2009 Mar 28

Sounders are real

Seattle Sounders FC  2 - 0  Real Salt Lake

Qwest Field, Seattle, WA

17' SEA: Nate Jaqua (Steve Zakuani, Osvaldo Alonso)
77' SEA: Fredy Montero (Alonso)

Seattle: Kasey Keller; Zach Scott, Tyrone Marshall, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, James Riley; Steve Zakuani (Freddie Ljungberg 61'), Osvaldo Alonso, Brad Evans, Sebastien Le Toux (Roger Levesque 90'); Nate Jaqua (Nathan Sturgis 71'), Fredy Montero. Substitutes not used: Ben Dragavon, Patrick Ianni, Stephen King, Tyson Wahl.

Salt Lake: Nick Rimando; Chris Wingert, Nat Borchers, Jamison Olave, Tony Beltran (Raphael Cox 84'); Clint Mathis (Jean Alexandre 89'), Kyle Beckerman, Javier Morales, Will Johnson; Robbie Findley (Andy Williams 74'), Yura Movsisyan. Substitutes not used: Chris Seitz, Ned Grabavoy, David Horst, Tino Nunez.

Match report by Ron Stickney

In their second match, the Seattle Sounders FC continued to impress with a 2-0 win over Real Salt Lake. Salt Lake were playing their first match of the season after being the odd team out for First Kick weekend. Seattle goals came early from Nate Jaqua and late from Fredy Montero.

Seattle starters were the same as for match one, except that Steve Zakuani got the start at left midfielder with Sanna Nyassi injured, and Sebastien Le Toux switched to right midfielder. The defense stayed the same, and once again earned a shutout for goalkeeper Kasey Keller.

After rain all day and cold (39 degree F) weather, we were dressed for the worst, but a single rain frop fell on my notebook at the start of the match and there were no other raindrops.

Seattle threatened in the first ten minutes, but through balls by Montero, then James Riley were too strong and were claimed by goalkeeper Nick Rimando.

The first shot was Salt Lake's in the 12th minute, taken by Yura Movsisyan and comfortably pushed over the bar by Keller.

Seattle's first good chance came at 16' when Montero beat his man on the turn and had only Rimando to beat, but the shot at the near side was pushed wide by Rimando.

17' SEA: Jaqua (Zakuani, Alonso). From the center circle Osvaldo Alonso fed Steve Zakuani on the left to put him into the penalty area, and Zakuani earned the cross with a feint away from goal and a cut back towards the goal line, beating Tony Beltran badly. The cross went into the goal area, and Jaqua was unmarked on the middle of the 6-yard line to redirect it in. 1-0 Seattle.

The rest of the half was dominated by Seattle, who outshot Salt Lake 8-1 in the half, the Salt Lake shot coming in the 12th minute. On a Seattle attack at 25' Zakuani fed a short pass to Jaqua on another run up the middle, but with only Rimado to beat the goalkeeper collapsed to make the block save. On a broken play at 31 Jaqua saw a chance from 25 yards but drilled it a half yard over the top far corner.

Salt Lake threatened at 32' when Clint Mathis sent a rolling cross through the goal area from the right, but his nearest attacker was a half step away from catching it. The rest of the first half was uneventful except for Jamison Olave earning a yellow card for knocking Montero off the pitch in the 45th minute.

Halftime: Seattle 1 - 0 Salt Lake

Salt Lake coach Jason Kreis must have had a better halftime speech than Seattle coach Sigi Schmid, as Salt Lake would outshoot Seattle 10-4 in the second half, a reversal from 8-1 Seattle in the first half. But Seattle would come away with the only goal in the second half.

Shortly after intermission Keller had to come way out to make a block save on Movsisyan's shot, and the put-back shot by Mathis went a couple of yards wide of the far post. At 54' a Salt Lake free kick from distance was headed well over.

Seattle's first shot of the half came at 56' when a corner kick was headed well over by Zach Scott.

Seattle's Sebastien Le Toux had a golden opportunity in the 61st when he was served into the area by Zach Scott, but with only Rimando to beat Le Toux curled it a yard high and wide of the top far corner.

A roar from the crowd greeted Freddie Ljungberg when he entered at 61' for his first appearance of the season, a full month ahead of expectations after his hip surgery. Rookie Zakuani left the pitch to make way for Ljungberg, with Brad Evans moving to the wing to give Ljungberg the center. While Ljungberg did not create any scoring chances, he was effective at maintaining possession for Seattle.

The next 15 minutes were dominated by Salt Lake. From a broken corner kick play, Nat Borchers fired on goal from 20 yards, but Keller had it covered. After Seattle's defense gave the ball away at 67', Movsisyan was set up for a shot and bounced it onto the roof of the goal. At 73' a 30-yard blast from Kyle Beckerman missed a half yard wide.

Seattle coach Sigi Schmid showed good sportsmanship by sending in Nathan Sturgis for Nate Jaqua at 71'. Sturgis was an expansion draft choice for Seattle from Salt Lake. With Jaqua out, Le Toux moved up to forward.

77' SEA: Montero (Alonso). Fed by Alonso on a Seattle attack, Montero saw Rimando off his line and launched a diving shot from 25 yards that cleared Rimando and went into the top far corner. A half chance cashed in by Montero. 2-0 Seattle, and the fans got to see the new goal celebration that was forecast in the Seattle Times blog.

Four minutes later Montero tried another bomb, but it went well high and wide.

Sale Lake coach Jason Kreis showed sportsmanship by subbing in rookie Raphael Cox, out of Tacoma and the University of Washington, at 84'.

The only chance left in the match was a long try by Salt Lake defender Chris Wingert, not close.

Final: Seattle 2 - 0 Salt Lake

          SEA  RSL
Shots:     12   11
Saves:      5    2
Corners:    8   12
Fouls:     12   11
Offsides:   0    0

10' RSL: Beckerman cautioned for a tactical foul on Montero near the halfway line
21' SEA: Alonso cautioned for taking down Johnson
22' RSL: Morales cautioned for getting Alonso in an apparent payback
45' RSL: Olave cautioned for knocking Montero down from behind at the touch line

Referees: Baldomero Toledo; Darren Clark, Jeff Hosking; Yader Reyes

Attendance: 28,548

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