2002 Aug 4

Seattle Sounders  4 - 1  Cincinnati Riverhawks
Memorial Stadium, Seattle, WA

10' SEA - O'Brien
17' SEA - Scott (Gregor)
24' SEA - Ching (Boyce)
56' CIN - Matis (Antongirolami)
77' SEA - O'Brien (Ching)

Seattle: Rich Cullen; Scott Jenkins, Ryan Edwards, Zach Scott; Nate Daligcon (Danny Huet 82'), Leighton O'Brien, Andrew Gregor (Chad Brown 61'), Jason Boyce (Kyle Smith 74'), Viet Nguyen (Craig Tomlinson 77'); Brian Ching, Darren Sawatzky (Greg Foisie 45').

Cincinnati: Chris Wanamaker; Robert Meyer, Richard Wolf, Giorgio Antongirolami; Nick Glaser, Don Jin Lee, Kirk Bevington, Alessio Giacobbone, Teodor Matis; Dzevat Kickocaj, Connally Edozien.

Match reports from the papers: South County Journal, Seattle Times, Seattle P-I.

Match report by Ron Stickney:

The Seattle Sounders and the Cincinnati Riverhawks had split a pair of matches earlier in the season in Cincinnati. With the season series to be decided the host Sounders jumped out to a 3-0 halftime lead en route to a 4-1 victory. Leighton O'Brien had the first and last goals for the Sounders, and Zach Scott and Brian Ching scored in the first half. Cincinnati's Teodor Matis notched the goal for the visitors.

Seattle goalkeeper Rich Cullen got his second start of the year, as Preston Burpo rested a bruised hamstring.

Adding to the atmosphere were a cadre of ten drummers who stationed themselves in the northwest corner of the stands. Their frequent and talented drumming was a treat, as they had enough volume to drown out the jock rock. After the match, the group had enough energy left to put on an impromptu 15-minute show in the concourse before marching out. We're not sure who these guys are, but they're probably the same drummers who livened up the Seahawks Stadium opener. Well done, drummers!

First Half

Seattle defender Ryan Edwards took the first shot of the match in the 7th minute, heading down a corner kick but bouncing it wide. The momentum would stay in Seattle's favor through the 24th minute.

10' O'Brien. Nick Glaser's unwise back pass was right to O'Brien at the penalty arc, and O'Brien sent a low shot past goalkeeper Chris Wanamaker and inside the right post. 1-0 Seattle.

More chances for Seattle, as O'Brien's square pass in the 13th was dummied by Darren Sawatzky for Jason Boyce, who shot at the near post, and Wanamaker dove sideways for the save. Andrew Gregor sprung Sawatzky on the right, who dribbled in close, but a defender broke up the threat and Wanamaker claimed the ball.

17' Scott (Gregor). Gregor's free kick 25 yards up the right touch line was bent to the far post, where rookie defender Scott on a far-post run knocked it in off Wanamaker. 2-0 Seattle.

Still all Seattle, as Viet Nguyen dribbled into the area and dropped for Gregor, whose 20-yarder at the lower far corner was saved by a diving Wanamaker.

24' Ching (Boyce). On a Seattle attack, Jason Boyce's sharp bending cross from the left was met by Ching on a near post run, and he volleyed a hard shot inside the near post from 8 yards. 3-0 Seattle.

Cincinnati's first shot was a shot/cross from wide right in the 25th, well over the goal. Their next shot forced a diving save by Cullen, yielding the first corner kick to the Riverhawks.

Back to Seattle as O'Brien's 25-yarder up the middle from Sawatzky's feed forced another diving save by Wanamaker. Ching got free on the left for a 15-yarder, sent a yard over the top near corner.

Cincinnati's Connally Edozien tried from steep on the left in the 30th but was wide of the near post.

The last 15 minutes of the first half were all Seattle. Sawatzky was put through and held the ball in the area waiting for teammates, and after a few passes Gregor's 20-yard try was an easy save for Wanamaker. Sawatzky was put through again and tried a shot past the charging goalkeeper, but sent it well over goal. From a restart after an injury stoppage, a long ball for Nguyen on the left was crossed to the other side for Sawatzky, who volleyed just wide of the near post. Boyce had the last chance of the half, getting the ball from Nate Daligcon on the right and carrying it in for a 25-yard attempt that missed the far post by half a yard.

Halftime: Seattle 3 - 0 Cincinnati

In the opening minute of the first half Seattle continued where they left off, as Gregor's deflected shot went to Ching, who knocked it a yard wide of the far post.

Cincinnati's Alessio Giacobbone was sprung into the area with a fair chance, but his pressured shot missed by a lot. A ball crossed near goal was dropped for Richard Wolf's shot from 8 yards in the middle, but he sent it right to Cullen for a save.

Seattle substitute Greg Foisie got the ball on the right for an 18-yarder, but his shot was easily saved by Wanamaker.

56' Matis (Antongirolami). Antongirolami was sprung on the left side and carried to the 18, then sent the ball in front of a charging Matis, who first-timed the ball past Cullen to put Cincinnati on the scoreboard. 3-1 Seattle.

Matis soon had another chance with a 25-yarder from the left, and Cullen saved.

On a Seattle corner kick taken by O'Brien, Edwards had a good chance but headed it wide by two yards.

For Cincinnati, Robert Meyer headed a cleared ball on goal from the top of the arc, and Cullen easily saved. Wolf got through the defense into the area and chipped a shot over the charging Cullen, but the ball hit the side netting just wide of the near post.

Back to Seattle as O'Brien got the ball 15 yards from goal in the middle and could have shot, but passed goalward for Boyce, and Wanamaker charged out to force Boyce's shot wide. Substitute Chad Brown fought while in possession to get free in the left side of the area, then rolled a diagonal drop for Boyce, who just missed the right post from the 18.

77' O'Brien (Ching). Foisie was wide right to take a pass, then he centered the ball to Ching, who kept it going to O'Brien for a 15-yard volley inside the right post. 4-1 Seattle.

Seattle's last chance came at 84' when Brown on the right dropped another diagonal pass for substitute Kyle Smith, who fired at the bar, and Wanamaker leaped backwards to push it over the bar for a corner.

The 90th minute saw a good chance for Cincinnati when Matis' long free kick from the left was aimed at the top far corner and caused trouble for the retreating Cullen, who leaped to make the save but lost the ball when he hit the ground. Scott Jenkins poked the loose ball away from the goal line, and the defense cleared it before any of the Riverhawks could put it away.

Final: Seattle 4 - 1 Cincinnati

        Seattle  Cincinnati
Shots:     21        9
Saves:      5        8
Corners:    7        1
Fouls:     11       11
Offsides:   4        4

60' SEA - Gregor intentionally draws a caution for encroaching on a free kick. He is apparently seeking a night or two off from yellow card accumulation.
66' SEA - Edwards cautioned after battling with Edozien on a run up the left side without the ball.
87' CIN - Meyer cautioned for chopping down Ching.

Referees: Mohammed Zarrabi-Kashani; Mike Fox, Mark Matthews; Eric Knudsen.
Attendance: 2,167