2009 May 26

Sounders qualify for US Open Cup on Kevin Forrest's flying header

Seattle Sounders FC  1 - 0  Colorado Rapids

Starfire Sports Stadium, Tukwila, WA

61' SEA: Kevin Forrest (Roger Levesque)

Seattle: Kasey Keller; Tyson Wahl, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Patrick Ianni, Evan Brown; Kevin Forrest (James Riley 72'), Nathan Sturgis, Stephen King, Sanna Nyassi (Nate Jaqua 80'); Roger Levesque, Sebastien Le Toux. Substitutes not used: Ben Dragavon, Peter Vagenas, Brad Evans, Steve Zakuani, Fredy Montero.

Colorado: Preston Burpo; Ty Harden, Rob Valentino, Michael Holody, Kosuke Kimura; Ciaran O'Brien (Jordan Harvey 70'), Mehdi Ballouchy (Nick LaBrocca 46'), Terry Cooke, Jacob Peterson; Ross Schunk (Scott Palguta 70'), Gregory Richardson. Substitutes not used: Matt Pickens, Colin Clark, Ivan Guerrero, Omar Cummings.

Match report by Ron Stickney

A flying header by Kevin Forrest was the difference as the Seattle Sounders FC qualified for the US Open Cup with a 1-0 win at home over the Colorado Rapids. The two sides had drawn 2-2 three days earlier in Colorado in a league match. This was a hard-fought match. Nothing came easily.

Both sides started a lot of non-regulars, with Colorado starting four who have not played a minute this year in an MLS match: defenders Rob Valentino and Michael Holody, midfielder and local native Ciaran O'Brien, and forward Ross Schunk. Seattle started two who have not played an MLS match: defender Evan Brown and forward/midfielder Forrest. Seattle starters averaged 29 minutes per MLS match this year vs. 21 minutes for Colorado.

Colorado started two players who had played for the Sounders in past years, goalkeeper Preston Burpo and midfielder Ciaran O'Brien. A third player with Sounders experience came on as a substitution, defender Jordan Harvey.

After the defenses ruled the opening minutes, the first good chance was Colorado's at 9' when Terry Cooke shot up the middle from 20 yards, forcing a save by Kasey Keller.

In the 13th minute Seattle had three shots on goal in a few seconds. From a strong attack, Sebastien Le Toux laid the ball back to Sanna Nyassi for a shot up the middle from 20 yards and Preston Burpo was halfway out to block the shot wide for a great save. The immediate put-back shot from Roger Levesque was blocked by Burpo, who had recovered to get back near goal. Then Le Toux's immediate shot from the rebound was cleared by a defender near the far post. The ball was promptly sent back in for another shot by Le Toux, but this time it went well wide.

At 27' a cleared Seattle cross was fired up the middle from 20 yards by Nathan Sturgis but it went a yard wide.

For Colorado at 39' from a throw-in play, Gregory Richardson chest-trapped a ball near goal and turned to shoot, but skied it.

For Seattle at 40', Stephen King shot up the middle from 25 yards but right in the center to Burpo.

In the final seconds of a minute of added time at the end of the first half, Colorado's Jacob Peterson headed a corner kick just wide of the far post.

Seattle had taken 8 shots in the half and Colorado 5, but nothing came close other than Nyassi's saved shot and Peterson's near miss in the dying seconds.

Halftime: Seattle 0 - 0 Colorado

Colorado had the early chances in the second half. At 53' from the first corner kick of the half Ross Schunk was out from the near post to shoot just wide. At 56' Peterson tried a long header on goal, an easy save for Keller.

Seattle immediately came back with a Nyassi shot from 20 yards on the right that forced a diving save by Burpo at the near post.

For Colorado at 61', a diving header by O'Brien had only Keller to beat, but went a yard or two wide of the far post.

61' SEA: Forrest (Levesque). From Nyassi's throw-in near the flag on the right side, Levesque head-flicked the ball to the center of the 6-yard line, where Forrest met it with a flying header launched straight at goal. The shot beat Burpo low. 1-0 Seattle.

The next several minutes saw two more good chances for Seattle. A square cross was dummied by Levesque to give Nyassi a shot from just inside the area, but he bent it the wrong way under pressure. Le Toux was served on the front line and he laid the ball off for Levesque, who just missed the far post, but Burpo had the goal covered anyway.

After a few substitutions around 70 minutes, the Sounders were seeing more space up front because the Rapids were pushing forward looking for an equalizer. But the Sounders couldn't quite find a good shot.

Colorado had a burst of energy around 80 minutes, with Jordan Harvey volleying a clearance on goal up the middle from 20 yards, but it was aimed in the middle and right to Keller. At 86' Keller had to back-pedal to catch Richardson's looping header at the bar. Then at 87' Keller made the save of the match, flying left to catch Michael Holody's rocket that was launched from 20 yards and aimed at the top right corner. That was Colorado's best chance of the match, and their last chance.

Final: Seattle 1 - 0 Colorado

          SEA  COL
Shots:     12   14
Saves:      6    4
Corners:    5    6
Fouls:      4    7
Offsides:   4    8

78' COL: Harvey cautioned

Referees: Tony Russo; Mike Rottersman, Baboucarr Jallow; Josh Wilkins

Attendance: 4,007

Other match reports: