Sounders Header April 5, 1998

Seattle Sounders  4 - 0  Puget Sound Bigfoot
Federal Way Stadium, Federal Way, WA
Preseason Friendly

Beech (S) 19
Storkson (S) 34
Prideaux (S) 64
Martin (S) 77

Sounders: Dusty Hudock (46' Preston Burpo), Bernie James, Scott Jenkins (68' Ryan Edwards), Brandon Prideaux, Jason Annicchero (46' George Singh), David Hoggan (46' Kei Kinoshita), Ross Tanock (46' Paul Gelvezon), Fabian Davis, Stoner Tadlock (68' Jeff Martin), Erik Storkson (46' Eugene Poublon), Patrick Beech.

BigFoot: Didn't supply a game roster.

Match report from Ron Stickney

It is going to be a treat watching Patrick Beech play this year. In the Sounders' second preseason game, against the USISL Premier League Seattle BigFoot, Beech scored the first goal at 19' in straightforward fashion, controlling a square pass from Stoner Tadlock near the 18-yard line, then firing a shot just inside the right post. But Beech had some more memorable moves later in the game. 15 yards out and to the left of the goal, Beech measured a falling air
ball with his back to the goal and sent the ball on goal with an accurate bicycle kick, saved by the keeper. He even added some flair to a dummy move when instead of just letting the ball roll past him for Paul Gelvezon, Beech let his body fall forward like a felled tree. Beech managed to hit the net a second time on a fast break late in the game, but he was flagged offside on the play, and applauded the assistant referee for the correct call as he jogged back to the halfway line.

Erik Storkson, a forward just signed by the Sounders, notched the game's second goal at 34' from a corner kick play. From Beech's corner kick, Tadlock tried a near-post shot. The ball
deflected off a defender and fell nicely for Storkson, who finished with an easy tap-in at the far  post.  Rookie defender Brandon Prideaux scored his first goal as a pro, heading in a corner kick from Eugene Poublon at 64'. Midfield candidate Jeff Martin closed out the scoring at 77' when he stole the ball 25 yards in front of the BigFoot goal, passed it to Beech, took off goalward, and got the ball back from Beech. The BigFoot keeper got to Beech's forward pass first, but fumbled the ball, leaving Martin with the ball and an open net for soccer's equivalent of the slam dunk.

The BigFoot were no match for the Sounders, allowing them enough time with the ball to put on  passing clinic, even though the pitch was of the narrow, astroturf variety. The BigFoot had a few good chances at a goal, but their shots either missed or were routinely saved by Dusty Hudock (first half) or Preston Burpo.

Jason Annicchero, in his second year out of college, looked quite good as center back.  Apparently the injury that sent him limping out of the game the previous day was not serious.  Scott Jenkins and Prideaux looked quite good at left and right back, respectively, and both showed a desire to go forward on the attack when they saw the opportunity. Bernie James looks like he will be the sweeper again, staying home at all times to give the young backs license to go forward. Coach Neil Megson could fill in anywhere in the back four or as a center midfielder. Expect Megson to play less and coach more this year, unless one of the starting back four gets injured or called up.

David Hoggan can still play midfield. Newcomers, but veterans, Fabian Davis and Stoner Tadlock look like the new left and right mids, respectively. Paul Gelvezon is playing well enough to make the team (two assists the previous day) and play on either side. Kei Kinoshita also looks like a choice for outside right mid. Newcomer Eugene Poublon looks like he has the skills one would expect of an Ajax reserve and should be a productive center mid. Rookie Ian Russell should also play in the middle, but he apparently is injured, as he didn't play this weekend.

Up front, Beech is a lock as a starting forward. He can get the job done, with style. Fellow Jamaican Kevin Lamey hasn't arrived yet, but he was just as proficient as Beech at scoring goals in the Jamaican Premier League. The two Reggae Boyz are my guess as the primary forwards, with Storkson coming in off the bench, especially when the team sees an opportunity to gain an advantage up front in the air, or when they are sending air balls up front at every opportunity to try to net a needed goal near time. Chugger Adair may join the team in midseason, after recovering from the knee injury he suffered in Guatemala last season.

Burpo has looked good in goal the past two days, a capable backup to starter Hudock.  Enjoy Hudock's last season for the A-League Sounders, as he is sure to jump to MLS next season after his contract with the Sounders is up.

The last several roster spots are still being contested, but with the players signed thus far the Sounders can put an impressive starting eleven on the pitch.

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