Seattle Sounders 2 - 0 Vancouver Eighty-Sixers
Marysville-Pilchuk High School Stadium, Marysville, WA
Megson (S) 65
Davis (S) 71
Seattle: Preston Burpo; Bernie James, Scott Jenkins, Brandon Prideaux, Jason Annicchero; David Hoggan (58' Neil Megson), Stoner Tadlock, Fabian Davis, Gerry Laterza (62' Paul Gelvezon); Erik Storkson (58' Eugene Poublon), Patrick Beech.
Vancouver: Paul Dolan; Craig Dalrymple (33' Spencer Coppin), Richie Sumner, Steve MacDonald, Jeff Skinner; Greg St. Germaine, Aaron Keay, Paul Dailly, Joe Deacon (80' Carl Valentine); Alfredo Valente (54' John Sulentic), Ian Clarke (78' Valente).
Shots: Seattle 5, Vancouver 15
Saves: Burpo 4; Dolan 2
Corners: Seattle 0, Vancouver 4
Fouls: Seattle 13, Vancouver 11
Offside: Seattle 1, Vancouver 2
8' Sea: Beech (hard charge against Sumner in front of Seattle's bench)
16' Van: Deacon (tripped Davis after getting beat)
48' Sea: James (charged Valente after Valente was fouled)
52' Van: Keay (late foul)
55' Sea: Storkson (fouled a defender from behind)
Referee: Mac Pinski
Assistant Referees: Mohammed Zharrabi, Kim Kokenos
Match report from Ron Stickney
The fans were hoping for another show from Jamaican forward
Patrick Beech, but all Beech
accomplished was to remove himself from the game when he was shown the red card in the 8th
minute for charging hard into 86er Richie Sumner in front of the Seattle Bench and knocking Sumner on his back. Referee Mac Pinski didn't hesitate to pull the red card, even though a yellow would have been reasonable. Apparently Pinski wanted to assure that all of the players
stayed off the injured list for next week's season openers.
Playing a man down the rest of the game, the Sounders,
in their new white jerseys, showed an
ability to make good possession passes on the grass pitch, even though it was only 56 yards
wide. Stoner Tadlock had taken Seattle's first shot just before the red card, a prayer shot from the right touch line, easily caught by Paul Dolan. Freddie Valente, an impressive 17-year-old forward, responded with a 20-yarder for Vancouver, deflected high and over for a corner.
Newly signed Sounders midfielder Gerry Laterza, from the Los Angeles Galaxy, checked to see if Dolan was awake by trying a shot from the edge of the center circle. Dolan was. Laterza looked good in his debut for the Sounders, staying calm when in possession and making some accurate forward passes.
Vancouver's first good opportunity came midway in the first half after stealing the ball from center defender Jason Annicchero. Valente received a pass on the right, entered the penalty area, and rolled a soft pass towards the right post. Ian Clarke slid in and sent a dangerous cross in front of Seattle goalkeeper Preston Burpo, but sweeper Bernie James recovered in time to reject the cross for a corner. Another good chance developed from a busted Vancouver throw-in play when Valente got a loose ball at the left of the penalty area and aimed for the near post, but hit the side netting.
A minute later 86er Craig Dalrymple was tended to on the
field, then limped off, replaced at
sweeper by Spencer Coppin. Dalrymple was not limping when he walked to the dressing room
between halves, so he is probably not seriously injured.
Valente took his best shot of the game with a 30-yard
free kick from the right that bent nicely
around the left of Seattle's wall and to the lower right corner. A great, diving save by Burpo
robbed the teenager of a deserved goal.
Just before the halftime whistle, Seattle almost had a
chance when Fabian Davis battled a
defender for the ball and poked it in front of Vancouver's goal, but Dolan grabbed the ball just before the onrushing Erik Storkson got to it.
Opening the second half, the fans saw three yellow cards
before they saw any shots. Finally,
Vancouver's Paul Dailly sent a nice low shot up the middle, but a yard wide to the left.
Venturing forward, Seattle's rookie right back Brandon Prideaux was tripped when he tried to get the ball back on a nicely-executed wall pass. Tadlock curled the free kick to the far post where Annicchero headed nicely on goal, but Dolan caught the shot above his head for a save.
65' Megson (Annicchero): A minute later, Annicchero sent a pass diagonally forward and left from the top of Vancouver's penalty area, and coach Neil Megson beat Dolan with a low shot inside the far post for the game's first goal. Megson had entered just 7 minutes earlier, replacing David Hoggan at center midfield.
71' Davis (Poublon): Seattle converted their next good
chance as well, starting a counterattack
when Eugene Poublon, the former Ajax reserve who came on for Storkson, intercepted a pass in the Vancouver backfield. Tadlock's cross from the right looked like a wasted opportunity, going 15 yards past the goal and to the bye line. But Poublon tracked the air ball down and sent a nice cross diagonally back to the top of the area, where Fabian Davis struck with a spectacular sideways volley. The ball bent over Dolan and kissed the underside of the crossbar on the way
to the back of the net.
Vancouver had several chances in the final ten minutes,
as Seattle was worn down from playing a man down virtually the entire match.
Midfielder Greg St. Germaine got free on the right and blasted
a shot off Burpo's chest, cleared from danger by James. After a poor clearance
Seattle back Scott Jenkins, substitute forward John Sulentic sent a 20-yard shot a yard over the bar. Dailly's attempted cross from the right almost went in, but was pushed over the center of the bar by Burpo for a save and a corner. Seattle's Tadlock slid in attempting to stop a short, dangerous cross, but he deflected the ball towards goal at the near post; Burpo had to make a diving stop to prevent an own goal. In the final minute, Sumner ran onto a rolling clearance and blasted a 25-yard shot over the bar.
This game might not have been a shutout if Vancouver had had veteran forwards Domenic Mobelio, Garret Kusch or Jason Jordon on the field. The first of these is not yet in camp, the second expects to play in Europe, and the latter is injured. Veteran midfielders Chris Franks, Oliver Heald, Steve Kindel and Chris Clarke might also have made a difference. Seattle hasn't seen Vancouver's best team yet, but did well to beat any 86er team while outnumbered on the field. Vancouver's defense consisted of five veterans, and they always make it tough to score goals.
The Sounders finish their three preaseason friendlies with eight goals from eight different scorers, and no goals allowed. Burpo earned most of the shutout minutes, as #1 goalkeeper Dusty Hudock was called up this evening by the Colorado Rapids, to back up Marcus Hahnemann for Colorado's game in Washington, DC.
While the roster of signed Sounders is still a bit thin, they all deserve to be there, judging from the play I've seen. I watched all but rookie Ian Russell (knee injury) play in the three preseason games, and I saw Russell play for the University of Washington last fall. I expect Paul Gelvezon to be signed prior to Wednesday's season opener at Orange County. And Chugger Adair is likely to be re-signed after recovering from last season's knee injury. That would bring the roster to twenty, leaving room for possibly two surprises. And so far, I've been impressed with the newcomers brought in by the Sounders.
The Sounders open the season in California with three
games in five days:
* Wednesday, April 15, 7:30 pm, at Orange County Zodiac
* Friday, April 17, 7:30 pm, at San Diego Flash
* Sunday, April 19, 2:05 pm, at California Jaguars
All away games will be broadcast on radio KKOL 1300-AM! A treat that I, for one, appreciate.
Next, the Sounders will visit the Vancouver 86ers on Friday,
April 24, at 7:30 pm. This one is
within driving distance.
The home opener will be Saturday, May 2, 7:05 pm, at Memorial Stadium, against the 86ers. Home games will not be broadcast on the radio, so show up in the stadium to see the Reggae Boyz!