Seattle: Hudock; James, McNiel, Jenkins, Watson; Aunger, Hoggan, Stoddard (Kinoshita 30), Gelvezon (Barton 70); Gailey, Adair.
Vancouver: Dolan; Berg, Rattee (I. Clarke 15), Sumner, Dailly; Franks, Dalrymple, Evans, Muirhead (C. Clarke 70); Mobilio (Keay 78), Kusch.
Cautions: Kusch (V), Watson (S), Jenkins (S)
Shots: Seattle 12, Vancouver 15
Saves: Hudock 3, Dolan 5
Corners: Seattle 4, Vancouver 5
Fouls: Seattle 18, Vancouver 10
Offside: Seattle 0, Vancouver 2
Referee: Oscar Meier Attendance: 2,186
In a battle for first place, the Seattle Sounders took a 1-0 first half lead over the Vancouver Eight-Sixers from ex-86er Geoff Aunger's goal. Vancouver tied it up on Chris Clarke's header 15 minutes from time, then Seattle's Mike Gailey headed in the winner from Aunger's cross with 4 minutes left. The win on this sunny Seattle afternoon qualified the Sounders for this year's US Open Cup tournament along with the California Jaguars of the A-League's Pacific Division.
Both teams put a 4-4-2 lineup on the field with both midfields rich in players noted for their defensive skills.
Paul Gelvezon took Seattle's first shot in the 4th minute, a hopeful header from fullback Scott Jenkin's feed, easily caught by 86er Paul Dolan for the save. Gailey earned a header from another Jenkins cross, but the ball bounced right into Dolan's breadbasket.
Chris Franks took the first Vancouver shot at 10', a 35-yarder way over the goal. Forward Garrett Kusch next took the first of his inevitable headers, sent wide right.
At 13' Aunger, charging full speed towards the right post from midfield, worked a wall pass with Gailey and was tripped just inside the penalty area going for the return pass, but no whistle was heard and Dolan collected the loose ball.
At 15' Vancouver defender Todd Rattee banged heads with a teammate clearing an air ball flicked on towards the right post by Sounder forward Chugger Adair. Rattee stayed down and the game was stopped. Rattee was moved a short distance over the goal line and sat there for awhile attended to by the Vancouver medical staff. Ian Clarke came on for Rattee.
At 24' Ian Clarke took a short through pass from Domenic Mobilio near the penalty spot and rolled a shot past the onrushing Sounder keeper Dusty Hudock that looked promising, but the ball hit the inside of the left post and rebounded across the goal mouth. Sounder defender Mark Watson got to the rebound first to clear it out for a throw-in.
Late in the first half Seattle's offense started firing on all cylinders.
At 38' Seattle's Gailey took a pass at the halfway line and
raced with the ball to the goal line, but his cross was intercepted by Dolan. On the next counterattack, Aunger won a long clearance from Watson and fed the ball to an open Adair, but Adair shot well wide, then grabbed his head in frustration.
40' Aunger (Hoggan). From the right corner, Kinoshita passed inside the area to David Hoggan, who sent a worm burner of a cross in front of the goal. Aunger got to it first in traffic to score with his first touch from two yards out.
Seattle kept up the pressure on Vancouver's goal. Gailey got loose on the left on a counterattack and fired a low shot towards the far post, but Dolan dove to deflect the ball with one hand and his defender beat Adair to the ball to clear it from in front of the goal. Kei Kinoshita, who had come on for Justin Stoddard at right mid, dribbled in from the right and seemed to have only the keeper to beat, but a defender recovered in time to slide in and get a foot on the shot, deflecting it out for a corner. Seattle settled for the 1-0 lead at halftime.
For the second straight game, a fan converted a halftime shot for a prize. It was a lady again, this time hitting the center target from the penalty spot.
86er coach Carl Valentine apparently gave a better halftime speech than
Seattle's coach Neil Megson, as Vancouver started the second half strongest.
At 48' a Seattle corner kick was sent towards the center circle, missing
all of the Sounders. Vancouver's Paul Dailly took the ball and found himself
with space nearly the size of the Yukon Territory, as Seattle had eight
men up for the corner kick. He took the center route in a 3 v 2 attack,
got sweeper Bernie James to commit near
the top of the area, and rolled the ball rightward to an unmarked Ian Clarke. Clarke's shot was sent toward the far post, but Hudock dove and just got enough of his fingertips on the ball to deflect it inches wide. On the resulting corner kick, Mobilio headed just wide left. A minute later Kusch headed wide left from another corner kick.
The other way, Jenkins sent a promising cross from the left corner low through the entire area, but nobody in the crowd could get a foot on it. At 58' Kinoshita banged heads with an 86er going for the ball. Out for a minute, Kinoshita returned to finish the match.
Vancouver earned a free kick from just 25 yards away and a bit to the right, but Mobilio, trying to hit a spot in the wall vacated by Franks, instead harmlessly hit the wall.
At 69' Seattle's offense woke up as Kinoshita battled into the area with the ball, but his pressured shot was wide right.
75' Chris Clarke (Sumner). A Vancouver corner kick was cleared to Nico Berg, who passed to Richie Sumner at the right touch line. Sumner curled in a cross that Chris Clarke headed inside the far post, knotting the game at one apiece. Chris Clarke had come on just 5 minutes earlier for Doug Muirhead.
A minute later Seattle's Watson was shown the yellow card for a hard foul on Mobilio. Mobilio continued for a minute, but then left the game, replaced by Aaron Keay.
At 85' Sounder newcomer Kieran Barton, who had come on 15 minutes earlier for Gelvezon, fired a 25-yard shot that was on goal, but Dolan dove forward to catch it.
87' Gailey (Aunger). Seattle scored from a goal nearly identical to Vancouver's. Kinoshita passed to Aunger on the right touch line. Aunger curled in a cross and Gailey beat his marker to it, heading this one inside the near post to give the Sounders their victory.
The final whistle was blown with the stadium clock at only 88:40. The
stadium clock had been frozen during the long injury stoppages while Kinoshita,
and later Mobilio, were tended to by their staff. The stadium clock was
apparently restarted late after one of those stoppages, as the referee's
watch expired 1:20 before the stadium clock did. This prompted complaints
to the referee from many of the 86ers, but to no avail. We in the Pod reminded
the 86ers that the official time is kept on the field.
We even earned a one-fingered salute from Mobilio after one of our group yelled at coach Valentine to sit down.
Seattle plays this Tuesday, June 17, against S.V. Transvaal of the Surinam first division in a CONCACAF Champions' Cup match. Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. at Federal Way Stadium, Federal Way, and tickets are just $5 at the gate (a tremendous bargain for another interesting, nonleague match). Seattle's next league game is Friday, June 20, against the Orlando Sundogs. Kickoff will be at 7:30 in the usual place, Memorial Stadium.