2006 Apr 23

Minnesota Thunder  4 - 0  Seattle Sounders
James Griffin Stadium, St Paul, MN

Minnesota: Joe Warren; Zafer Kilickan (Brian Kallman 83'), Brett Branan, Dustin Branan, Kevin Friedland; Mike Wilson, Chris Brisson, Leo Gibson (Aaron Paye 24'), Kiki Lara (Terry Alvino 65'); Melvin Tarley, Nathan Knox (Tyrone Gordon 78').

Seattle: David Mahoney; Seyi Abolaji (Santa Maria Rivera 89'), Kevin Sakuda, Noah Merl (Craig Tomlinson 63'), Gabe Sturm (Jacob Besagno 78'); Ben Somoza, Nate Boyden, Leighton O'Brien, Cam Weaver; Roger Levesque (Jake Sagare 75'), Jamal Sutton.

14' MIN - Tarley (Knox)
15' MIN - Gibson
74' MIN - Alvino (Knox)
86' MIN - Paye (Alvino)

Additional match reports: Seattle Times

Match report from the Thunder:

The Minnesota Thunder started its new era on the best note possible on Sunday. First-year head coach Amos Magee picked up his first career win as the Thunder beat the Seattle Sounders 4-0 at James Griffin Stadium.

Approximately 4,811 fans turned out to see the Thunder (1-0) in its home opener on a perfect 70 degree day. The match was a complimentary game used as a charity event for the United Way and Thunder P.L.U.S.

It was an impressive win for the Thunder, as the Sounders (0-1) are the defending USL First Division Champions.

Melvin Tarley scored the first goal of the 2006 season in the 14th minute when he took a pass from Nathan Knox inside the 18-yard box and fired past Seattle keeper David Mahoney to the near side of the goal.

One minute later the Thunder took a 2-0 lead on an unassisted goal by Leo Gibson. Mahoney got caught out of place on a Seattle defense back pass, and Gibson got behind the defense and beat Mahoney to score on an open net.

In the second half, new Thunder player Terry Alvino scored his first career goal in the 74th after Knox slotted him the ball through the Sounders defense. Alvino's shot sailed to the left corner of the goal to put Minnesota up 3-0.

Forward Aaron Paye finished up the Thunder scoring in the 86th minute, as he dribbled down the left wing and chipped the ball past Mahoney.

An improved Thunder defense directed by Dustin Branan allowed few Seattle scoring opportunities, as goalkeeper Joe Warren only needed to make one save to earn a shutout.

"It was a dream debut," Magee said. "It was a gorgeous afternoon with a packed stadium and enthusiastic crowd and our team comes out and plays very well against the defending champions.

"We got goals from four different people, and thatís the way you envision it in your mind. As good as we were defensively, we were dynamic at the right moments on offense."

Match report from the Sounders:

The defending USL First Division Champion Seattle Sounders, playing without four or five starters due to injury or suspension, opened their 2006 campaign with a 4-0 loss to the Thunder at James Griffin Stadium in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Due to injuries and suspensions, the Sounders' roster included a handful of new and young faces. Because of injuries the Sounders played without key veterans: forward Maikel Galindo (hamstring), midfielder Andrew Gregor (groin), defender Danny Jackson (knee) and defender Zach Scott (foot).

Seattle midfielder C.J. Klaas was unavailable for Sunday's match, serving a one game suspension for a red card ejection in the 2005 USL First Division Championship match in October, 2005.

The Thunder jumped out to an early lead, as Minnesota's Melvin Tarley scored in the 14th minute. Just a minute later the Thunder scored again to take a commanding 2-0 lead early in the match.

In the second half the Thunder maintained their offensive pressure scoring again in the 74th and 86th minutes.

The Sounders only took six shots in the match.

With a few weeks until their next USL First Division match, the Sounders (0-1-0, 0 pts) host the Thunder (1-0-0, 3 pts) in their 2006 home opener on May 13th at Qwest Field, 7pm. The Sounders are expecting Galindo, Jackson, Gregor and Scott to return for the club's first home match.

         Minnesota  Seattle
Shots:       7         6
Saves:       1         1
Corners:     1         3
Fouls:      10         6
Offsides:    3         0

67' SEA - Abolaji cautioned
68' MIN - Friedland cautioned
75' SEA - O'Brien cautioned

Referees: Dion Tetting; Troy Cohrs, William Garner; Mishaun Ahmad

Attendance: 4,811