2005 Jun 29

US Open Cup, 2nd round:
Seattle Sounders  3 - 1  Salinas Valley Samba

Starfire Sports Complex, Tukwila, WA

Seattle: Preston Burpo; Taylor Graham, Zach Scott (Welton 69'), Billy Sleeth, Gabe Sturm; Kevin Sakuda, CJ Klaas, Ben Somoza (Brent Whitfield 46'), Franklin Chacon; Andrew Gregor (Roger Levesque 60'), Brett Wiesner (Jake Besagno 80'). Substitutes not used: James Ward, Josh Hansen.

Salinas Valley: Christian Materazzi; Nate Northup, Nick Lackey, Tommy Hernandez, Erick Supnet; Lee Pricer (Stephan Wondolowski 73'), Joel Sanchez (David Frank 66'), Mark Hogenhout, Jeffrey Stepan (Nick Kowba 82'); Ismael Ibarra, Adam Smarte (Ram Ananda 62'). Substitutes not used: Matt Biggam, Mike Bielski.

51' SV - Smarte (Stepan)
65' SEA - Whitfield (Sleeth)
75' SEA - Levesque (Whitfield)
90' SEA - Whitfield (Levesque)

Additional match reports: Seattle P-I, Seattle Times, Sounders.

Match report by Ron Stickney:

In the second round of the US Open Cup, the host Seattle Sounders defeated the Salinas Valley Samba 3-1, but the Sounders had to come from behind in the second half to do it. Salinas Valley's Adam Smarte opened the scoring early in the second half and for the next 14 minutes the underdogs looked like they were in control of the match. Rookie Brent Whitfield made the difference for Seattle, scoring the equalizer, assisting Roger Levesque for the go-ahead goal, and scoring the clincher in the closing seconds.

The Salinas Valley Samba play in the National Premier Soccer League, a highly competitive amateur league. On paper, this was the biggest mismatch of the 2005 Open Cup. An upset by Salinas Valley would have been the upset of the tournament, and for those 14 minutes it looked like a fair possibility.

For the Sounders, Andrew Gregor saw his first action since his broken foot suffered at the end of the preseason. Zach Scott also returned to action from the injured list. Both players would limp off before the full 90.

First Half

Gregor was involved in early chances for Seattle. He took the first shot, a 40-yard try well over the bar. A long free kick from CJ Klaas found Gregor's head near the far post, but Gregor flicked it wide of goal.

Salinas Valley's first shot came in the 13th minute from a throw-in play when the ball was loose along the 6-yard line. Lee Pricer ran at goal to chest the ball before goalkeeper Preston Burpo could reach it, but the shot went wide.

Set plays gave Seattle good chances in the 15th. Gregor was tripped at the right edge of the penalty area, and the resultant free kick was headed down at goal by sweeper Taylor Graham, forcing goalkeeper Christian Materazzi to deflect it wide for a corner kick. The resultant corner kick gave Graham another headed shot from near the near post that shook the crossbar, bounced down to Graham's foot, and was shot onto the bar again. Materazzi made a great parry save in the 18th when Franklin Chacon's cross was powered on goal by Klaas from 18 yards.

Next to rattle the woodwork was Kevin Sakuda in the 38th with a 30-yard shot up the middle that froze Materazzi, hit the left post hard, rebounded across the goal mouth, and went out for a goal kick.

For the Samba a minute later, Jeffrey Stepan earned a shot from the top of the arc but missed a yard high.

The Sounders hit the woodwork yet again when a Gregor through ball set up Brett Wiesner for a promising shot that hit the other post at the top corner and went out for a goal kick. One of the fans remarked that perhaps the Sounders had earned a new automobile, referring to the usual halftime contest where a fan can win one by hitting both posts and the bar with three shots from the top of the arc.

A minute later the Sounders netted the ball when Graham finished a Gregor free kick, but there was assistant referee Ryan Reich standing like a statue with his flag pointing straight up, signalling Graham offside.

For Salinas Valley in the 45th, Olympia native and ex-Husky Mark Hogenhout tried a 25-yard shot up the middle that went a yard high. Just before the half ended Ismael Ibarra's 25-yard free kick was just an inch over the bar.

The Sounders had outplayed the Samba in the half, 10 shots to 4, but the Samba kept the scoreboard empty with the help of the 3 extra players, Post, Post and Crossbar.

Halftime: Seattle 0-0 Salinas Valley

51' Smarte (Stepan). The Samba opened the scoring on a play started with Hogenhout's corner kick. Defender Graham popped the corner kick high in the air and when it came down in a crowd, Stepan managed to play it in front of goal. Smarte stepped up and found himself on the doorstep with only Burpo to beat, and he finished past Burpo into the far corner. 1-0 Salinas Valley.

Seattle tried with a 25-yard shot by Chacon that was bent inches over the bar, then a 25-yard free kick by Gregor that was a routine save for Materazzi.

65' Whitfield (Sleeth). On a Seattle attack, Billy Sleeth beat several defenders on his way into the penalty area from the top right. Sleeth sent a short pass goalward to Whitfield, who first-timed a shot low past Materazzi and in, kissing the base of the far post. 1-1.

75' Levesque (Whitfield). A Chacon cross from the left curled nicely to Whitfield on the 6-yard line out from the far post. Whitfield headed it down in front of goal for Levesque, who put a soft 4-yard shot past Materazzi. 2-1 Seattle.

The tide stayed Seattle's way for the rest of the match. Soon after the restart Levesque got a through ball and shot from just outside the right post, and Materazzi deflected it out for a corner. From the Klaas corner kick, Graham powered a 15-yard header on goal and Materazzi dove sideways to push it wide for another corner. Welton found a path into the penalty area for a low, open shot at the near side, and Materazzi deflected it wide for a corner. An air ball served to the penalty spot rattled through to Welton alone for a 10-yard shot, but he shanked it when he ought to have shot on goal.

Four minutes of stoppage time were added, and Salinas Valley pressured Seattle's goal looking for an equalizer, but Seattle's defense prevented any good shots.

90' Whitfield (Levesque). Seconds before the final whistle was to sound, a Seattle throw-in from Chacon was won in the penalty area by Levesque, who turned toward the bye line and rolled a nice diagonal pass in front of goal for Whitfield, who ran between a pair of defenders to finish from 6 yards.

Final: Seattle 3-1 Salinas Valley

          Seattle  Salinas Valley
Shots:      20         8
Saves:       1         8
Corners:     5         3
Fouls:      11        22
Offsides:    9         2

45' SEA - Burpo cautioned for kicking the ball into the stands before a Salinas Valley free kick

Referees: Jeff Hosking; Ryan Reich, Pam Davis; Will Niccolls

Attendance: 650