Seattle Sounders News Release - www.seattlesounders.net
Saturday, June 28, 2008
TUKWILA, WA -- After working so long to get the lead, the Seattle Sounders couldn’t hang onto it for very long at all. Andre Schmid’s first goal of the season snapped a scoreless tie early in the 80th minute, but Montreal tied it on a corner kick just 4 ½ minutes later, and the Sounders had to settle for a 1-1 tie with the Impact on Saturday night in a United Soccer Leagues First Division game at Starfire Sports Complex.
“It‘s definitely pretty disappointing right now,” Schmid said. “We were a little complacent at the end, and that’s the one thing we stress is stick with it and stay focused. We’re kind of down right now. We have to take something from this. If we get ahead or get the lead, we have to tighten down.”
On a night when three points would have helped Seattle keep pace with Portland in the standings, they had to settle for a single tally, and at 4-2-7 with 19 points, fell into fourth place. The Timbers won earlier in the evening at Atlanta, 2-0, and took over sole possession of third at 5-4-6 with 21 points.
Montreal, which got off to an uncharacteristically slow 2-5-1 start, has gotten back into the race at 4-6-3 with 15 points.
“It’s very disappointing, because we have no one to blame but ourselves. It was our fault that we gave up two points,” said midfielder Leighton O’Brien, whose quick free kick at the 79:04 mark led to Schmid’s goal.
The Sounders had gained the run of play for most of the 90 minutes in front of 3,004 fans. They had half a dozen near misses during the first half, and a two more midway through the second.
But they finally found the back of the net, and it came on a set piece. With a free kick from about 30 yards away toward the left side of the field, O’Brien quickly set up the ball and sent it down the left side and into the box. Sebastien Le Toux got it to the left of goalkeeper Matt Jordan’s 6-yard box, sent it to Schmid who was right next to him, and Schmid, with Jordan still at the left post, sent the ball into the other side of the net.
“Leighton’s a crafty player, and it’s to our advantage to play the ball early,” Schmid said. “I knew the (Montreal) guy was on my shoulder, and I took a touch and put it away.”
The Impact countered with a set piece of their own at 83:27. The Sounders conceded a corner kick deep on the right wing side, and Rocco Placentino sent a riser into the box. Leduc, playing on goalkeeper Chris Eylander’s front porch, headed it down and into the net.
That ended Eylander’s shutout streak at 383 minutes, which stretched over three straight games, including a pair of U.S. Open Cup victories. It was his second longest streak of the season, falling short of the 414 minutes from earlier in the year.
“We put too much effort into the game to not come away with something,” Sounders coach Brian Schmetzer said. “I’m not a big stats guy, but you look at the shots (15-8 for Seattle) and the tempo and all that stuff … that’s why I’m (ticked).”
The Sounders return to action on Tuesday in a third-round U.S. Open Cup game against CD Chivas USA of Major League Soccer. They will kick off at 7 p.m. at Starfire. Tickets are $17 in advance at www.ticketmaster.com, or $20 at the gate.
After an initial Montreal flurry which resulted in two Impact corner kicks during the first two minutes of the game, the Sounders possessed the ball for the majority of the first half.
Montreal goalkeeper Jordan saved four Seattle shots that were heading for the back of the net. O’Brien took a shot from 25 yards up outside the top left corner of the penalty area at the 6:30 mark that was sailing toward the far post until Josh Gardner deflected it wide. The resulting corner kick didn’t yield a shot.
Gardner had one from the top of the arc midway through the 14th minute that Jordan stopped in mid-flight. Then at 20:34, Le Toux let fly with one from 16 yards away inside the left of the penalty area that Jordan dove to deny. Le Toux had another try from the top right corner of Jordan’s 6-yard box late in the 29th minute that stayed on the ground, but Jordan got to it.
The best chance for the Sounders came at the 21:20 mark. Le Toux took the ball down the right wing and sent a target ball into the box. Gardner’s header was deflected away, but landed right on the shoetop of Kenji Treschuk just outside the 6-yard box to the left of the net. Treschuk’s shot went off his foot way over the top.
Leduc had the best opportunity for the Impact when he picked up a loose ball just outside the arc, his shot from straight on zipped just wide of the left post.
Le Toux had another golden opportunity in the 62nd minute. O’Brien took the ball into the box all the way to the top of goalkeeper Matt Jordan’s front porch. His shot was deflected, but ricocheted out to Le Toux about eight yards in front. With Gardner at the left wing post, Gardner fired toward the other side, but sent it wide.
Le Toux had another try on a set piece midway through the 72nd minute. On a Sounders free kick from 25 yards straight on after Kenji Treschuk was nearly kicked in the face by an Impact player, O’Brien sent the free kick around the left side of the five-man Montreal wall. Le Toux ran into it, chased it nearly to the goal line, and sent a shot across the goalmouth that Jordan pulled in.
QUICK KICKS -- This was the first of three meetings between teams this season. They meet again in Montreal on July 13, and play back in Seattle on Sept. 10. … Starting defender Zach Scott missed Saturday’s game serving a one-game suspension for accumulating five yellow cards. On the suspension bubble is forward Jason Cascio (four). Midfielders Hugo Alcaraz-Cuellar and Leighton O’Brien have three apiece. … The Sounders’ upcoming four-game road trip will be in two segments. They’ll play at Carolina on Thursday and at Charleston on Saturday, then head home for a few days before heading east again to visit Rochester on July 11 and Montreal on July 13. In between that could be a U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal game if Seattle beats Chivas on Tuesday night at Starfire. The quarterfinals are scheduled for July 8. The Sounders have put in a bid to host that game if they’re playing in it. … Defender Kevin Sakuda made his 123rd consecutive start in USL play, and 141st overall, dating back to 2004.