Seattle Sounders 1 - 2 San Diego Flash
Memorial Stadium, Seattle
Beech (Sea) 49'
Legg (SD) 63'
Robles (SD) 64'
Sea: Dusty Hudock; Bernie James (76' Paul Gelvezon), Jason Annicchero, Randy Mann; David Hoggan, Scott Jenkins, Brandon Prideaux, Dick McCormick; Patrick Beech, Mark Baena, Erik Storkson.
SD: Joe Cannon; Carlos Cruz Trejo, Michael N'Doumbe, Jimmy Conrad, Jaime Munro; Mauricio Alegre (60' Brad Smith), Nathan Hetherington, Eric Chaisongkram, Kevin Legg; Antonio Robles, Jerome Watson.
Neither side put any good shots on goal the first half. Seattle got a couple of chances early from the right side – first Erik Storkson missed an unpressured shot badly, then Hoggan came closer from the same spot but not close enough.
Robles earned San Diego's first good shot when he intercepted a pass in Seattle's end, but he also missed badly, crying out in frustration. Another defensive breakdown led to a chance for the Flash – sweeper Bernie James let a ball roll for Hudock that should have been cleared, then Hudock waited for it to enter the penalty area when he should have gone to it. Jaime Munro reached the ball, knocked it into Hudock, and tapped the rebound past Hudock. Munro and Hudock got tangled trying to regain their feet, allowing the ball to harmlessly roll wide of the goal.
Midway in the half Robles caught Hudock off his line and tried to chip in, but sent the ball well over the bar. Nate Hetherington beat Scott Jenkins and crossed for Chaisongkram on a near-post run, but the shot was deflected wide for a corner. Hetherington's shot from the ensuing corner kick play missed the top far corner by a yard.
Neither team created a good chance late in the half, except for a San Diego free kick from the arc which was blocked by James, the man whose foul, for which he got a yellow card, yielded the free kick.
Halftime: 0 - 0
49' Beech (McCormick). Brandon Prideaux was fouled on the right side and wanted advantage, but wasn't given it. McCormick took the free kick and sent it to the far post. Beech skied to head the ball down and inside the post for the 1-0 Seattle lead.
Seattle continued to press when a stolen ball led to an open shot by Storkson that hit the face of the cross bar at the top near corner. Beech trapped the rebound and shot, but Cannon recovered to make the save.
Soon a Seattle attack created another chance when Hoggan beat the offside trap and looked like he was fouled from behind just inside the area. No whistle sounded and Prideaux gathered the loose ball just out from the right corner of the goal area where he was held by Chaisongkram to prevent a good shot. Referee Mohammed Sagakhaneh whistled this foul, pointed to the spot, ran up to Chaisongkram, and showed him the red card, presumably for denying Prideaux an obvious goal-scoring opportunity. Seattle's fortunes turned sour when Hoggan's weak penalty kick was saved by Cannon, preventing a needed insurance goal.
63' Legg. Short a man, San Diego made the best of their chances. Kevin Legg juked Jenkins at the right corner of the penalty area and fired a shot past the leaping Hudock, hitting the far post, then the near post before the ball deflected into the goal.
64' Robles. Less than a minute later San Diego went ahead 2-1 when Randy Mann tried to clear a ball but blasted it into Robles' legs. Hudock was out from goal and could only watch the rebound go directly in.
Seattle came back with more desire and created a couple of chances. An air ball was flicked on for Beech, who beat the offside trap for a shot with only Cannon to beat from 15 yards, but Beech chipped the ball over the bar. A Hoggan corner kick was dropped for McCormick, whose shot was blocked, but Mann sent the rebound back in and it deflected slightly up from a defender's foot, hit the crossbar and went over.
Paul Gelvezon came on for James at 76' to provide more offense for the Sounders, but San Diego's defense prevented any more threats. The Flash did get a few chances, though. Hetherington's shot from a short Seattle clearance had to be pushed over the bar by Hudock. Hetherington sent in a nice cross that was headed just wide by Jerome Watson, who had been invisible until then. With two minutes left, Robles was set free on the left on a counterattack and dribbled into the area only to miss the goal by a mile.
Final: Seattle 1 - 2 San Diego
Seattle has one more home match this Friday, July 24, at 7:00 PM before heading out for a 4-match road trip. Annicchero has picked up his 5th yellow card and will probably have to sit out the first road match.
Shots: Sea 23, SD 13
Saves: Hudock 2; Cannon 3
Corners: Seattle 6, SD 3
Fouls: Seattle 17, SD 27
Offside: Seattle 7, SD 0
20' Chaisongkram (SD) cautioned for undercutting a Sounder who went up
31' James (Sea) cautioned for a foul in the arc
55' Chaisongkram (SD) sent off for holding Prideaux in the penalty area to prevent a good shot
57' Robles (SD) cautioned for fouling Annicchero from behind
74' Mann (Sea) cautioned for a foul at the touch line
79' Annicchero (Sea) cautioned for a foul at the edge of the area
Referee: Mohammed Sagakhaneh