2003 May 23

Vancouver Whitecaps  2 - 2  Seattle Sounders (AET)
Swangard Stadium, Burnaby, BC

21' SEA - Callahan (Smith)
50' VAN - Kindel (Jordan)
69' VAN - Kindel
83' SEA - Tomlinson (Gregor)

Vancouver: Alex Marques; Nick Dasovic, Chris Franks, Nico Craveiro (Jeff Skinner 86'); Oliver Heald (Musa Shannon 91'), Tiarnan King (Cris Craveiro 75'), Paul Dailly, Steve Kindel, Alfredo Valente; Jason Jordan, Niall Thompson (David Morris 63'). Substitutes not used: Simon Postma, Mario Jorge, Craig Robson.

Seattle: Rich Cullen; Scott Jenkins, Ryan Edwards, Zach Scott; Kevin Sakuda, Andrew Gregor, Alex Bengard, Sean-Michael Callahan (Jason Farrell 46'); Darren Sawatzky, Marco Velez (Craig Tomlinson 79'), Kyle Smith (Viet Nguyen 46'). Substitutes not used: Ryan Wittstruck, Matt Hulen, Greg Foisie, Shawn Percell.

Match report by Ron Stickney:

Great goals, strange cards. In their first meeting of the 2003 season, the host Vancouver Whitecaps and the Seattle Sounders had to settle for a 2-2 draw, with Seattle playing short a man the entire second half plus extra time. Seattle took a first-half 1-0 lead when Sean-Michael Callahan scored in the 21st minute. Unfortunately, the Sounders gave the Whitecaps a break a minute from the end of the first half when Darren Sawatzky was shown the red card for an unnecessary, silly foul. Vancouver soon took advantage when Steve Kindel, who shoots like a rocket launcher, scored twice to put the home side up 2-1. Seattle seemed not to be an offensive threat in the second half until substitute Craig Tomlinson entered in the 79th minute. He appeared to earn a penalty kick that wasn't granted, then Tomlinson headed in a corner kick in the 83rd to allow the short-handed Sounders to escape BC with a draw.

There were some weird cards during the match, including Sawatzky's, which deserved yellow but not red, and the unusual dismissal of Sounders coach Brian Schmetzer just before kickoff in added time. Details chronologically below.

First Half

The first 20 minutes generated no good chances either way, as the teams seemed to be taking care on defense. Vancouver's Oliver Heald had the best try, turning and shooting from left of the penalty area but not getting the shot over goalkeeper Rich Cullen's reach.

21' Callahan (Smith). The Sounders converted their first good opportunity. From near the circle, Kyle Smith sent a long ball towards the left corner and into open space for Callahan. When Callahan reached the ball, he had only goalkeeper Alex Marques to beat. Inside the penalty area, Marques came out to challenge, Callahan played it to the outside of Marques, and with a defender retreating Callahan scored from a steep angle, the ball rolling 15 yards before nicking the inside of the far post on the way in. 1-0 Seattle.

The misconduct weirdness began in the 24th minute when Seattle forward (a.k.a. rookie defender) Marco Velez elbowed Nick Dasovic away from the ball. The assistant referee spotted the incident, which left Dasovic on the ground, and Velez was whistled for the foul and cautioned for the misconduct. It took a minute for the restart, during which time Vancouver defender Chris Franks left the pitch to adjust his equipment, and then just before the restart the referee consulted with his assistant and cautioned Franks for a reason unknown to us.

Little happened until the 33rd, when Kindel was routinely cautioned for a late slide under Callahan.

Finally a good shot in the 36th when Andrew Gregor curled a 35-yard Seattle free kick up the middle hard on goal, but Marques was there to take it in the bread basket.

Then Vancouver's dangerous Jason Jordan executed a nice turn and shoot at the top left corner of the penalty area, but he sent it two yards over the bar. A minute later a Heald free kick from the left side was headed sharply on goal by Niall Thompson, but Cullen took it on the short hop.

The 44th minute surprised everyone when a Vancouver interception led to a pass to the left touch line that left Sawatzky defending two Whitecaps attackers. Kindel stopped 5 yards from the ball, leaving it for a teammate, and Sawatzky found Kindel partially in the way. From behind Kindel, Sawatzky decided to knock Kindel over, using a bit of unnecessary force with the upright charge, when the wiser decision would have been to step around Kindel. The reckless foul clearly warranted a yellow card, but the referee surprised us by pulling out the red card. Seattle would be forced to play most of the match with ten men.

Less than a minute later, Thompson chopped down Alex Bengard late after a clearance. It seemed to warrant a yellow card, but the referee just warned Thompson and made him go over to Bengard and apologize.

Halftime: Vancouver 0 - 1 Seattle

From the start of the second half, Vancouver attacked with the confidence a one-man advantage can provide. Two minutes in came the first good chance when Jordan, inside the penalty area, pushed a short pass ahead for Thompson, but Cullen slid out to claim the ball just before Thompson could shoot.

A routine yellow card was shown in the 49th as Vancouver's Paul Dailly recklessly fouled Bengard in Seattle's end.

50' Kindel (Jordan). On a ball sent to the front, sweeper Scott Jenkins was clearly holding Jordan to prevent a shot, but advantage was allowed as Jordan managed to roll the ball wide to give Kindel an open shot from 20 yards. Kindel bent a hard shot above and to the left of Cullen and just under the bar. 1-1.

Two minutes later Kindel tried again from 30, missing the top near corner by a few yards.

Seattle got a half chance when Velez under pressure got his head on a Gregor corner kick, but the pressure prevented an accurate shot.

Then it was all Vancouver for most of the half. Franks was wide right by a yard when he fired in a cleared ball from a distance. Nico Craveiro overlapped on the right to cross past goal for Alfredo Valente, whose header missed by two yards when the fans were expecting better. Someone blasted a very long shot up the middle that rebounded off Cullen's chest, but no Whitecaps were near the rebound and Cullen retrieved it.

In the 66th it became a shot a minute. Jordan was sprung on the right, carried it into the area, cut back, and from 8 yards tried for the lower far corner, but Cullen made a great diving save to deny a goal. Valente from the left touch line just missed the top far corner. A short dropped ball was blasted at the top near corner by Kindel, and Cullen leaped to push it wide for a corner, another great save.

69' Kindel. From a cleared corner kick, Kindel fired an accurate 40-yard blast over Cullen and inside the far post. Cullen had been out to punch the corner kick away. Quite a strike, and we'd be amazed if it came from anyone other than Steve Kindel. 2-1 Vancouver.

Vancouver continued the pressure. Substitute David Morris got a feed from Kindel and tried a 20-yarder from a bit wide left, but Cullen made another great save, leaping to push it over the bar. Dailly sent a 30-yard blast up the middle that missed the top corner by just a half yard.

For Seattle, Tomlinson came on for Velez in the 79th and soon made a difference. In the 81st Gregor carried the ball along the 18-yard line to the arc and launched a quick right-footed shot that Marques did well to save, but there was the rebound loose and there was Tomlinson in the goal area to claim it. But Marques tripped Tomlinson without touching the ball, and Tomlinson would have gotten the ball with an easy chance to finish, and the opportunity was lost. It ought to have been a penalty kick, but the referee wouldn't award it.

83' Tomlinson (Gregor). Third time was the charm, as Seattle finished the last of three consecutive corner kicks. Viet Nguyen took the first corner from the left and curled it to the bar, where Marques touched it over. Gregor took the next corner from the right and it was promptly cleared out for another. On the third corner, Gregor's service was in the air to the near side and Tomlinson got way up to head it down and in. 2-2, and nobody threatened again in the final 7 minutes plus a few added.

Regulation: Vancouver 2 - 2 Seattle

After the short break to set up for extra time, the kickoff was delayed as Sounders coach Schmetzer was a step onto the pitch waving a piece of paper and yelling at the referee. It seems that Vancouver had sent on forward Musa Shannon for Heald, but Schmetzer's copy of Vancouver's match roster listed no Shannon whatsoever. My copy, which I had picked up at halftime, had Andrew Veer crossed out from the substitution list and Shannon written in. The referee reportedly had approved that change to the match roster, but apparently failed to let Schmetzer know about it. The referee's solution to the problem was to dismiss Schmetzer from the pitch! Schmetzer had a legitimate complaint, so we're guessing he was dismissed because of his choice of words after the referee insisted on allowing the substitution.

With Schmetzer gone, the referee was free to restart the match, and for the first 10-minute period nobody seemed to want to play. The only shot came in the 93rd when Nguyen's shot/cross couldn't be reached by Tomlinson and went harmlessly to the feet of Marques. Seattle wouldn't generate any more scoring chances in the match.

Vancouver finally took a shot 3 minutes into the second 10-minute period when Kindel tried from 35 yards on the left and Cullen watched it closely as it slid just wide of the far post.

In the 105th Kindel slammed hard and late into Callahan after Callahan had cleared the ball from his end. Callahan lay on the ground in pain as first Seattle, then Vancouver had attacks thwarted. Finally the referee whistled play dead when a clearance was high in the air. The assistant referee raised his flag to get the attention of the referee, and when the referee looked the assistant held up his hand with thumb and fingers pinched together, implying that a card was warranted. The reckless challenge deserved at least a yellow card, and was certainly more forceful than the challenge that got Sawatzky sent off 61 minutes earlier, but the referee declined to issue a card.

Vancouver had two good chances in the final three minutes. In the 108th, a dangerous corner kick into the goal area was headed wide and out of danger by a Seattle defender. And in the 109th a defender tried to clear a loose ball from inside the Seattle goal area, but the ball was kicked right into the leg of a charging Morris and it rebounded down and just over the bar on the bounce, settling on the roof.

Final: Vancouver 2 - 2 Seattle

        Vancouver  Seattle
Shots:      18        9
Saves:       5        7
Corners:    11        6
Fouls:      10       12
Offsides:   10        1

24' SEA - Velez cautioned for elbowing Dasovic.
25' VAN - Franks cautioned for some strange reason just before the restart after the Velez caution.
33' VAN - Kindel cautioned for a late slide under Callahan.
44' SEA - Sawatzky sent off for knocking Kindel over from behind away from the ball.
49' VAN - Dailly cautioned for a reckless foul on Bengard in Seattle's end.
91' SEA - Coach Schmetzer sent off for what he said when complaining about a Vancouver substitution (Shannon) who was not listed on Schmetzer's copy of Vancouver's match roster.

Referees: Orest Konowalchuk; Paul Ward, Joe Branco; Mauricio Navarro
Attendance: 4,356