2005 May 14

Seattle Sounders  1 - 0  Charleston Battery
Qwest Field, Seattle, WA

Seattle: Preston Burpo; Taylor Graham, Zach Scott, Billy Sleeth (Gabe Sturm 63'), Ryan Edwards; Kevin Sakuda, CJ Klaas, Scott Jenkins, Brent Whitfield (Ben Somoza 67'); Roger Levesque (Brett Wiesner 90'), Welton (Franklin Chacon 79'). Substitutes not used: James Ward, Jake Besagno, Josh Hansen.

Charleston: Chris Doyle; Tim Karalexis, Jason Kutney (Ben Hollingsworth 51'), Alan Woods, Ted Chronopoulos; Justin Evans, Andres Perez (Josh Smith 54'), Lazo Alavanja, Kevin Jackson (Alon Lubezky 72'); Usiel Vasquez (Thabiso Khumalo 54'), Greg Simmonds. Substitutes not used: Mike Behonik, Gabe Bernstein, Chris Goos.

67' SEA - Whitfield

Additional match reports: Seattle Times, Sounders, Battery.

Match report by Ron Stickney:

Rookie Brent Whitfield's second-half goal, the first of his professional career, was the lone goal as the host Seattle Sounders claimed their first win of the season, besting the Charleston Battery 1-0. In goal, Preston Burpo earned his second shutout to keep his goals against average a perfect 0.00.

First Half

Usiel Vasquez had a great chance for Charleston in just the 2nd minute when three Sounders defenders could not reach a nice through ball headed up the middle by Greg Simmonds, and Vasquez blasted a shot from the 18 yard line. Burpo, who was well off his line, parried the shot overhead and collected the leftovers at the end line wide of goal.

In the 8th, Seattle's first corner kick, taken by CJ Klaas, found Ryan Edwards' head but the shot was well over the bar.

Charleston's Greg Simmonds was well offside when he got to a ball first to chip it over Burpo into the post, crashing into Burpo with the follow-through, and Simmonds was rewarded with a caution.

Klaas' free kick from the top left corner of the penalty area went low to Chris Doyle for his first save.

Doyle would make good choices throughout the match. In the 21st, he was out to the 18 to claim a ball that Billy Sleeth tried to put through for Welton. Klaas tried a low shot from 25 and Doyle had it covered.

With his back to goal in the 27th, Simmonds tried an artiful chip over his head but was a yard wide of goal, and Burpo was there anyway.

For Seattle, Scott Jenkins' deep throw-in was popped up off Taylor Graham's head and headed hard on goal by Roger Levesque, but again Doyle was right where he needed to be. A Klaas corner kick in the 30th was headed into the underside of the crossbar by Edwards in Seattle's best shot of the half, and Doyle tracked down the rebound. Seattle made it four shots in four minutes as Klaas sprung Whitfield on the right, but his first touch was too far and Doyle slid out to block the shot, yielding a corner. Klaas took the corner and this time it was a shot from Edwards' foot, but it went wide.

Charleston threatened when Simmonds beat Graham on the left, carried into the area, held, and fed Vasquez, but Edwards was there to prevent a good shot.

In the 38th Whitfield showed nice control, switching the ball to his left foot and blasting a shot from 15 yards out that would have found the top far corner if not for an acrobatic leap and push over the bar by Doyle. Levesque sprung Welton to the arc and Doyle again made a good choice, sliding out to block the shot. In the final minute, Klaas worked a nice give and go with Welton that nearly had Klaas free in the area, but he was bumped just enough to cause a stumble and Doyle got the ball.

Halftime: Seattle 0-0 Charleston

Seattle had the first chance in the second half when Jenkins might have been trying to cross from the left edge of the area, but it went straight to Doyle.

Burpo punched away a Charleston cross in the 63rd and Kevin Jackson ended up with a chance from steep on the right with Burpo down and out of goal, but Burpo recovered just in time to kick the shot out for a corner.

Seattle Sweeper Taylor Graham was all the way to the opposite end line on the overlap, and in close to goal, but his dropped cross was within Doyle's reach.

67' Whitfield. Welton was served nicely by Klaas on a run into the penalty area from the left and he drew attention before dropping a nicely paced cross into the path of substitute Gabe Sturm, charging in unmarked. It looked like Sturm miskicked the ball, but it went to Whitfield near the top right corner of the goal area and his shot was parried by a diving Doyle. The rebound went to Whitfield and his putback shot hit the ceiling just behind the crossbar. 1-0 Seattle.

The offenses went silent for 12 minutes, then Charleston's Simmonds created his own chance by eluding two defenders to get close on the right, but his shot hit the outside of the net.

Charleston had two good chances left. In the 88th, Justin Evans chipped back in a ball cleared from in front of goal on a throw-in play, but the shot cleared the bar. 4 minutes of stoppage time gave substitute Alon Lubezky a header from a long cross, but it missed well wide.

Final: Seattle 1-0 Charleston

          Seattle  Charleston
Shots:      13        10
Saves:       2         8
Corners:    11         6
Fouls:      12        16
Offsides:    2         5

13' CHA - Simmonds cautioned for crashing into Burpo to get a ball while well offside
16' CHA - Kutney cautioned for tripping Scott just over the halfway line
56' SEA - Sakuda cautioned for a cleats-first tackle at the halfway line

Referees: Elias Bazikis; Fredrick Mabbott, Brian Armes; Mark Matthews

Attendance: 2,007