2011 Jul 26

Sounders lose opening match in 2011 CONCACAF Champions League campaign, but only 1-0

San Francisco FC  1 - 0  Seattle Sounders FC

Estadio Nacional Rommel Fernandez, Panama City, Panama

28' SF: Roberto Brown (PK)

San Francisco: Eric Hugues; Rolando Algandona, Martin Gomez, Luis Felipe Olivardia, Roberto Chen; Manuel Torres, Eybir Bonaga, Eduardo Jimenez (Edgardo Panezo 44'), Amir Waite, Johann De Avila (Jose Garces 71'), Roberto Brown (Jefrey Diaz 80').
Substitutes not used: Miguel Torres, Freddy Arizala, Jose Pimentel, Pedro Jeanine, Alexis Gondola.

Seattle: Kasey Keller; James Riley, Jeff Parke, Patrick Ianni, Leo Gonzalez; Mauro Rosales, Osvaldo Alonso, Erik Friberg (Pat Noonan 75'), Lamar Neagle (Alvaro Fernandez 59'); Fredy Montero, Roger Levesque (Mike Fucito 59').
Substitutes not used: Josh Ford, Zach Scott, Servando Carrasco, Nate Jaqua.

Match report from Ron Stickney:

The Seattle Sounders FC traveled 3500 miles to open their 2011 CONCACAF Champions League campaign in Panama City, losing 1-0 to San Francisco FC. The match was the first of a home and home series to play into the group stage. San Francisco's goal came from a penalty kick by Roberto Brown.

The Sounders looked better the whole match, but not good enough to win. They were unfortunate to give up a goal on a defensive mistake.

In just the second minute Seattle had their first chance, given a 25-yard free kick up the middle, but Fredy Montero wasted it when he hit it right into the wall. The next good chance came at 6' when Roger Levesque's short pass gave Osvaldo Alonso a 23-yard shot up the middle, but he hit it a yard high. The third chance came at 13' when Erik Friberg's cross to the far side gave Montero an open header that could have been sent on goal but was sent just wide of the near post.

The Guatemalan referee, David Espaņa, was quick to the whistle throughout the match, calling 13 fouls in the first 17 minutes, many of which would not normally be called in a U-10 match.

San Francisco's first shot came at 26', a long try by Eduardo Jimenez, comfortably saved at the top corner by Kasey Keller.

28' SF: Brown (PK). San Francisco was awarded a penalty kick after Seattle center back Jeff Parke first turned the ball over with an errant pass out of the back, then missed the tackle in the penalty area, slipping down and inadvertently hitting the ball with his hand. It was a fairly innocent handling, but it did rob the ball from Roberto Brown, who would have had the ball looking at goal. Brown took the penalty kick, sending it to the right while Keller dove the other way. 1-0 San Francisco.

Seattle had a couple of chances left in the half. First, a long cross had to be tipped over the bar by goalkeeper Eric Hugues to prevent a goal. Then a Mauro Rosales cross to the far post gave Lamar Neagle a header, but he sent it a yard over the top near corner.

To open the second half, Alonso got a left-footed chance from the top of the arc but hit it a few yards wide.

San Francisco came back with a counterattack, crossing for a header from in front of goal that went softly to Keller.

The other way, Montero was fed by Levesque for a quick shot and just missed the near post.

For San Francisco, Martin Gomez took a 30-yard free kick and wasted it into the wall.

Twenty minutes went by before the next chance, and from a long San Francisco free kick the ball was crossed by substitute Jose Garces for Amir Waite's low shot at the far side, saved by Keller on the line.

Seattle came closest at 84' when Rosales' cross to the back post was headed off the far post by substitute Pat Noonan. The rebound went to substitute Alvaro Fernandez, but Hugues was out to block the put-back shot.

A minute later the other way, a cross past the far post was shot at the near post by Rolando Algandona, and Keller was down for the save. At 89' Garces' shot was deflected, but right to Keller.

Seattle had a chance in added time when substitute Mike Fucito got close to goal from a throw-in play and his shot in front of goal was returned to him by a defender, and from the ground his shot missed wide of the near post.

The second leg will be played in Seattle on Aug 3, with the Sounders needing to win by two goals. A 1-0 win by the Sounders would force extra time.

           SF   SEA
Shots:      8   11
Saves:      3    5
Corners:    2    2
Fouls:     14   21
Offsides:   4    0

17' SF: Brown cautioned for deliberate handling
25' SEA: Riley cautioned
70' SEA: Alonso cautioned for a tactical foul on Waite
73' SF: Panezo cautioned for an elbow on Rosales
78' SEA: Fernandez cautioned for a trip from behind

Referees: David Espaņa (Guatemala); Ronaldo de la Cruz, Cesar Ruano; Oscar Reyna

Attendance: 700

Postmatch Quotes

Seattle Sounders FC

Sigi Schmid - Sounders FC Head Coach

General comments: "It's 1-0 at halftime. It's important for us to come back and win this thing at home and it's great preparation for the MLS playoffs. We have got to show our ability to come back and score some goals."

On team offense: "We had a lot of good chances, Noonan's header off the post. Good effort. Flaco came in the left side and I think he did good. Fucito obviously off the throw-in. But also on the other side they had a couple of chances late."

On conceding penalty kick goal: "Our back four was completely in disarray so then they throw the ball in there, Parke makes a tackle with his hand, the ball probably slipped underneath him. We had a handball as well in the box that he doesn't call. It was more of a volley ball type of play but obviously that's going to happen sometimes."

On training schedule: "We have had a lot of days off. When you really look at it after the Colorado game we haven't had much of what I would call real, real training in the last eight days and I just think it's tough to maintain the rhythm. But I also think ... we knew this was the one window where we could get a break. Now we have to get a good training session in Houston on Thursday and play better."

Kasey Keller - Goalkeeper

General comments: "He finished it well ... Yeah, it's frustrating. Like you said, I wasn't extremely busy. I had a couple saves in the second half when we were obviously pushing to get a goal - that would've been bad to go 2-nil down ... I feel confident for when we get back to Seattle."

On the days prior to game: "That [the travel] was probably more of the issue than the days off because we trained before we left on Saturday and training was good. Then we travel and get stuck in the Houston airport for an extra four hours, on the plane, off the plane. It was a bit of a disaster. Those things happen as far as travel."

Pat Noonan - Forward

General comments: "Frustrating. We had our chances. We played well defensively and we made a mistake and they made us pay for it. We had our chances. Fortunately for us we are at halftime. We are very confident we are going to go in and get the result back in Seattle ... We are still very confident."

On his header that hit the post: "I didn't know if I got enough curl onto it. It looked like it was kind of coming back but just didn't have enough. Flaco was in a good position but I think the ball bounced up to his stomach. It's just kind of the way it has gone for the past week but luckily it's only been a week and hopefully we can turn things around up in Houston and then focus on the second half of this series and getting the result."