2007 Jul 3

Rochester Raging Rhinos 0 - 1 Seattle Sounders
PAETEC Park, Rochester, NY

Rochester: Chase Harrison; Kenney Bertz, Chris Aloisi, Tenywa Bonseu, Scott Palguta; Josh Bolton (Rey Angel Martinez 66'), Aaran Lines, Kevin Burns, Johnny Menyongar; Matthew Delicāte (Mike Ambersley 37'), Hamed Diallo (Danny Kramer 75'). Substitutes not used: Hector Zapata, Jason Perry, PJ Scheufele, Stephen Shirley-Black.

Seattle: Chris Eylander; Noah Merl, Zach Scott, Jake Besagno, Kenji Treschuk; Kevin Sakuda (Andre Schmid 85'), Hugo Alcaraz-Cuellar (Taylor Graham 77'), Josh Gardner (Santa Maria Rivera 66'), Roger Levesque; Sebastien Le Toux, Greg Howes. Substitutes not used: Ben Dragavon, Adam West, Gabe Sturm.

71' SEA: Le Toux (Scott)

Additional match reports: Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, Sports & Leisure Magazine, Rhinos, Sounders.

Match report by Ron Stickney, based on the web broadcast:

The Seattle Sounders picked up a big 3 points on the road with a 1-0 win over the Rochester Raging Rhinos. Sebastien Le Toux's goal in the second half stood up as Chris Eylander made some brilliant saves down the stretch, including a saved penalty kick. Newly returned Taylor Graham, who was league Defender of the Year with the Sounders in 2005, entered in the second half for his first minutes.

Seattle started with a 4-4-2 lineup, Le Toux and Greg Howes up front and Kenji Treschuk as center back.

First Half

Seattle nearly nicked a goal in the opening minute when a strong attack ended with a ball chipped to the top left corner of the goal area for Le Toux. It was a 50-50 ball for goalkeeper Chase Harrison and Le Toux, and Le Toux almost got a clean volley, but he was called for a foul that could have been let go as Harrison cleared the ball. There would not be many fouls in the half, just 2 more for Seattle and only one for Rochester.

Seattle soon had another good chance from a Hugo Alcaraz-Cuellar corner kick, but Treschuk couldn't quite get the header aimed under the bar.

Rochester's first good shot came at 6' when Chris Aloisi fired a rocket shot from 35 yards, and Eylander had to concentrate to make the save without giving up a rebound. A minute later John Ball shot nicely from 25 yards on the right with a Sounders defender screening Eylander from seeing it, and it skipped by a yard from the far post.

At 18' a nice through ball from Alcaraz-Cuellar was put in front of an open Le Toux, but Harrison came surprisingly far out of his area to slide in and clear it in a great play.

Back the other way, a dangerous cross by Ball from the right corner cleared Eylander and almost found its way under the bar, but it hooked away.

Midway in the half Le Toux's cross to Josh Gardner in the penalty area on the left gave him a right-footed shot, but he wasted it high. Le Toux next gave Howes a good chance from 15 yards up the middle with a no-look backwards pass, but Howes shot a half yard over the bar.

The other way, Johnny Menyongar tried from 20 but he sent it way too high.

It was injury time in the 34th minute when a diagonal air ball crossed into the Seattle penalty area became a 50-50 ball for forward Matthew Delicāte and defender Zach Scott. They banged heads, each trying to head the ball with force. Both went down, dazed, as the ball went out for a corner kick. Delicāte got the worst of it, leaving with a bloody mouth to be taken to the hospital for x-rays. Scott returned to the pitch after awhile to finish the match. Mike Ambersley would soon enter to replace Delicāte. It was reported after the match that Delicāte suffered a broken jaw.

The next chance was Rochester's, when a corner kick in the 37th was played back from near goal to give Tenywa Bonseu a 15-yard shot, but he wasted it high.

The last two chances of the half were Seattle's. Alcaraz-Cuellar's corner kick had to be saved at the bar with a maximum leap back and up by Harrison. A pass forward to the front line gave Roger Levesque a header from 18 yards, but it was an easy save for Harrison.

Halftime: Rochester 0 - 0 Seattle

Just as in the first half, Le Toux opened the half with a good chance, this time served all alone by a nice cross by Gardner to the spot, but le Toux couldn't manage a good shot and sent it well wide.

The back and forth continued with Ball working the ball past 2 defenders for a 25-yard shot up the middle, but it didn't have enough pace and was a yard wide.

Gardner made a nice move in the 56th to earn a left-footed shot from the 18, his good foot, but it was yards too high.

A minute later it was Ambersley for Rochester working left to right across the top of the box for a shot that went just a half yard over the top near corner.

A minute later for Seattle Gardner's quick shot at the bar from the left forced Harrison to backpedal and make the save at the goal plane.

Rochester came right back with a chance as a cross bounced dangerously through the goal area with Eylander collapsing, but nobody could quite reach it to finish it.

Then Le Toux was quickly pushing the ball up the right touch line to earn a cross that a defender could only clear to the 18, giving Alcaraz-Cuellar a chance, and his shot to the lower left corner was well saved by Harrison with a dive.

For Rochester at 70', Rey Angel Martinez was only in the match 2 minutes when he faked a shot at the arc and cut back for a good shot at the near post from 15 yards, and Eylander dove to push it wide.

71' Le Toux (Scott). A very long ball from Scott over the defense seemed too far for Le Toux to win, but Harrison was punished for being too lackadaisical waiting for the ball as Le Toux got there to pressure Harrison just outside the penalty area and won what suddenly became a 50-50 ball. Le Toux played the ball outside Harrison and then passed accurately into the open goal from a steep angle. 1-0 Seattle.

Then Eylander went to work. Right after the kickoff Ball took a 25-yard hard shot up the middle that glanced off a defender's hip, changing direction towards goal. Eylander brilliantly dove roght to knock it clear with his arm and a defender put the leftovers out conceding a corner. In the next minute Hamed Diallo headed a corner kick nicely on goal from the penalty spot and Eylander turned in another big diving save.

Graham came on for his first minute of the current Sounders season in the 77th, replacing Alcaraz-Cuellar who had played a fine match but seemed to be tiring.

Ball ripped yet another 25-yard blast at goal, but this time it deflected off his own teammate, Martinez, and out for a goal kick.

At 79' the Sounders got that sinking feeling when out at the right edge of the penalty area Levesque was a half step late chasing a ball and charged into Ball's back. On contact, Ball went down like a U-7 player and the referee awarded the penalty kick. Seattle nemesis Menyongar took the PK and aimed it just inside the right post, but Eylander got there in full stretch to push all of the ball wide and over the touch line. The Sounders had dodged a bullet.

Seattle was in a 4-5-1 defensive posture for the rest of the match and managed to prevent any more good shots by Rochester. Seattle had a chance in the final minute to double their score when substitute Andre Schmid worked to keep possession and, after getting the ball back from Le Toux, crossed to the far post to a wide open Treschuk. Just 12 yards out with a lot of open target, Treschuk ought to have put a shot on goal but he sent it over the bar.

Final: Rochester 0 - 1 Seattle

         Rochester   Seattle
Shots:       17        15
Saves:        6         6
Corners:      8         6
Fouls:        8        14
Offsides:     2         3

65' ROC: Menyongar cautioned
83' SEA: Scott cautioned
86' ROC: Aloisi cautioned for sliding under Rivera late

Referees: Niko Bratsis; Daniel Roark, Franco Bevilacqua; Scott Boniface

Attendance: 7,856