2002 Jul 31

Seattle Sounders  1 - 0  Toronto Lynx
Memorial Stadium, Seattle, WA

45' SEA - Edwards (Gregor)

Seattle: Preston Burpo; Dick McCormick, Scott Jenkins, Ryan Edwards; Leighton O'Brien, Andrew Gregor, Nate Daligcon, Jason Farrell, Viet Nguyen; Darren Sawatzky (Chad Brown 81'), Jason Boyce (Kyle Smith 67').

Toronto: James Kryger; Mauricio Vincello, Joe Mattacchione, Milan Kojic; Elvis Thomas (Matt Rosenfeld 68'), Brian Ashton, David Di Placido, Kikki Vignjevic (Julio Panalillo 52'), Robbie Aristodemo; Ryan Lucas, Niki Budalic.

Match report by Ron Stickney:

Sometimes a team needs their defense to win a match for them, and the Seattle Sounders defense won this one 1-nil over the visiting Toronto Lynx. Defender Ryan Edwards forced a corner kick and then headed it in for the lone goal in first half injury time. Preston Burpo made some great saves en route to the shutout. The victory was the Sounders' ninth league win in a row, raising their record to 19-2.

Assistant coach Dick McCormick, recently added to the player roster, played his first match of the season in place of regular sweeper Kieran Barton, who fell ill from some of that bad lettuce we've been hearing about or something else he ate. McCormick settled into the role quickly and played a fine match. Forward Brian Ching was rested this match, with Jason Boyce getting the start as a forward.

Toronto backup goalkeeper James Kryger got the start and had a fine match, beaten only by a well-executed corner kick play. Also starting for the Lynx was big forward Ryan Lucas, just acquired from the Cincinnati Riverhawks, and he was a challenge for the Sounders defense all night long.

First Half

Eleven minutes went by before anybody had a good chance, and Seattle were first when Leighton O'Brien fed Nate Daligcon at the left end of the penalty arc for a shot that was blasted at the top left corner. Kryger flew sideways for a great save, conceding a corner. The corner kick was cleared but sent right back in for Darren Sawatzky, who was open for a hurried 15-yard shot from the left, and Kryger collapsed for another save.

Toronto soon had a chance when a long ball was air-mailed to the penalty spot for Lucas, but Edwards was right there to get a piece of it and force Lucas to miss the target.

In the 15th a Scott Jenkins throw-in from the left was headed on goal by Edwards short of the near post. Kryger got his fingertips on it to tip the ball onto the top of the cross bar, and Kryger caught the rebound.

Another 13 minutes slid by with no chances, then Toronto's Robbie Aristodemo curled a dangerous cross to the 6-yard line, and Burpo did well to come out and punch it away. Burpo's momentum carried him into Lucas, Burpo went down, and Lucas ended up straddling Burpo. We didn't see what Burpo did to make Lucas angry, but when Burpo got up Lucas threw him to back to the ground and other players had to separate the pair. The yellow card was shown to both Lucas and Burpo.

Seattle's Andrew Gregor was fouled on the right side 25 yards from the end line, and he put the free kick at the top right corner, and Kryger anticipated well to arrive for the save.

In the 36th Burpo got away with a mistake when he came out of the penalty area to clear the ball but banged it off the charging Lucas, with Jenkins hustling back to clear the ball from in front of goal.

For the Lynx, a trip at the top of the arc gave them a 22-yard free kick up the middle, and Nikki Vignjevic curled it nicely at the bottom right corner, but Burpo anticipated well and dove for a fine save, hanging on with a pair of attackers right there seeking a rebound.

45' Edwards (Gregor). A free kick play from the center circle ended with Edwards open for a shot from 10 yards on the right, and Kryger dove to push it wide of the lower near corner for a corner. Gregor's corner kick from the right in injury time was sent to the far post, just over the fingertips of Kryger, and Edwards headed it down to the goal line and watched it bounce up into the roof of the net. 1-0 Seattle. The whistle ended the half immediately after the restart.

Halftime: Seattle 1 - 0 Toronto

Seattle outshot Toronto 7-4 in the first half, but in the second the Sounders wouldn't take a shot for a half hour. They would manage only two shots the rest of the match, putting pressure on the defense to make the 1-0 lead stand up.

Aristodemo made space at the top left corner of the area at 51' for the first chance, and Burpo dove to save the far-post shot. Lucas headed an aerial service wide right to give Aristodemo another chance, and this time he missed the lower far corner by just a half yard. Fourteen minutes went by with no good chances, then Niki Budalic sent in a dangerous low cross/shot from the top left corner of the area, and Burpo dove out to intercept. In the 76th Brian Ashton's corner kick to the far post was headed sharply on goal by substitute Matt Rosenfeld, and Burpo made an impressive reaction save overhead, and then dove just outside the post to keep from conceding a corner.

Seattle finally took a shot in the 76th, but Gregor's rushed 20-yarder was well wide of goal.

The 80th saw Toronto's last chance when Lucas from the spot headed a free kick a couple of yards wide.

Seattle's last chance came in the 87th when Gregor's square free kick from the left touch line found substitute Kyle Smith wide open for a 10-yard header, but he sent it wide of the near post.

Final: Seattle 1 - 0 Toronto

        Seattle  Toronto
Shots:      9       10
Saves:      5        5
Corners:    4        2
Fouls:     14       20
Offsides:   5        3

26' SEA - Boyce cautioned for batting the ball out after being whistled for offside.
28' TOR and SEA - Lucas and Burpo cautioned for a minor altercation when they tangled after Burpo punched away a cross, then collided with Lucas on the follow-through.

Referees: Mac Pinski; Mohammed Zarrabi-Kashani, Jeff Hosking; Fred Mabbott.
Attendance: 2,073