2008 Jul 26

Seattle Sounders  1 - 0  Charleston Battery
Starfire Sports Complex, Tukwila, WA

Seattle: Chris Eylander; Taylor Graham, Danny Jackson, Kevin Sakuda, Zach Scott; Michael Rodríguez, Youssouf Kante (John Fishbaugher 76'), Josh Gardner, Leighton O'Brien (Noah Merl 83'); Jason Cascio (Nik Besagno 80'), Sébastien Le Toux. Substitutes not used: Ben Dragavon, Hugo Alcaraz-Cuellar, Andre Schmid, Craig Tomlinson.

Charleston: Dusty Hudock; Nelson Akwari, Tim Velten (Kevin Nylen 86'), Marco Reda (Domenic Cianciarulo 85'), John Wilson; Stephen Armstrong, David Kenga (Aaron King 68'), Osvaldo Alonso, Chris Williams (Darren Spicer 76'); Ian Fuller, Randi Patterson. Substitutes not used: Keith Wiggans, Mike Richardson, Chris Corcoran.

58' SEA: Le Toux

Additional match reports: Seattle Times, Sounders, Battery, Prost Amerika.
Photos: Rick Morrison.
Player Ratings: Seattle Soccer Show.

Match report from Ron Stickney:

The Seattle Sounders claimed a home 1-0 win over the first-place Charleston Battery. Sébastien Le Toux scored the lone goal in the second half. Seattle's regular defenders were all playing and did a fine job to help Chris Eylander earn the shutout.

Charleston's best chance of the match came on their first shot, in the 6th minute, when David Kenga on the left was open on an attack and put a good shot off the wrong side of the near post. Two minutes later, from a free kick play, Stephen Armstrong's shot was probably going to go just wide of the far post but Eylander flew left to pull it down to be sure.

Seattle's first chance came in the 10th when a ball deflected by Le Toux gave the onrushing Jason Cascio a chance, but he couldn't get much power on the shot and Dusty Hudock went down to deflect it wide. Seattle controlled the rest of the first half with stifling defense, but they couldn't manage much offense. Zach Scott did get a header from a short corner kick play but sent it over the bar. Josh Gardner took three shots, the best one a right-footed shot from 23 yards that was well saved by Hudock.

It was Gardner again at the start of the second half, working a give and go with Le Toux for an excellent chance open on the left, but he shot wide of the near post when he ought to have done better.

58' Le Toux. Kevin Sakuda's cross from the right after a nice build-up was knocked down in the box by a defender, but it went to Le Toux 15 yards from goal. Le Toux shot nicely to the top right corner for the goal. 1-0 Seattle.

The next chance was for Seattle's Youssouf Kante, who was fed on the right side for a shot from the 18, but he drilled it a yard over the top near corner.

Seattle's defense continued to deny Charleston good looks at goal throughout the second half. After a defender slipped at the left touch line at 66', Danny Jackson tracked down the attacker just before he could shoot 10 yards from goal. The next chance didn't come until the 80th minute, when Armstrong's turn and shoot from 20 yards missed by yards.

Then Seattle's Leighton O'Brien made a run into the penalty area for a shot while closely marked, but Hudock had it covered. In the 90th minute Le Toux blocked a Hudock attempted clearance and almost got lucky, but the rebound missed the goal by a few yards.

Charleston pressed hard in added time, but their only chance was a header from a corner kick that went well wide.

Seattle substitute Noah Merl put a nice shot into the net near time that would have iced the match, but he was flagged offside in what must have been a close call.

The same two sides will meet in a US Open Cup semifinal in Charleston on Aug 12. Let's hope that Seattle's defenders stay healthy for that match.

          Seattle   Charleston
Shots:       12         7
Saves:        3         5
Corners:      6         3
Fouls:        7        11
Offsides:     3         8

26' SEA: Jackson cautioned
31' SEA: Gardner cautioned
70' SEA: Sakuda cautioned
87' CHA: Cianciarulo cautioned

Referees: Ben Chouaf; Mark Matthews, Kevin O'Daniel; Raymond Moffatte Jr.

Attendance: 3,174