2004 Jul 4

Minnesota Thunder 3 - 0 Seattle Sounders
James Griffin Stadium, St. Paul, Minnesota

35' MIN - Branan (Ferruzzi)
50' MIN - Matteo
89' MIN - Tenoff (Alberts)

Minnesota: Joe Warren; Dustin Branan, Brent Jacquette, Brian Roberts; Jay Alberts, Marco Ferruzzi (Godfrey Tenoff 72'), Kevin Friedland, Freddy Juarez, Jeffrey Matteo (Christopher Voernkamp 89'); David Castellanos (Aaron Paye 87'), Melvin Tarley (Amos Magee 78').

Seattle: Preston Burpo; Danny Jackson, Marco Velez, Ryan Edwards (Scott Jenkins 75'); Jason Farrell, Sean Henderson, Sean-Michael Callahan (Kyle Smith 75'), Viet Nguyen (Craig Tomlinson 53'), Jonathan Bolaņos; Welton, Roger Levesque.

Match report from the Sounders:

Frustrated by their opponent's strong defense, as well as the officials, the Seattle Sounders dropped a, 3-0, decision to the Minnesota Thunder in A-League action Sunday at Griffin Stadium. With the loss, the Sounders once again find themselves under .500 at 6-7-2.

Entering the match Minnesota (7-4-3) had scored only 12 goals in 13 games, but two of those markers had come against Seattle in a, 2-1, win on June 12th. In fact, since that game, the Thunder had been blanked in three straight A-League contests. They ended that scoreless streak with a goal in the 35th minute. Dustin Branan headed in Marco Ferruzzi's corner kick from the right flagstick from six yards.

Early in the second half Seattle fell behind, 2-0, on a controversial goal. The official along the left touchline threw up his flag to indicate offside on Minnesota. Thunder midfielder Jeff Matteo continued after a ball into the penaltly box and blasted it past 'keeper Preston Burpo, who had stopped play because of the offside flag. The Sounders protested the goal to no avail, earning two yellow cards for dissent. After a discussion with the official who threw up the offside flag the referee allowed the goal to stand.

Down two goals Seattle could not mount much of an attack as the Thunder challenged them for every ball. Finally in the 90th minute Minnesota's Godfrey Tenoff put the finishing touch on the Thunder win with his first goal of the season.

After four straight matches on the road, and 8 of their past 11 away from home, the Sounders return to Seattle Wednesday to host the Edmonton Aviators at Qwest Field.

Match report from the Minnesota Thunder:

ST PAUL, MN -- Three different Thunder players scored as Minnesota defeated the Seattle Sounders at James Griffin Stadium in St. Paul 3-0.

The win moves the Thunder into a second place tie in the A-League Western Conference with the Portland Timbers (24 points) and within striking distance of the first-place Vancouver Whitecaps (25 points).

The three-goal game is the first of the year for the Thunder, who have struggled to put the ball in the back of the net. Defender Dustin Branan and midfielder Godfrey Tenoff scored their first goals of the year, while Jeff Matteo scored his second in 2004.

Thunder head coach Buzz Lagos was pleased with his team's performance.

"It was a good win for our team. To shut a team out and then score three goals, the first game of the season in which we've scored three goals, picks our spirits up," said Lagos, "Dustin Branan's been so close so many times. Jeff Matteo hadn't scored since early in the season. Godfrey Tenoff had six or seven goals last year and hadn't scored yet and he also picks up a goal. All that helps your team's confidence and their enthusiasm."

Seattle controlled the ball and the pace of the game early, earning six corners in the first 25 minutes of play. They were unable to generate any solid shots on goal, however.

"Seattle's a strong, physical team and they're tough," said coach Lagos of the first 30 minutes of play, "They come at you really hard and if you're not sharp and playing quick, you're in trouble. We had to weather the storm. We handled their corner kicks, their set pieces and really didn't give them a great opportunity to score, but it was dangerous."

The Thunder's first goal was created when Jeff Matteo hit a free kick 30 yards from goal on the right side of the field. His shot on goal caught Seattle goalkeeper Preston Burpo off of his goal line. Burpo quickly back peddled and tipped the ball over the Seattle cross bar. On the ensuing corner kick Thunder midfielder Marco Ferruzzi hit a well-driven, curling ball from the left side of the field. Branan jumped over the Seattle defense and from six yards re-directed the ball into the far right side of the goal past a helpless Burpo.

The Sounders' best chance to score in the half came just before the halftime whistle when defender Marco Velez chested down a loose ball just inside the goal box to midfielder Jonathon Balaņos who hit a first time shot over the Thunder goal.

The Thunder scored quickly in the second half when Jeff Matteo corralled a loose ball 20 yards from the Seattle goal in the 50th minute. As he turned toward the goal he seemed to trip, but Matteo gathered himself and the ball and slid past two Seattle defenders before slotting a quick shot into the goal past a charging Burpo.

The Thunder controlled much of the play throughout the second half, easily knocking passes through the midfield.

Seattle had an excellent chance to get on the board in the 86th minute when second half substitute Craig Tominson broke broke free past the Thunder defense down the left side of the field. It seemed as though Tomlinson would go unchallenged towards goalkeeper Joe Warren, but Brian Roberts used his speed to track Tomlinson down and knock the ball out of bounds before he could get a shot off.

Godfrey Tenoff put the exclamation point on the victory in the 89th minute of play. Tenoff was able to score his goal after a great effort by Thunder substitute Aaron Paye to keep the ball in bounds on the Seattle end line. Payed gave the ball to midfielder Amos Magee in the deep right corner of the field, who fed a pass backwards to Jay Alberts who drove a ball across the goal box to a wide open Godfrey Tenoff. Tenoff brought the ball under control with his first touch and then slid the ball past a diving Burpo to put the Thunder up 3-0. Tenoff's goal would prove to be the last of the game.

        Minnesota  Seattle
Shots:       7        7
Saves:       2        1
Corners:     4        9
Fouls:      13       12
Offsides:    2        0

17' SEA - Jackson cautioned.
37' SEA - Levesque cautioned.
50' SEA - Burpo cautioned.
50' SEA - Henderson cautioned.
60' SEA - Edwards cautioned.

Referees: Harlan Mathews; Sja Rahimi, Troy Cohrs; Mishaun Ahmad.
Attendance: 2,604