2009 Apr 4

Sounders silence Toronto FC and their fans

Toronto FC  0 - 2  Seattle Sounders FC

BMO Field, Toronto, ON

15' SEA: Freddie Ljungberg (Nate Jaqua)
45' SEA: Steve Zakuani (Jaqua)

Toronto: Greg Sutton; Jim Brennan, Adrian Serioux, Kevin Harmse, Marvel Wynne; Rohan Ricketts (Sam Cronin 46'), Carl Robinson, Amado Guevara, Dwayne Dr Rosario; Chad Barrett (Danny Dichio 55'), Pablo Vitti (Johann Smith 85'). Substitutes not used: Brian Edwards, Marco Velez, Fuad Ibrahim, Emmanuel Gomez.

Seattle: Kasey Keller; Zach Scott, Tyrone Marshall, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, James Riley; Steve Zakuani (Nathan Sturgis 79'), Osvaldo Alonso, Brad Evans, Sebastien Le Toux; Freddie Ljungberg (Sanna Nyassi 78'), Nate Jaqua. Substitutes not used: Ben Dragavon, Patrick Ianni, Tyson Wahl, Stephen King, Roger Levesque.

Match report by Ron Stickney

In their first road match, the Seattle Sounders FC silenced Toronto FC 2-0 with first goals of the season from designated player Freddie Ljungberg and number one draft pick Steve Zakuani. The Sounders also gave their home fans a gift by silencing the Toronto FC fans.

Kasey Keller had to make just two saves to keep his net clean for the third consecutive match. The last save late in the match was an amazing save. Much of the credit for the shutout goes to the four defenders and the defensive midfielder, Osvaldo Alonso.

Ljungberg got his first start, replacing Fredy Montero, who was reported to have stayed in Seattle with the flu. Other than that, the starters were the same as in the previous match at home against Real Salt Lake.

There was a strong, cold wind blowing during the first half. After winning the coin toss, the Sounders elected to face the wind in the first half.

Seattle got the shots in the opening 10-minute stretch. First it was Brad Evans trying to chip one backwards -- it went two yards wide. Osvaldo Alonso drove a shot from 25 that went two yards high.

Toronto's first shot came at 10' from Pablo Vitti, deflected wide by Alonso for a corner. Toronto almost got lucky when Chad Barrett blocked Jhon Kennedy Hurtado's attempted clearance from the penalty area; the rebound landed on top of the goal roof.

15' SEA: Ljungberg (Jaqua). On a Seattle counterattack, Ljungberg was fed the ball by Alonso just goal side of the center circle. He had space to carry it right up the middle, worked a textbook wall pass with Nate Jaqua on the right, and sprinted past Adrian Serioux to end up in on goal. From 15 yards Ljungberg put a low shot past goalkeeper Greg Sutton to the right side. 1-0 Seattle.

After Jaqua's try at a diving header from Sebastien Le Toux's cross went wide at 21', Toronto gained the monemtum for the rest of the half except for the last minute. Their first good chance came at 40' when good work by Toronto put a cross past the crowd in front of goal and into open space in front of Dwayne De Rosario. He appeared ready to bury a shot, but Le Toux slid in at the last moment to break up the shot and it went harmlessly wide for a goal kick. Barrett earned a dangerous shot up the middle from just outside the penalty area from a cleared Toronto corner kick, and Osvaldo was the man at the post who expertly cleared it.

45' SEA: Zakuani (Jaqua). After working up the right side from a throw-in play, Ljungberg in the right corner found Le Toux open in the corner of the penalty area. Le Toux quickly sent a square pass to the center. The ball ran to Jaqua, whose shot was immediately blocked, but the rebound came back and deflected into open space off Jaqua's leg. Zakuani was the garbage collector and ran onto the loose ball to fire it home right-footed before Sutton could get there. 2-0 Seattle, and you've got to love that smile that shows up when Zakuani is involved in a goal.

Halftime: Toronto 0 - 2 Seattle

Toronto brought in Sam Cronin for Rohan Ricketts at intermission, and Cronin soon earned a yellow card for sliding late under Zakuani. Danny Dichio came on for Barrett at 55' and would give Toronto some good chances.

Seattle had the best of the third quarter, earning a couple of headers. Tyrone Marshall got one from Le Toux's corner kick but mishit it wide. From James Riley's long free kick to the far side, Jaqua's header with velocity flashed inches wide of the far post. The Toronto FC crowd was subdued to the point that they were making the most noise when complaining about referee decisions.

Toronto's offense snapped to attention at 69' when Jim Brennan did well to earn a cross on the left and Vitti's header from 10 yards hit the top of the crossbar. From a 23-yard free kick, De Rosario's free kick cleared the wall and forced Keller's first save, a routine one. At 72' Toronto found the net, but only after Dichio was whistled for a foul on the setup.

Ljungberg went down in the penalty area after colliding feet with Serioux, who just barely beat Ljungberg to the ball. Ljungberg limped off the pitch for a few minutes, where the television reporters said he got hit with a full cup of beer. He returned to play a few more minutes.

Seattle's Ljungberg took a free kick from wide left at 76' forcing Sutton to save at the top near corner.

Toronto's best shot came at 78' when De Rosario's cross from the left went just over Dichio's head and was volleyed hard by Vitti on the far-post run. Keller made a great save with a dive left and an arm block, and Toronto had to settle for a corner.

The final minutes played out with just a couple of shots by Seattle and for Toronto a free kick chipped over the bar by Guevara.

Final: Toronto 0 - 2 Seattle

          TOR  SEA
Shots:     11   12
Saves:      2    2
Corners:    4    2
Fouls:      9    7
Offsides:   3    2

29' SEA: Hurtado cautioned for unsporting behavior after the ball was out for a goal kick
44' TOR: Brennan cautioned for a tactical foul on Ljungberg at the touch line
51' TOR: Cronin cautioned for sliding under Zakuani at the touch line
61' SEA: Riley cautioned for a late challenge on Guevara
86' SEA: Scott cautioned for a tactical foul on Dichio just outside the box

Referees: Mark Geiger; Greg Barkey, Joe Fletcher; Carol-Anne Chenard

Attendance: 20,658

Additional match reports: