2008 May 18

Seattle Sounders  4 - 2  Atlanta Silverbacks
Starfire Sports Complex, Tukwila, WA

Seattle: Chris Eylander; Danny Jackson, Taylor Graham, Zach Scott, Kevin Sakuda; Kenji Treschuk (Noah Merl 79'), Leighton O'Brien, Youssouf Kante (John Fishbaugher 24'), Josh Gardner; Roger Levesque (Jason Cascio 74'), Sebastien Le Toux. Substitutes not used: Ben Dragavon, Adam West, Andre Schmid, Craig Tomlinson.

Atlanta: Felipe Quintero; Justin Moore (Zach Kirby 45'), David Hayes, Matt Bobo, Martyn Lancaster; Scott Buete, Rodrigo Ríos (Josh Bolton 45'), Tony McManus; Jason McLaughlin, Ansu Toure (Blake Camp 79'), Macoumba Kandji (Jerson Monteiro 71'). Substitutes not used: Ryan McIntosh, Nathan Knox.

2' SEA: Le Toux (Kante)

25' ATL: McLaughlin (Bobo)
35' SEA: Gardner
36' ATL: Toure (Kandji)
50' SEA: O'Brien (PK)
70' SEA: Gardner

Additional match reports: Seattle Times, Seattle P-I, Sounders, Silverbacks.

Match report from Ron Stickney:

The year's first warm spell in Seattle seemed to bring the Sounders offense out of hibernation. They scored four goals in a 4-2 win over the Atlanta Silverbacks at Starfire Sports Complex. First-half goals by Sounders Sebastien Le Toux and Josh Gardner were answered by goals from Jason McLaughlin and Ansu Toure. Leighton O'Brien's second-half penalty kick was the match winner, and Gardner added his second of the night as an insurance goal.

First Half

2' SEA: Le Toux (Kante). It took only slightly over a minute for Le Toux to find the net. On the attack, the Sounders worked the ball to Youssouf Kante on the right side, and he worked free to send a pass ahead into the penalty area for Le Toux. A defender seemed to break up the play, but the ball deflected into open space towards the goal line. Le Toux pounced on it and capitalized with a low, hard shot past goalkeeper Felipe Quintero. 1-0 Seattle.

The next minute Seattle goalkeeper Chris Eylander had to dive to save a shot that deflected off a defender's head.

Kante took a knock in the 21st minute while attacking from the right. He beat a couple of defenders and entered the penalty area going straight at goal, but he touched the ball too far and it turned into a 50-50 ball that Quintero won as the two collided. A couple of minutes later Kante went to the bench, replaced by John Fishbaugher.

25' ATL: McLaughlin (Bobo). Matt Bobo's long service to the penalty spot found McLaughlin's head, and the shot went in off Eylander's hands. 1-1.

For Seattle in the 29th, Gardner chipped a nice ball into the penalty area for Roger Levesque, who found an opening for a shot but bent it the wrong way a yard from the top far corner.

A poor Seattle clearance gave McLaughlin a shot up the middle from the top of the arc, but it went right to Eylander in the middle of his line.

From a broken Seattle corner kick play, Zach Scott headed a pass towards goal and Taylor Graham tried to redirect it in from two yards but sent it wide. He was left holding his head.

Then it was Atlanta's Toure holding his head after catching Eylander in no man's land and chipping his shot onto the roof.

35' SEA: Gardner. Gardner was served a nice, square cross in the penalty area, and his blasted shot was blocked by Quintero. However, the rebound hit Gardner hard and rebounded into the empty net. 2-1 Seattle.

36' ATL: Toure (Kandji). From the right side, Macoumba Kandji's cross along the 18 yard line to the middle was struck first time by Toure, and the low shot beat Eylander. 2-2.

The Sounders seemed to have a goal in the 38th when Scott outleaped Quintero to win a corner kick and put it in front of the goal mouth where it was finished by Danny Jackson, but Scott was whistled for charging the keeper.

Quintero took a knock in the 43rd when he had to leap to push Gardner's long free kick over the bar and hit the post hard in the process. After a couple of minutes he resumed play.

Halftime: Seattle 2-2 Atlanta

50' SEA: O'Brien. Zach Kirby entered for Atlanta at intermission and was gone before playing 3 minutes. He was caught elbowing Le Toux in the nose when the two were going after a Kevin Sakuda cross in front of goal. Le Toux left for a few minutes having his bloody nose attended to. O'Brien stepped up to take the penalty kick and sent it to the lower left corner as Quintero guessed the wrong way. 3-2 Seattle.

Four minutes later Atlanta threatened to tie it up again with a header at the top far corner by Bobo from a corner kick, but Jason Fishbaugher, who was manning the post, rose to head it away. Soon after that McLaughlin from 25 yards bent a shot around the far post, missing by inches. Scott Buete corkscrewed a 20-yard shot a yard over the bar after a nice build-up.

70' SEA: Gardner. Le Toux beat Quintero to a ball near the left side of the penalty area and sent an arial cross to the center of the 6-yard line, where Levesque banged heads with a defender as they fought for the ball. The ball deflected away from goal and right to Gardner 15 yards from goal, and his shot found the still empty net. 4-2 Seattle.

The last two chances were for Seattle's rookies, Jason Cascio and Fishbaugher. Cascio's shot went just wide of the near post, and Fishbaugher lost a good chance when his first touch on Le Toux's cross was too strong, sendng the ball ahead to Quintero.

Final: Seattle 4-2 Atlanta

          Seattle   Atlanta
Shots:       15        15
Saves:        5         5
Corners:      6         6
Fouls:       10         7
Offsides:     5         1

48' ATL: Kirby sent off for an elbow to Le Toux's nose
71' ATL: Quintero cautioned

Referees: Alejandro Mariscal; Jeff Hosking, Mike Rottersman; Scott Lawrence

Attendance: 1,927