2003 Jul 4

Minnesota Thunder  2 - 3  Seattle Sounders
National Sports Center, Blaine, MN

4' SEA - Velez (Gregor)

45' MIN - Eyre (Ferruzzi)
52' MIN - Schulte
63' SEA - Edwards (Farrell)
90' SEA - Edwards (Bengard)

Minnesota: Joseph Warren; Adam Eyre, Don Gramenz, Mark Schulte (Zafer Kalicken 64'), Steve Shak; Kevin Anderson, Marco Ferruzzi (Johnny Torres 59'), Greg Wheaton, Jason Willan (Amos Magee 61'); John Menyongar (Alvin Hudson 71'), Marshall Morehead. Substitutes not used: Bradley Swenby, Hugo Llamas, Melvin Tarley.

Seattle: Rich Cullen; Danny Jackson, Ryan Edwards, Scott Jenkins (Sean-Michael Callahan 57'); Zach Scott, Jason Farrell, Andrew Gregor, Alex Bengard, Viet Nguyen; Marco Velez (Herculez Gomez 71'), Kyle Smith. Substitutes not used: Preston Burpo, Kevin Sakuda.

Match report from the Seattle Sounders:

In an Independence Day battle of A-League division leaders, the Seattle Sounders got fireworks off Ryan Edward's two goals and beat the Minnesota Thunder Friday at the National Sports Center.

Entering play the Sounders (8-4-2, W-D-L) sat atop the Pacific Division. The win will keep them there. Despite the loss, Minnesota (9-0-5) is still the leader in the Central Division.

Seattle wasted little time getting on the board. In the fourth minute midfielder Andrew Gregor chipped a ball over the top of the Minnesota defense. Marco Velez outran the Thunder defense to the ball then curled it around Minnesota keeper Joe Warren from 16 yards for his second goal of the season.

Minnesota went on the attack for the remainder of the first half and got the equalizer in the 45th minute. With a free kick from 35 yards out Marco Ferruzi (or maybe Adam Eyre) lined the ball into the penalty box where Steve Shak headed it toward the Seattle goal. Keeper Rich Cullen lunged to his left in an attempt to punch the ball out but instead it deflected off the far post and into the back of the net.

The Thunder carried the momentum out for the second half and scored again off a free kick, this one coming in the 52nd minute. Marc Shulte slammed the ball into a wall of Sounder defenders 16 yards out from the goal. The ball deflected off the wall and caromed towards Cullen. On its way to the Seattle keeper it ricocheted off defender Zach Scott and into the goal at the right post.

The goal seemed to light a fire under the Sounders offense that shifted momentum their direction. Seattle tied it at 2-2 in the 63rd minute. Warren misjudged Jason Farrell's strong throw-in off the left side. When he couldn't bring it down Sounders defender Ryan Edwards headed into the back of the goal from four yards. Then, in added time Edwards struck again. Alex Bengard sent the ball into the 18-yard box off a free kick. Edwards outjumped a Thunder defender at the left post and headed in his second of the night for the match winner.

Seattle finishes off a string of seven straight road games with a match Saturday in Milwaukee against the defending A-League champion Milwaukee Wave United. The Sounders return home for the first time in a month when they host their Pacific Division rivals, the Calgary Storm, Wednesday at Seahawks Stadium.

       Minnesota   Seattle
Shots:      16        10
Saves:       4         6
Corners:     3         5
Fouls:      10        13
Offsides:    1         1

34' MIN - Wheaton cautioned
44' SEA - Jenkins cautioned
74' MIN - Torres cautioned

Referees: Fotis Bazakos; Siahosh Rahimi, Mishaun Ahmad; Troy Cohrs
Attendance: 4,809