2007 Jun 7

Charleston Battery 1 - 2 Seattle Sounders
Blackbaud Stadium, Charleston, SC

Charleston: Dusty Hudock; Tim Karalexis, Chris Corcoran, Brandon Curran, Lee Sandwina (Michael Todd 67'); Luke Vercollone (Ian Bennett 59'), Lazo Alavanja, Gordon Chin (Mike Richardson 83'), Stephen Armstrong; Jordan Hughes (Aaron King 52'), Byron Alvarez. Substitutes not used: Keith Wiggans, Anthony Catalano, Armando Romero.

Seattle: Ben Dragavon; Noah Merl, Zach Scott, Jake Besagno; Danny Jackson, Kevin Sakuda, Josh Gardner (Andre Schmid 81'), Roger Levesque, Sebastien Le Toux; Greg Howes (Santa Maria Rivera 85'), Nate Knox (Kenji Treschuk 74'). Substitutes not used: none.

37' SEA: Knox
50' SEA: Howes (Sakuda)

73' CHA: Bennett (King)

Additional match reports: charleston.net, Battery, Sounders.

Match report by Ron Stickney, based on the webcast video:

The traveling Seattle Sounders caught the Charleston Battery on an off day and claimed a 2-1 win on the road. A first-half goal by Nate Knox and an early second-half goal by Greg Howes gave the Sounders a 2-0 lead, and they conceded only a single goal by Ian Bennett. Ben Dragavon earned the win in goal for the Sounders, as Chris Eylander was serving the back half of a two-match suspension. Losing in goal was ex-Sounder, from years ago, Dusty Hudock.

The first half was a rather lackluster performance by both sides in the 90 degree F heat, although the Sounders managed a goal. The Sounders had their first chance in the 4th minute with the ball loose by the Charleston right post, but they were unlucky to not get a shot before the ball was cleared. Howes took Seattle's first shot in the 11th from 20 yards and missed.

The match had a low foul count, with 17 minutes expiring before the second foul was whistled by referee Sandra Serafini.

Charleston defender Tim Karalexis had his side's first chances, heading a corner on goal in the 19th but too slowly, and a minute later heading a long free kick but missing the top far corner.

For Seattle, Sebastien Le Toux forced Hudock's first save, a routine one, midway in the half.

In the 24th for Charleston, Jordan Hughes from 25 yards sent a hard shot low to the right side, but Dragavon had it covered.

Then for Seattle Howes shot high from 20, and then Le Toux from a free kick play shot just inches over the bar from 25.

A Charleston corner kick was headed just wide of the far post in the 28th.

Then Seattle's promising attack gave Knox a good chance from 15 yards on the left, but it was not well struck and Hudock easily saved.

37' SEA: Knox. A ball served forward towards the penalty area couldn't quite be cleared by the Charleston defense, and Knox shouldered off a defender or two to win it and send it low past Hudock to the left corner. 1-0 Seattle.

Neither team could manage a good shot for the rest of the half.

Halftime: Charleston 0 - 1 Seattle

Two minutes into the second half, Charleston's Stephen Armstrong corkscrewed a nice shot a yard wide of the top far corner.

50' Howes (Sakuda). On a counterattack, a long outswinging cross from the right touch line by Kevin Sakuda found Howes' head at the center of the 6-yard line, and he flicked it on inside the far post. 2-0 Seattle.

Seattle continued to control the first 25 minutes of the second half. However, their only good chance was Knox' shot in the 69th bent at the top far corner, which Hudock comfortably saved.

Charleston meanwhile generated no good chances, but then they came to life when the tide turned at 70'. Gordon Chin sent a low screamer from the left side that just missed the far post. The Battery kept up the pressure and earned what seemed like an inevitable goal.

73' CHA: Bennett (King). A hard Charleston shot from the left side was blocked halfway there by their own man, Aaron King, but the rebound went to the right side for Bennett, who fired it inside the near post off the hand of Dragavon, who couldn't run the post to post route in time. 2-1 Seattle.

In the 78th, Charleston earned a dangerous free kick from the right edge of the penalty area and Armstrong hit the crossbar squarely near the top far corner, the ball rebounding harmlessly back into play. A minute later substitute Michael Todd shot from the 18, but right at Dragavon. Bennett tried a quick shot from 18 but was well wide.

In the 85th Charleston nearly pulled level when Byron Alvarez' corner kick was headed by King sharply at the far post, but Dragavon made an amazing save. King from the 18 on the left sent a low shot inches wide of the far post. Substitute Mike Richardson's shot a minute later from the same place deflected dangerously off a defender but Dragavon made the save.

Four minutes were added, and the only danger was a hard cross that Dragavon dove to snare near the near post.

Final: Charleston 1 - 2 Seattle

        Charleston   Seattle
Shots:       19        12
Saves:        4         6
Corners:      5         3
Fouls:       10        11
Offsides:     1         6

33' SEA: Knox cautioned
45' SEA: Howes cautioned
55' SEA: Scott cautioned
60' CHA: Sandwina cautioned
82' SEA: Dragavon cautioned for wasting time
90' CHA: Curran cautioned

Referees: Sandra Serafini; Alan Schechtman, Bob Wern; Richard Turpin

Attendance: 3,660