2005 Apr 17

Preseason match:
Seattle Sounders  4 - 1  WSSA U-23
Mount Vernon High School, Mount Vernon, WA

Seattle: Aron Hyde; Kevin Sakuda (CJ Klaas 59'), Dwayne Demmin, Ryan Edwards (Taylor Graham 45'), Scott Jenkins (Zach Scott 45'); Elliott Fauske, Chad Brown (Billy Sleeth 45'), Anthony Hudson, Andrew Gregor (Ben Somoza 45') Shawn Percell (Brent Whitfield 66'); Brett Wiesner.

U-23: Jimmy Ward; Skylar Nelson, Jacob Besagno, George Singh, Tim Tilbury (Juan Failardo 31'); Jakob Kayser, Ross Vaillancourt (El-Hadji Sow 45'), Casey Armstrong (Grant Sterlay 45'), Gavin Hobbs (Jesse Whellock 31'); Dayo Oyetuga (Jay Voss 31'), Ryan Hopp.

41' U-23 - Hopp
44' SEA - Gregor (PK)
55' SEA - Fauske (Hudson)
88' SEA - Somoza
90' SEA - Klaas (Sleeth)

Match report from the Sounders:

The Seattle Sounders traveled to Mt. Vernon High School for an exhibition match Sunday evening against the Washington State Soccer Association (WSSA) U-23 team and put on a great show for the local fans, punctuated by three second half goals, on their way to their first victory of the preseason.

Several members of the Sounders suited up for the short-handed U-23 squad, including Ryan Hopp, Skylar Nelson and Jacob Besagno, but the Sounders nonetheless dominated as they outshot the WSSA team 17-7.

The Sounders played a patient first half – moving the ball around calmly as they looked for the seams in the WSSA defense. Seattle’s tactics lead to several decent chances, but never tested WSSA goalkeeper Jimmy Ward until the 30th minute, when he sprawled to knock away a shot by Sounders forward Shawn Percell from 18 yards out. Though Seattle dominated possession in the first half, the WSSA team held firm defensively to keep the game scoreless.

Though the U-23 squad spent much of the first half chasing Seattle, their defensive determination paid off when they capitalized on a Sounders defensive miscue in the 41st minute. Midfielder Kevin Sakuda misplayed a back pass to his goalkeeper, which sent WSSA forward Ryan Hopp in alone on goal. Hopp coolly slotted his shot past 'keeper Aron Hyde and into the far corner to put the U-23 team ahead 1-0.

The Sounders responded less than three minutes later when Percell made a strong run into the box with the ball and was brought down by WSSA defender Jacob Besagno. Andrew Gregor buried the resulting penalty kick to tie the game at 1-1.

Ten minutes into the second half, Seattle broke the stalemate with a nicely worked goal. Sakuda sent in a nice cross, which was headed across goal by Percell. The ball quickly came back across and fell to midfielder Anthony Hudson, who laid it off for Elliott Fauske to stroke the ball in from 15 yards for a 2-1 Sounders lead.

The Sounders appeared to have the game in hand until a questionable decision by referee Jeff Hosking gave the WSSA team a chance to equalize. WSSA midfielder El-Hadji Sow made an excellent individual effort to get past two Sounders with the ball before going down in the box without any noticeable contact, and a penalty kick was awarded. Sow stepped up to take the penalty kick but was turned away by a superb save from Hyde, who dove low to his left to preserve the lead.

Seattle dominated the remainder of the match – demonstrated by two fine goals from midfielders Ben Somoza and C.J. Klaas. Somoza scored when he carried the ball unchallenged to the top of the 18-yard box before ripping a left-footed drive inside the far post for a 3-1 lead at the 88th minute.

Two minutes later, midfielder Billy Sleeth knocked down a ball for Klaas who hammered a half volley past Ward to ice the game.

53' U-23 - Singh cautioned
64' U-23 - Nelson cautioned
67' U-23 - Hobbs cautioned

Jeff Hosking