2009 Jun 28

Jaqua and Montero power Sounders to convincing win over Colorado Rapids

Seattle Sounders FC  3 - 0  Colorado Rapids

Qwest Field, Seattle, WA

23' SEA: Fredy Montero (Nate Jaqua, Freddie Ljungberg)
48' SEA: Jaqua (Montero)
68' SEA: Jaqua (Montero, Sebastien Le Toux)

Seattle: Kasey Keller; Tyson Wahl, Tyrone Marshall, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, James Riley; Freddie Ljungberg (Peter Vagenas 87'), Osvaldo Alonso (Patrick Ianni 39'), Brad Evans, Sanna Nyassi (Sebastien Le Toux 67'); Nate Jaqua, Fredy Montero. Substitutes not used: Terry Boss, Nathan Sturgis, Peter Vagenas, Stephen King, Roger Levesque.

Colorado: Matt Pickens; Jordan Harvey, Cory Gibbs, Scott Palguta, Ugo Ihemelu (Kosuke Kimura 83'); Colin Clark, Mehdi Ballouchy, Pablo Mastroeni (Greg Dalby 72'), Nick LaBrocca (Jacob Peterson 65'); Pat Noonan, Omar Cummings. Substitutes not used: Preston Burpo, Terry Cooke, Ross Schunk, Rob Valentino.

Match report by Ron Stickney

Nate Jaqua and Fredy Montero ruled the pitch, leading the host Seattle Sounders FC to a 3-0 win over the Colorado Rapids. The pair of strikers each had the last or next to last touch on every goal, Montero with the match winner in the first half and Jaqua icing it with a brace in the second half.

With Steve Zakuani and Sebastien Le Toux recovering from ankle injuries, Freddie Ljungberg lined up as the left midfielder, doing a fine job of playing where needed most. Sanna Nyassi got the start at right mid.

The Rapids were without forward Conor Casey, who was with the USA national team for the Confederations Cup.

The Sounders opened up additional sections for the match, and fans responded with a record crowd of 32,526.

It was Nyassi with the first shot of the match just 2 minutes in, shooting wide of a guarded near post.

For a change, the Sounders had luck on their side, obvious when Pat Noonan was allowed to get through on the right to go 1 v 1 with goalkeeper Kasey Keller, but Noonan touched it too far, allowing Keller to get out to cover all angles and make a block save. Pablo Mastroeni was next with a shot, powering a cleared ball from 35 yards and missing high by a yard.

At 13' Seattle had the ball close to goal when an attempted clearance hit Jaqua in the chest a few yards from goal, but the rebound was within goalkeeper Matt Pickens' reach a yard from goal.

23' SEA: Montero (Jaqua, Ljungberg). Seattle earned their third corner kick of the match when Nyassi pressured a defender into a turnover deep on the right side. Ljungberg's corner kick found Jaqua on a near-post run, and Jaqua headed sharply at the far post. There was a defender at that post, but Montero got there first to redirect the ball into the net. 1-0 Seattle on Montero's fourth goal in four matches.

The Rapids came back with good attempts, first a shot from the right by Ugo Ihemelu to Keller's midsection, then a 25-yarder from Mehdi Ballouchy a few yards over the bar.

At 28' a Ljungberg free kick from a distance on the left had to be touched over at the bar by Pickens.

Colorado's best chance in this match was a gimme, a penalty kick. It started with a foul by Tyrone Marshall just above the right corner of the penalty area. On the free kick, Alonso was in the wall and leaped up, tucking his arms in at his chest to protect himself from a ball that would have hit inches below his face. No referee in their right mind would give a penalty kick on that, but assistant referee Emiliano Monje did, and center referee Alex Prus honored Monje's call. After much protesting from Keller and James Riley, Omar Cummings stepped up at 35' to take the PK and bounced it off the top of the right post, and a defender cleared the rebound out for a corner that led only to a Colorado foul. Apparently the soccer gods felt that the PK was not deserved.

Seattle's Alonso went down injured at 39' and had to be replaced. It was a sign of Seattle's depth to look at the bench and not care whether the replacement was Peter Vagenas, Nathan Sturgis, Stephen King, or Patrick Ianni. All would have been capable choices, and it was Ianni who got the coach's nod.

Halftime: Seattle 1 - 0 Colorado

48' SEA: Jaqua (Montero). Seattle capitalized on their first chance of the second half. It was an incredible goal. Taking a throw-in from Riley, Jaqua beat four defenders in succession in tight quarters to lay off a short pass to Montero at the center of the 18-yard line. Montero gave the ball right back and Jaqua beat one more defender to earn the shot, then beat the charging Pickens by putting a shot over Pickens' foot and inside the far post. 2-0 Seattle after Jaqua beat half of the opposing team.

Ex-Sounder (by loan) Jordan Harvey was up at 53' for a promising shot from the left, but it was blocked wide by Jhon Kennedy Hurtado.

68' SEA: Jaqua (Montero, Le Toux). After a series of chances was finally broken up by Montero defending in his own penalty area, Seattle went on the counterattack. Montero went end to end and was in the Colorado penalty area to redirect Le Toux's feed pass to an open Jaqua charging in from the left. Jaqua fired hard into the top near corner to finish. 3-0 Seattle from the Sounders' second shot of the half.

Ljungberg had a good chance at 73', taking a pass from Nyassi and beating several defenders to carry the ball up the middle into the area, but Ljungberg's last touch was too much and Pickens slid out for the block save.

If you watch the match from a recording, listen at 76' for the pure and loud call-response from the fans, with the Emerald City Supporters calling "Seattle" and the rest of the fans answering "Sounders." Great stuff.

Colorado's first shot of the second half waited until the 80th minute, with Colin Clark missing the far post from wide left.

Jaqua had a golden opportunity for a hat trick when he was sprung cleanly up the middle, but he touched it too far and Pickens slid out for the block save. A rebound was given up and claimed by Le Toux, whose shot couldn't beat substitute Kosuke Kimura halfway to goal.

In the 90th minute Colorado had a perfect chance when substitute Jacob Peterson's square pass found Cummings open at the spot with only Keller to beat, but on this day Cummings could not score from the spot and he wasted the chance over the bar.

One last chance came for a Jaqua hat trick when he beat Pickens and a defender at the top of the penalty area and looked ready to fire into an empty net, but the defender poked the ball away just before Jaqua could shoot.

Final: Seattle 3 - 0 Colorado

          SEA  COL
Shots:      8   14
Saves:      2    2
Corners:    5    5
Fouls:     11   16
Offsides:   2    0

17' COL: Ihemelu cautioned for a late foul on Ljungberg
19' SEA: Ljungberg cautioned for delaying a restart
29' COL: Mastroeni cautioned for pulling down Jaqua
41' COL: Palguta cautioned for a late foul on Ljungberg
71' SEA: Evans cautioned for a foul in the air

Referees: Alex Prus; Emiliano Monje, Jeff Hosking; Mike Rottersman

Attendance: 32,526 (Sounders record for a league match)

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