
Saves:       2        4
Corners:     1        6
Fouls:      24       13
Offsides:    4        6

50' SEA - Smith cautioned for chopping down Wilkinson.
59' SEA - O'Brien cautioned after a collision.
70' SEA - Costigan cautioned.

Referee: Kevin Boisen; Asst Refs: Fred Mabbott, Mike Fox; 4th: Mohammed Zarrabi-Kashani