2004 Aug 7

Seattle Sounders 2 - 0 Minnesota Thunder
Qwest Field, Seattle, WA

5' SEA - Bolaņos (Somoza)
45' SEA - Sakuda

Seattle: Preston Burpo; Marco Velez, Ryan Edwards, Zach Scott; Danny Jackson, Kevin Sakuda, Sean-Michael Callahan (Scott Jenkins 62'), Ben Somoza (Craig Tomlinson 71'), Jonathan Bolaņos (Darren Sawatzky 21'); Roger Levesque (Kyle Smith 86'), Welton. Substitutes not used: Danny Waltman, Kei Kinoshita, Shawn Percell.

Minnesota: Joe Warren; Dustin Branan (Freddy Juarez 80'), Brian Roberts, Chris Brunt (Brent Jacquette 71'); Chris Vorenkamp (Dave Castellanos 58'), Jeff Matteo, Jay Alberts (Amos Magee 69'), Marco Ferruzzi (Godfrey Tenoff 59'), Kevin Friedland; Johnny Menyongar, Melvin Tarley. Substitutes not used: Terry McNelis.

Additional match reports: Seattle Times, Sounders.

Match report by Ron Stickney:

An early goal by Jonathan Bolaņos and an early red card to Melvin Tarley let the Seattle Sounders coast to a 2-0 win over the visiting Minnesota Thunder. Kevin Sakuda added the insurance goal just before the halftime whistle.

Seattle tried a new lineup with usual sweeper Danny Jackson playing as a defensive midfielder in front of a 3-man back line anchored by Marco Velez as sweeper.

First Half

Minnesota had the first chance in the opening minute when Kevin Friedland was put through up the middle, but goalkeeper Preston Burpo was quick to slide out for the block save 10 yards from goal. From the resultant corner kick play, Jeff Matteo's corner gave Friedland another shot, forcing another save by Burpo. Then lady luck smiled on the Sounders.

5' Bolaņos (Somoza). After Ben Somoza's free kick was cleared out for a corner, he took the corner kick from the left side and bent an in-swinger in front of goal. Bolaņos rose 8 yards out and took Seattle's first shot, shouldering it sharply into the top far corner, glancing it off the underside of the crossbar. 1-0 Seattle.

In the 10th minute an incident at the halfway line left Minnesota a man short for the rest of the match. Seattle defender Ryan Edwards tripped Tarley from behind trying for the ball, and at first referee Ramon Hernandez intended to allow advantage as the loose ball went to Tarley's teammate. It looked like a routine foul, but perhaps it hurt, as Tarley turned and forcefully kicked Edwards in the leg. Tarley was promptly shown the red card, and when Edwards finally got up he was shown the yellow.

Despite being a man down, the Thunder played the Sounders evenly the rest of the match. The Sounders often went into a bunker defense, with some attacks receiving little support. Minnesota's best chance to equalize came in the 20th when Marco Ferruzzi won a long aerial cross and neatly turned on goal with only Burpo to beat, but Burpo was again quickly out to stuff the shot and claim the ball.

Somoza turned the tide for Seattle in the 24th when he worked his way into the penalty area and dropped a nice diagonal pass for Sakuda, who bent his shot the wrong way and missed the far post. Sean-Michael Callahan stole a clearance and quickly shot low, but well wide of the far post. Somoza beat his marker to whip in a cross to Roger Levesque on a near post run, and Levesque headed just wide of the near post. On a Seattle corner kick play, Sakuda made space for a 15-yarder but it rose a half yard over the bar. Jackson headed a Somoza corner kick on goal in the 45th, forcing a save by Joe Warren.

45' Sakuda. Seconds before the halftime whistle, Seattle's pressure earned them a hustle goal. Darren Sawatzky stole the ball at the edge of Minnesota's area and gave it to Sakuda, who sent it wide for Levesque, who sent in an aerial cross to the near post. Callahan rose to pressure Warren, who ought to have caught the ball but fumbled it. Sakuda used his foot to pull the ball away from Warren's feet and looked to shoot, but found defenders in the way. Sakuda carried the ball 7 yards away from goal with a few step-over moves, turned, and drilled a shot that glanced off the near post on the way in.

Halftime: Seattle 2 - 0 Minnesota

With neither offense generating much for the first 10 minutes of the second half, the first chance for the Sounders came when Dustin Branan deflected a Seattle cross at the top far corner of his own goal, forcing a "save" by Warren.

Then another fine cross from Somoza was headed sharply by Callahan, but a yard over the bar.

The 60th minute saw an interesting conflict between the players and referee Hernandez. With several players from both sides pointing at Callahan on the floor in pain right in front of his bench, Hernandez ignored the injury and instructed Minnesota to take their free kick. Matteo instead pointed at Callahan. Hernandez again insisted that Matteo restart play, so Matteo deliberately shot the ball into touch. The frustrated Hernandez then came over and allowed the Sounders to help Callahan off the pitch. After the match Callahan said that he couldn't move at the time due to a re-injured back, and that Matteo was a friend of Callahan and wasn't going to allow Callahan to lay there suffering. Scott Jenkins soon replaced Callahan in the match.

The Sounders created just two good chances late in the half. In the 75th Sawatzky raced up the right side to earn a shot from 15 yards, but made it an easy save for Warren. In the 81st a Jenkins diagonal pass into the area was redirected on goal by Levesque, but it was again a routine save for Warren.

Minnesota's only good chance of the half came in the 87th when substitute Dave Castellanos raced a step ahead on the right for a shot from a steep angle, but he sent it behind the goal.

Final: Seattle 2 - 0 Minnesota

         Seattle  Minnesota
Shots:      12        9
Saves:       3        4
Corners:     9        5
Fouls:      21        6
Offsides:    0        0

10' MIN - Tarley sent off for retaliating by kicking Edwards forcefully.
10' SEA - Edwards cautioned for tripping Tarley from behind.
14' SEA - Bolaņos cautioned for throwing an elbow.
45' MIN - Matteo cautioned for kicking the ball away after being called for a foul.
58' SEA - Velez cautioned for a tactical foul 2 yards outside the penalty area.
76' SEA - Jackson cautioned for fouling Matteo.
82' SEA - Sawatzky cautioned for a foul at the halfway line.

Referees: Ramon Hernandez; Jason Panos, Jeff Hosking; Calin Znamirovschi.
Attendance: 3,199