2007 Jul 12

Seattle Sounders 1 - 0 Vancouver Whitecaps
Qwest Field, Seattle, WA

Seattle: Chris Eylander; Danny Jackson, Taylor Graham, Noah Merl; Kevin Sakuda, Kenji Treschuk, Leighton O'Brien (Roger Levesque 60'), Hugo Alcaraz-Cuellar, Josh Gardner (Gabe Sturm 87'); Greg Howes (Andre Schmid 83'), Sebastien Le Toux. Substitutes not used: Ben Dragavon, Jake Besagno, Santa Maria Rivera, Nathan Knox.

Vancouver: Richard Goddard; Adrian Cann (Dave Morris 83'), Steve Klein, Diaz Kambere, Geordie Lyall (Lyle Martin 66', Jay Alberts 85'); Jeff Clarke, Martin Nash, Steve Kindel, Tony Donatelli; Dave Testo (Jason Jordan 59'), Joey Gjertsen (Jason McLaughlin 59'). Substitutes not used: Lutz Pfannenstiel, Alfredo Valente.

24' SEA: Le Toux (Sakuda)

Additional match reports: Seattle Times, Seattle P-I, GOALSeattle.com, Sounders, Whitecaps.
Match photos: GOALSeattle.com, Chuckarelei.

Match report by Ron Stickney:

With both sides in prevent mode, the Seattle Sounders at home earned a 1-0 win over the Vancouver Whitecaps thanks to another skillful goal by Sebastien Le Toux and another fine shutout by Chris Eylander. With the win, the Sounders pulled a point ahead of the Whitecaps for top of the league table in points.

This was the first league match of the year for newly signed defender Taylor Graham and the first match back for English defender Danny Jackson after securing his green card. Defender Zach Scott sat out the match due to yellow card accumulation.

Seattle played a 3-5-2 lineup, with Jackson sweeping and Noah Merl at right back and Graham at left back. Kevin Sakuda and rookie Kenji Treschuk were tucked in as defensive midfielders.

First Half

The first shot came from Vancouver's Jeff Clarke in the 4th minute from 25 yards, and he was not close.

The first foul came in the same minute when Vancouver's Diaz Kambere took down Josh Gardner at the top left corner of the penalty area, but the resulting free kick was not executed well.

The first of just 9 fouls by Seattle came in the 9th minute courtesy of Treschuk.

The first shot on goal came at 17' when Vancouver's Geordie Lyall from 35 yards fired a laser right at Eylander for the first save.

Four minutes later Hugo Alcaraz-Cuellar headed Gardner's long cross towards the close post, forcing Richard Goddard's first save.

24' SEA: Le Toux (Sakuda). Sakuda's air ball to the halfway line was a 50-50 ball for Le Toux and his marker Kambere, and Le Toux won the air battle to claim the ball a half step clear. By the time he got to the 18-yard line Le Toux was 2 steps ahead. Goddard came out and stayed up, so Le Toux took one more touch to get Goddard to go down, then Le Toux shot perfectly over Goddard and into the empty goal with 2 defenders breathing down his back. 1-0 Seattle. It was Le Toux's 5th goal of the season, and every one has come with goose eggs on the scoreboard.

Vancouver responded 2 minutes later with a rocket from Tony Donatelli up the middle from 25 yards aimed inside the right post, and Eylander turned in an excellent diving save to push it wide. At 32' Martin Nash tried from 25 yards but the shot was too slow and wide, and Nash waved off his effort. Joey Gjertsen rolled a shot up the middle from 25 yards in the 40th, and Eylander got down for the save. The last good shot of the half came when Nash served Clarke on a diagonal run at goal for a try over Eylander from 12 yards, but it cleared the bar by a yard.

Halftime: Seattle 1 - 0 Vancouver

First shot of the second half came from Vancouver's Donatelli, rolling it 2 yards wide from 20.

The next chance waited until 56' when Seattle's Alcaraz-Cuellar served a hospital ball into the penalty area that Le Toux volleyed wide just before being slammed down by Goddard.

After several substitutions the next half-good chance finally came at 72' when Seattle's Gardner earned a shot from 20 yards and fired it a half yard over the top near corner with Goddard well positioned for a save if necessary. Next chance was Graham's when he headed a long Gardner free kick a few yards wide.

The first truly worthy effort of the half came at 81' when Vancouver substitute Lyle Martin shot from the top right corner of the penalty area towards the far post, and Eylander saved it with a dive.

Seattle came right back when Greg Howes beat his marker for a 20-yard shot up the middle, but it was low enough for a good save by Goddard.

The last decent chance came for Vancouver when substitute Jason Jordan got a 15-yard quick chance from a ball suddenly popped forward into the area, but he shot 2 yards over the top near corner.

In the end, it was the defenses that ruled the day, and a skillful effort by Le Toux for the lone goal made the difference in the match.

Final: Seattle 1 - 0 Vancouver

          Seattle   Vancouver
Shots:        9        11
Saves:        6         2
Corners:      7         2
Fouls:        9        11
Offsides:     7         2

26' VAN: Lyall cautioned for chopping down Graham at the touch line
50' SEA: Treschuk cautioned for a tactical foul after losing possession
63' SEA: Howes cautioned for delaying a Vancouver free kick
75' VAN: Donatelli cautioned for knocking Treschuk down in the circle

Referees: Colin Arblaster; Cory Dean, Jesse Scrimsher; Josh Wilkins

Attendance: 2,263