2001 Aug 25

Seattle Sounders  2 - 1  Charlotte Eagles (AET)
Seattle Memorial Stadium, Seattle, WA

48' CHA - Swinehart (Pinch)
55' SEA - Pillay (Farrell)
92' SEA - Jenkins (Farrell)

Seattle: Preston Burpo; Mike Casale, Scott Jenkins, Kieran Barton; Kei Kinoshita, Sean Henderson, Jason Farrell, Viet Nguyen; Dylin Pillay, Rees Bettinger (Erik Storkson 45'), Craig Tomlinson.

Charlotte: Dwayne Adams; Ben Johnson, Jeremy Sorzano, Ben Parry, Matt Miller; Mark Pinch (Nate Watkins 68'), Jose Gomez (Rob Mouw 90'), Ryan Leib, Derek Avilez (Leo Garjardo 68'); Dustin Swinehart, Caleb Norkus (Jeff Johnson 65').

Match report by Ron Stickney:

The Seattle Sounders kept playoff hopes alive with a 2-1 victory over the Charlotte Eagles after brief extra time. Charlotte's Dustin Swinehart opened the scoring early in the second half. Seattle's Dylin Pillay soon scored his first as a Sounder to level the score. Scott Jenkins netted the match winner in the second minute of extra time. Both Seattle assists came from Jason Farrell.

The visiting Eagles made a match of it, with shots balanced at a dozen apiece, each side forcing five saves.

Seattle's Leighton O'Brien sat out the second match of a 2-match suspension due to his second yellow card accumulation of the season. The second time you trip the yellow card limit you sit out two matches, and it's three matches if you trip a third time.

First Half

Six shots each the first half, forcing three saves each way, but zeroes on the scoreboard at the half. Seattle's Rees Bettinger had the first chance when Craig Tomlinson found him in front of goal 15 yards out, but Bettinger was fenced in and goalkeeper Dwayne Adams was in the slot for a save. Charlotte's first half-chance came in the 9th minute when goalkeeper Preston Burpo pulled Mark Pinch's corner kick off Ryan Leib's head at the near post.

Tomlinson used nifty feints to get free for a wonderful cross sent shoulder high along the 6-yard line, but it was just out of reach of Bettinger's head on a far-post run. On a Seattle counterattack, Bettinger's far-post cross found Kei Kinoshita, whose shot was deflected straight up by Adams and then caught with Kinoshita pressuring.

The 16th saw Leib get dangerous, taking Charlotte's first shot from a flicked-on throw-in, but missing a couple of yards wide of the far post. Then Leib was just barely wide from the left corner of the penalty area. Then a cross from the right gave him a 15-yarder, sent wide of the far post. But it was Caleb Norkus who forced the tough save when he fired hard at the top of the goal from Pinch's left-side free kick, and Burpo used acrobatics to push the shot just over the bar with one hand.

Seattle regained the momentum in the 26th with Tomlinson on a full-speed-ahead counter, and his 25-yarder was a yard high. Sean Henderson tried from 33 yards on the right and missed by a couple.

Then back to Charlotte when Jose Gomez tried a low near-post shot from just inside the top left corner of the area, but Burpo was home for the save. Pinch's shot/cross from the right forced an easy save. In the final minute, the Eagles came very close when Pinch's long free kick was flicked on at the far post by Norkus for Swinehart, who couldn't quite reach it and the ball grazed the far post on the way by.

Seattle's last-minute try came from Kinoshita, whose 40-yarder up the middle was comfortably caught at the post by Adams.

Halftime: Seattle 0 - 0 Charlotte

Erik Storkson, on for Bettinger at the break, would be Seattle's only substitution of the match, and he would set up the first goal. But not until Charlotte had taken the lead. The first chance of the half was Leib's, served by Matt Miller on a counterattack up the middle, but Burpo saved at the post.

48' Swinehart (Pinch). On a throw-in play, a ball sent forward and into the penalty area was deflected to the far side by a defender's head, where Pinch was all alone on the right playing garbage collector. Pinch sent in a short, square cross to Swinehart, 5 yards out from the near post, and Swinehart knocked it cleanly past Burpo. 0-1 Charlotte.

Charlotte continued to threaten when Derek Avilez' long free kick from the left side hit the top far corner of the frame squarely and rebounded away. Avilez soon took a 30-yard free kick up the middle, sent two yards over the bar.

55' Pillay (Farrell). Seattle's first goal came from a long free kick play. The free kick was served over the offside line and deep into the penalty area on the right. 6-foot-2 Storkson won the battle in the air, sending the ball to the far side about 8 yards from goal. Farrell headed the ball into the crossbar and it rebounded down towards the 6-yard line. Pillay was there to fire it in for his first goal as a Sounder. Pillay's blast hit the top back horizontal bar and rebounded back out, leaving referee Kevin Boisen unsure of which bar the ball had hit, but assistant referee Mo Z-K was spotted sprinting up the touch line with urgency, signalling a definite goal. 1-1.

The rest of the half saw a few chances by each side, but nothing close to a goal. For Seattle, Pillay and Tomlinson forced Adams to make easy saves overhead. For Charlotte, Leib tried twice and in the final minute forced Burpo's first save of the half. Ben Johnson tried from 15 yards on the right but rolled it 2 yards wide of the far post. Near time, substitute Jeff Johnson put a free kick from the right touch line on goal, but Burpo saved easily.

Regulation: Seattle 1 - 1 Charlotte

92' Jenkins (Farrell). The first shot in extra time ended it. Charlotte conceded a corner kick on the right side. Farrell sent the corner kick to the top near corner of the goal area, where Jenkins got down low to head at the near side about head high. A defender near the line tried to stop the shot with his head, but could only manage to deflect the ball on its way in.

Final: Seattle 2 - 1 Charlotte

        Seattle  Charlotte
Shots:     12       12
Saves:      5        5
Corners:    3        6
Fouls:     17       11
Offsides:   2        6

54' SEA - Barton cautioned for what he said after fouling Gomez.
78' SEA - Pillay cautioned.

Referee: Kevin Boisen; Asst Refs: Mohammed Zarrabi-Kashani, Jason Panos; 4th: Jeff Hosking.
Attendance: 2,519