2007 Jun 15

Carolina RailHawks 0 - 1 Seattle Sounders
SAS Soccer Park, Cary, NC

Carolina: Chris McClellan; David Stokes, Frankie Sanfillipo, Chad Dombrowski, Caleb Norkus (Phillip Long 87'); Stuart Brightwell (Marcio Leite 76'), Kupono Low, Johnny Steele, Joey Worthen (Santiago Fusilier 69'); Connally Edozien (Chris Carrieri 62'), Anthony Maher. Substitutes not used: John O'Hara, Jon Caldwell.

Seattle: Chris Eylander; Noah Merl, Jake Besagno, Zach Scott; Danny Jackson, Kevin Sakuda, Roger Levesque, Josh Gardner (Santa Maria Rivera 80'), Greg Howes; Sebastien Le Toux (Craig Tomlinson 90'), Nate Knox (Kenji Treschuk 28'). Substitutes not used: Ben Dragavon, Gabe Sturm.

35' SEA: Le Toux (Jackson)

Additional match reports: RailHawks, Sounders, Cary News.

Match report from Ron Stickney, based on the Fox Soccer Channel broadcast:

The Seattle Sounders claimed a 1-0 road win over the Carolina RailHawks with Sebastien Le Toux's goal in the first half. Le Toux also scored the lone goal when the RailHawks visited the Sounders the previous month, making the result from the home and away season series Le Toux 2-0 RailHawks. For goalkeeper Chris Eylander, it was his second consecutive shutout.

The match was broadcast live on Fox Soccer Channel, and in the brief pre-match comments Sounders coach Brian Schmetzer said his team would try to defend well and when the opportunity presented nick a goal. That is exactly what happened!

First Half

The Sounders had a scare in the opening minute, as the dangerous Connelly Edozien (about a goal per match recently) won a loose ball at the top of the arc and stepped ahead for a shot at the lower right corner, which goalkeeper Eylander managed to push wide.

Then it was Seattle's turn in the 5th minute, as Le Toux caught up to a ball at the bye line and dropped a diagonal ball for Josh Gardner near the near post, but a defender got there to deflect Gardner's shot wide for a corner.

Joey Worthen then stepped up for Carolina. His long, low try in the 12th was on goal but an easy save for Eylander. Another long try by Worthen missed by a yard. In the 21st Worthen sent a dangerous ball from a steep angle across the top of the goal, but it bent away and over the touch line. Continuing the pressure in the 24th, Connally Edozien from 15 yards headed a cross powerfully towards the top of the goal and Eylander played it safe by palming the shot over the bar.

After weathering the storm for 25 minutes the Sounders emerged on offense in the 25th minute when Kevin Sakuda nicely dummied a long diagonal ball to give Le Toux an 18-yard shot up the middle, which he bent away from the far post, missing by a yard. Very soon Le Toux had another chance, beating the offside trap for a 15-yarder up the middle that was sent right at goalkeeper Chris McClellan.

35' Le Toux (Jackson). Le Toux's third time was a charm. A bad Carolina pass near the halfway line was headed by Danny Jackson, playing as a midfielder this match, over the offside line towards the Carolina goal. The ball was perfect for Le Toux, on a diagonal run from the center towards the right. Le Toux got the ball a step ahead of the defense and deftly chipped his shot over the charging McClellan into the net. 1-0 Seattle.

For Carolina, Kupono Low netted a nice shot powered under the bar in the 43rd, but the potential assist came from Anthony Maher who was flagged for being offside. No goal.

For Seattle, Jackson's shot up the middle was deflected and on goal, but McClellan made an easy save.

In the final minute of the half for Carolina, Maher headed a shot on goal but he was well pressured and couldn't get enough mustard on the shot, which Eylander saved comfortably.

Halftime: Carolina 0 - 1 Seattle

Seattle had early chances to open the second half. Gardner tried for a goal with a long free kick up the middle in the 46th minute, but missed the post by a half yard. A better chance came when Roger Levesque was all alone, gifted with a really bad turnover in Carolina's end, and when he tried to touch it past the charging McClellan the goalkeeper managed to push it wide giving his defense a chance to recover and stifle the threat.

Carolina's first good chance of the second half came at 52' when Worthen shot high from 25 yards up the middle, but he might have done better by passing either left or right to seemingly open teammates. Next was Johnny Steele in the 65th, a long try from the left touch line, hooking sharply but in the end a manageable save for Eylander. Then Low got close on the left for a dangerous cross into the goal area, but Eylander dove out and snared it.

For Seattle in the 71st, Gardner tried a left-footed shot from 18 on the left and missed the near post.

For Carolina in the 73rd, a long free kick by Low was headed on goal by Dombrowski and Eylander dove forward to gobble it up.

In the 74th Seattle seemed like they would get an insurance goal. Le Toux got the ball in the middle, then he served it right for Levesque, who drew two defenders. Levesque passed back to Le Toux, who had plenty of open goal available but sent his first-touch shot just wide of the near post and ended up lying on the pitch face down, holding his head in disappointment. The disappointment would last only 15 minutes.

It was mostly Carolina in the final minutes. In the 78th, Maher dropped a nice ball for substitute Marcio Leite, but the 20-yard shot was wasted well wide.

Next chance was for Seattle's Le Toux again in the 86th when he touched a ball past McClellan and had an open goal ahead, but the defender managed to knock the ball over the end line for a corner. Seattle tried to kill time on the corner kick but gave it away on an offside call.

The final minutes saw three last chances for Carolina. Steele took a dangerous 25-yard free kick, but wasted it two yards over the bar. Substitute Chris Carrieri got open for a promising chance from 20 yards, but missed the top far corner by a yard. Substitute Santiago Fusilier got another 20-yard chance but bent it badly the wrong way.

Final: Carolina 0 - 1 Seattle

          Carolina   Seattle
Shots:       16         9
Saves:        5         7
Corners:      5         6
Fouls:       13        15
Offsides:     2         5

22' SEA: Jackson cautioned
45' CAR: Norkus cautioned
55' CAR: Steele (Fusilier?) cautioned
66' SEA: Levesque cautioned
73' SEA: Treschuk cautioned
81' CAR: Maher cautioned

Referees: Hilario Grajeda; Kim Oberle, Robert Ellyson; Mark Kadlecik

Attendance: 5,739