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Seattle jumps in MLS, wins Heritage Cup

Post by Don Ruiz / The News Tribune on July 31, 2010 at 5:07 pm with 19 Comments »
August 1, 2010 9:31 am

Sounders win it 1-0. A Fredy Montero goal in the 26th minute was the difference.

With the win, Seattle goes past San Jose, Colorado and Toronto in the MLS standings. Seattle also wins this season’s Heritage Cup, accepted by Kasey Keller.

Here was coach Sigi Schmid’s overview:

“Defensively we’re playing a lot tighter in the back. Today, I was very pleased with how we played. I thought our soccer was very good. I thought we moved the ball around very well. I throught we were a little unfortunate not to have more than one, I thought we could have had two or three in the first half. …

“I think the guys realize their situation. I think maybe at the beginning of the year we were maybe patting ourselves on the back a little bit too much for what we had accomplished last year, and everybody sort of came to the realization that, ‘Hey, we’ve we’ve got to put forth the effort. If you put forth the effort then the soccer will show at the end of the day, but you have to put forth the effort. We’re at that stage where we’re doing that.”

And this from San Jose coach Frank Yallop:

“I’m disappointed. I thought it was definitely our worst performance this season. … From the whistle it just didn’t seem like we had any idea or any scrap in us.”

It was San Jose’s first loss in five games.

Blaise Nkufo went most of the way, and played well. Alvaro Fernandez made a quiet debut.

Here are the basics:

Scoring Summary

SEA – Fredy Montero (Sanna Nyassi) 26

Seattle Sounders FC: Kasey Keller, James Riley, Patrick Ianni, Jeff Parke (Tyrone Marshall 45), Leo Gonzalez, Sanna Nyassi, Osvaldo Alonso, Nathan Sturgis, Steve Zakuani (Alvaro Fernandez 69), Fredy Montero, Blaise Nkufo (Nate Jaqua 86).

Substitutes Not Used: Roger Levesque, Terry Boss, Michael Seamon, Zach Scott.


San Jose Earthquakes: Jon Busch, Jason Hernandez (Chris Wondolowski 74), Bobby Burling, Ike Opara, Ramiro Corrales, Joey Gjertsen, Sam Cronin, Brandon McDonald (Arturo Alvarez 45), Bobby Convey, Scott Sealy (Ryan Johnson 45), Cornell Glen.

Substitutes Not Used: Joe Cannon, Justin Morrow, Steven Beitashour, Brad Ring.


Misconduct Summary:

SJ – Sam Cronin (caution; Reckless Tackle) 15

SJ – Ramiro Corrales (caution; Reckless Tackle) 80

SEA – Osvaldo Alonso (caution) 91+

Referee: Edvin Jurisevic

Referee’s Assistants: Eric Boria, Ian Anderson

4th Official: Ricardo Salazar

Time of Game: 1:52

Attendance: 10,351

Weather: Sunny and 72 degrees

Pregame at Buck Shaw Stadium on the Santa Clara University campus

86th minute: Jaqua in for Nkufo.

Attendance: 10,351, including a couple of hundred Sounders fans in Section A.

74th minute: Chris Wondolowski, who hit the game-winner in Seattle, has just entered for San Jose.

69th minute: New DP Alvaro Fernandez has just subbed in for Steve Zakuani.

63rd minute:
Blaise Nkufo aaaaaalmost got first goal as a Sounder. Nice low left foot shot in the box, but Jon Busch managed to get his left hand on it, steering it off target.

60th minute: No shell for Sounders … both teams still attacking.

Second half: Has begun. Sixth place in MLS race — play Heritage Cup — hangs on these 45 minutes.

One change in Sounders’ lineup: Tyrone Marshall in for Jeff Parke, who suffered a head injury late in the first half.

Halftime: Sounders up 1-0 on the Montero header.

Seattle had six shots to San Jose’s four; Seattle put four on goal to San Jose’s one.

Meanwhile, more good news for the Sounders from Kansas City, where the Wizards beat Toronto, 1-0.That means that if the Sounders hold on tonight, they will move past San Jose, Colorado and Toronto in the standings, moving back into playoff position.

38th minute: Parke back in.

35th minute: Jeff Parke being tended to after several players went up for a head in front of the Sounders goal.

He got up, seeming woozy, and is with a trainer off the pitch.

26th minute: Sounders move ahead 1-0 on a Fredy Montero flying header from about 5 yards. That finished a nice cross from Sanna Nyassi.

That’s eight straight MLS games with either a goal or an assist from Montero, and he has either scored or assisted in 12 of the last 15 games.

24th minute: Lots of up and down action. Seattle still getting generally the better of it. But no score.

15th minute:
Alonso misses steal attempt. San Jose’s Jason Hernandez runs into the box unmaked, but Keller makes 1-on-1 save.

Ninth minute: Sounders dominating early. Busch just went high to tap a Monero head over the bar.

Second minute: First chance to the Sounders: Montero cross onto the head of Nkufo, who puts it on goal to the low-near post, but Busch knocks it away.

Kickoff: Game has begun. Sounders in rave/rave; Earthquakes in black/black. What breeze there is will be going left to right from your TV view.

Sounders fans arrive singing.

Sounders fans in the house: No surprise, but Sounders fans are in the house, taking up about half of a section at Buck Shaw. … Unfortunately, their section is on the same side as the television cameras, so I don’t know how obviously they’ll be on the KING broadcast tonight, but they look good with lots of rave green and three banners whipping in what seems to be a pretty good breeze out there.

Oh, yeah: This game will determine if San Jose gets to hold on to the Heritage Cup. The Cup isn’t decided by aggregate score, but on the basis of three points for a win, one for a draw, none for a loss. The tie-breaking procedure is listed at the website linked above.

Lineups: For Seattle: G Keller; D Riley, Parke, Iann, Gonzalez; M Nyassi, Sturgis, Alonso, Zakuani; F Montero, Nkufo. Bench: Boss, Fernandez, Scott, Seamon, Jaqua, Levesque, Marshall.

For San Jose: G Busch; D Burling, Opara, Corrales, Hernandez; M Cronin, Convey, McDonald, Gjertsen; F Sealy, Glen. Bench: Cannon, Morrow, Beitashour, Ring, Alvarez, Wondolowski, Johnson.

45 minutes until kickoff: Sounders are warming up. New DP Alvaro Fernandez is in uniform, wearing No. 15.

70 minutes until kickoff: Potential good Sounders news out of Colorado today, where FC Dallas and the Rapids played to a 1-1 draw. That means with a win tonight, Seattle goes past San Jose and Colorado.

Two hours before kickoff: Well, if you can’t have one of the great stadiums, I guess there’s something to being unique. And it must be said that Buck Shaw Stadium, home of the San Jose Earthquakes, is unique in MLS.

As you can see, it’s a beautiful day. Warm now, but the forecast calls for temperatures in the 60s by gametime.

We’re here for what looks to be a huge game for the Sounders’ playoff hopes. Win, and they move past San Jose in the standings … although, granted, the Quakes will still have games in hand. But lose and San Jose goes shooting ahead in the standings again … still with those games in hand. And frankly, the time may have passed where the Sounders can feel very good about draws … even on the road. One-point per game isn’t going to get them anywhere they want to go.

Here’s a preview from the San Jose Mercury News.

We’ll keep our normal gameday blog open for news and comments before, during and after tonight’s game.

Leave a comment Comments → 19
  1. For anyone that cares…. pride of Gig Harbor Tally Hall gets the start again tonight for Houston. Go Tides! :)

  2. EverydayFan says:

    I’m remote for the game tonight so please let ‘er rip with blog play-by-play

  3. Don Ruiz says:

    Will do. It’s a little tougher sometimes on night games, because I’ve also got to try to get a head start on the story for the paper. But I’ll keep you in mind. Updates will be on the Twitter site (donruiztnt) as well.

  4. DR, you sure you didn’t get confused and head to a U17 match? That place is SMALL.

  5. EverydayFan says:

    Thanks DR,
    Hey DY, you can do your part, too, in the comments
    PS – Hot DANG, that FC Dallas draw was HUGE!

  6. I’m actually heading off for the watering hole to watch the match with some friends so there’ll be no play-by-play from me.

    Don’t even think of a point boys. It’s 3 or nothing.

  7. Don Ruiz says:

    Nice U-17 line, DY. I shared it with the Seattle guys in the press box and it got a laugh.

    I know these guys want a new stadium near the airport, but I haven’t heard of much happening recently to turn that into a reality. I’ll try to get some sort of general update tonight.

  8. Don Ruiz says:

    Quakes rep says everything political seems to be in place for the airport stadium — permits, etc. — but no funding yet.

  9. elmocatt says:

    Hey DR, left one other thing out of your preview as to why this game is huge – team then heads to El Salvador after the game for the crucial CCL 2nd leg on tuesday night, so Sigi needs to manage the team for a win tonight . . .and keep an eye on making sure we can field a very competitive and a not too exhausted squad there.

  10. Don Ruiz says:

    Sigi’s general thought seemed to be that he would hope for the best in the Matapan opener, but then be willing to ask the necessary guys to go hard both tonight and Tuesday.

    (My preview story altered — to say the least — when the Ljungberg news broke.)

  11. EverydayFan says:

    Yes – Monterrrrooooo!!!!!

  12. elmocatt says:

    Montero with a header at 26:30 – cross from Nyassi!
    The Sounders now have another option – through the air – with big bodies like Nfuko (and Jaqua although not starting). Earlier in the season, they were unable to play anything over the top. Now, with shorter FL being replaced by 6’1″ Fernandez, even more options.

    Seems the changes to the lineup also allows Montero to go outside and cross it in to Nkufo – how they alsmost scored in the 9th min.

  13. elmocatt says:

    Yes – badly needed three points.
    Nice hard working team out there – been a long time since I seen Montero work so hard . . . and see so little whinning by the team.

    Team looks really dangerous out there. More options over the top now.
    And once Nkufo, Fernandez, Montero, Zak and Co. get more familiar with each other, there will be a lot of interchange passing and through balls.

    It also looks good going into El Salvador. Assuming Parke is okay, both him and Marshall can start in defense – having only gone 45 each. Plus Zak and Fernandez will be able to go a while there too. Things are looking up!!

  14. EverydayFan says:

    Yeah Baby!!!

  15. EverydayFan says:

    Kudos to Sounders fans … I ended up listening to the game on a crank-powered radio … Couldn’t always hear the play-by-play … ALWAYS heard the songs … Awesome!!!

  16. lance5446 says:

    Wow! Great win! The guys looked good out there. Some rough patches but pretty good overall. That header by Knufo looked nasty. Great save though. Montero looked good as usual and seems to be even more energized with the new guys. And Fernandez! Wow! What a great pick up. I think we just found our new on field leader. Definitely has skills and good awareness. Can’t wait to see the team once he’s had a few weeks of practice. He and Montero are gonna break down defenses.

  17. joepublic says:

    Alonso and Sturgis were dominant, just never let the Earthquakes build anything through the middle, and made sure the Sounders front players got plenty of the ball. Lots of creativity and good attacking moves from the front four.

  18. Great win. Our boys dominated..;.new guys looked to be loaded for bear. Loved the fact that we could hear ECS chanting through most of the match. Amazing on foreign turf. Even when they threatened it looked like Sir Kasey had it under control.

    AF (aka Flaco) looks to be a mighty one. That kid has skill on the ball and already seems to know where people are and what to do. How many swim moves can you pull in a game?

    And what can we say about Alonso. He’s a nightmare for opposing offenses. Pay the man. Do what it takes. He MUST stay.

    For those that are new, don’t forget to recommend DR’s stories in the morning so his editors know we love the coverage. It’s pretty rare to have someone respond to our requests during the match so they need to know we appreciate it.. Don’t make me crack the whip on this people. :)

  19. BTW, that goal for Fredy was all Nkufo. He went after near post and drew all sorts of attention leaving Montero free. All night we saw what the potential of those two is and I think we have a duo there that can work. It looked perfect. As a target forward, Nkufo clearly gets how to set up the other guys.

    I’ve questioned our signings.. but feeling pretty good about it right now.

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