2001 Jul 8

Seattle Sounders  2 - 1  Milwaukee Rampage
Memorial Stadium, Seattle, WA

21' SEA - O'Brien
60' MIL - Takawira (Fadeski)
72' SEA - O'Brien (Tomlinson)

Seattle: Preston Burpo; Mike Casale, Scott Jenkins, Ryan Edwards; Leighton O'Brien, Jeremy Sweet, Viet Nguyen, Jason Farrell; Rees Bettinger (Kei Kinoshita 45'), Jason Dunn (Craig Tomlinson 65'), Brian Ching (Kyle Smith 88').

Milwaukee: Jeremy Dobay; Chad Prince, Peter Henning (Dennis Fadeski 18'), Kharry Stockton, Steve Bernal (Ramon Alvarado 81'); Philippe Godoy (Oli Ellsworth 45'), Jason Russell, Yuri Lavrinenko (Craig Charlton 18'), Igor Soso; Digital Takawira, David Hayes.

Match report by Ron Stickney:

A pair of goals by Leighton O'Brien gave the Seattle Sounders a 2-1 victory at home over the first-place Milwaukee Rampage. Digital Takawira's goal for the Rampage was sandwiched by O'Brien's pair. O'Brien had scored a lone goal for a Sounders win when Milwaukee last visited Seattle on May 20.

When these two sides met in Milwaukee on Jun 30, three Sounders were shown the red card. Kieran Barton served the first of a two-match suspension this evening, one for yellow card accumulation and one for the red in Milwaukee. Chad Brown served a red-card suspension. But O'Brien, whose red card came after the match in Milwaukee for something he said to the referee, appealed the card and was able to play this evening since the league had not yet ruled on the appeal.

Milwaukee #1 goalkeeper Dan Popik was also suspended for the match due to an earlier red card.

Loaned from the LA Galaxy was rookie Brian Ching, appearing in his second A-League match and third match overall for the Sounders. Making his home debut this season was forward Jason Dunn, who returned to the Sounders after several years playing indoors.

First Half

The first good chance of the match belonged to Milwaukee defender Peter Henning from a free kick play, a 35-yard blast at the lower far corner, pushed wide for a corner by a diving Preston Burpo.

In the 17th minute, a minor fight broke out, and it was between Milwaukee teammates! From what we could piece together from talking to various Sounders players and bench personnel, it seems that Yuri Lavrinenko complained to Philippe Godoy about Godoy's play, and teammates had to hold the pair apart to quell the infighting. Since Lavrinenko is from Ukraine and Godoy is from France, the verbal exchange in broken English was reportedly quite entertaining. Then captain Digital Takawira (from Zimbabwe) was seen having an angry verbal exchange with Godoy. A minute later, Lavrinenko and Henning were pulled in favor of Craig Charlton (England) and Dennis Fadeski (Wisconsin). Lavrinenko was loudly complaining as he left the pitch, and when he sat down on the bench he threw a water bottle down forcefully and it bounced well out onto the pitch. We overheard Milwaukee coach Boro Sucevic say, "Get him out of my sight! This isn't a vacation!" And a Milwaukee staffer sent Lavrinenko to the showers. Godoy would be replaced at intermission. An international incident, all within one team.

21' O'Brien. Seattle drew first blood from a 30-yard free kick up the middle. Jason Farrell ran over the ball and O'Brien sent his shot over the wall, bending sharply to the lower left corner, beating goalkeeper Jeremy Dobay. 1-0 Seattle.

A minute later, another free kick by O'Brien was right to Dobay, this time from 35 yards on the left. From a broken free kick play, Farrell got a 10-yard header from a cross, but the pressured shot was sent right at Dobay.

In the 36th minute a square pass gave Milwaukee's Igor Soso a 25-yard chance up the middle, sent in low forcing a good save by Burpo.

A Seattle attack ended with Ching's shot from the top right corner of the penalty area, a yard too high. On a counterattack in the 43rd, Dunn rolled a nice ball in front of Ching for another try from the same place, but Ching missed by several yards.

At the other end, Burpo completely missed an attempt to punch away a looping cross, but on the first bounce Scott Jenkins headed the ball away from the far post.

A final Seattle attack gave Rees Bettinger a shot from wide left, caught by Doboy at the near post.

Halftime: Seattle 1 - 0 Milwaukee

Seattle outshot Milwaukee 8-2 in the first half, but both sides would take about ten shots in the second half. Seattle started with O'Brien firing a loose ball from 25 yards, missing the top near corner by half a yard. Viet Nguyen held near the left touch line, then carried to the arc and fired just wide of the right post.

For Milwaukee, Takawira dropped a pass for a 20-yard shot by Jason Russell, sent well over the bar.

Farrell rolled a cross from the right corner to give Ching a 15-yard shot, but he couldn't get enough velocity on it.

60' Takawira (Fadeski). Fadeski's long throw-in from the right touch line sailed over the crowd at the near post, where Burpo was camped out, and dropped to the floor for an inexplicably unmarked Takawira a couple of yards from the far post. Takawira had an amazingly easy tap-in with his foot to level the score at 1-1.

Three minutes later Takawira took a pass on the right for a 15-yard shot that just missed the bottom far corner.

For Seattle, Jeremy Sweet fed Ching for a foot flick from 15 yards, saved well by Dobay.

72' O'Brien (Tomlinson). Soon after replacing Dunn, Craig Tomlinson's speed let him catch Nguyen's forward pass behind the defense and Tomlinson sent a perfectly paced cross in front of O'Brien, who was on a run straight up the middle. O'Brien's first-touch shot from 8 yards was sent to the far side and the diving Dobay could only manage a bit of a touch as the shot went in. 2-1 Seattle.

Milwaukee pressed hard for the equalizer. Takawira fed Russell for a 15-yard blast from the right, but Burpo hung on to the rocket. From a busted corner kick play, Kharry Stockton beat a man for a 15-yard shot from the right into the outside of the net. Sub Oli Ellsworth's cross from the right gave Takawira a chance 8 yards out from the far post, but a defender blocked the shot. Russell sent a 25-yard shot low up the middle to the left corner, where Burpo dove to punch the ball wide for a corner.

In the final minute, Nguyen fought off challenges to enter the area with the ball, then dropped to an open O'Brien 15 yards from goal, but the attempt at a hat trick was blasted right at Dobay, who caught it.

Final: Seattle 2 - 1 Milwaukee

         Seattle  Milwaukee
Shots:      18       13
Saves:       6        8
Corners:     1        8
Fouls:      18       15
Offsides:    1        1

26' SEA - O'Brien cautioned for hitting Soso with the arm.

Referee: Richard Heron; Asst Refs: Dean Ajir, Jayson Transtrum; 4th: David Simon.
Attendance: 2,359