The STATE of Soccer in WASHINGTON
TACOMA, WA– (club release) The Sounders U-23 defeated the Vancouver Whitecaps U-23 1-0 Sunday afternoon. After heading to the locker room tied at zero, an opportunistic second half goal from Luis Esteves put the Sounders U-23 ahead for good.
The side from Vancouver had plenty of chances to equalize, out-shooting the Sounders U-23 in the second half six shots to three. However, a nice performance from Sounders U-23 defenders kept the Whitecaps attackers off of the score sheet, earning their second straight shut out.
The first real chance of the match didn’t come until the 23rd minute as Whitecaps forward Naill Cousens broke loose in the Sounders U-23 box. Cousens angled his shot toward the far post, but Sounders U-23 keeper Earl Edwards was able to block the shot with an outstretched left glove.
MATCH GALLERY: from Sounders U-23
The Sounders U-23 put together a nice run of attacking play in the 35th minute. Aodhan Quinn hit a left-footed cross into the box off of a free kick just outside the area. Sounders U-23 midfielder and long-throw specialist Michael Harris had the best look to head the ball on goal, but the Whitecap’s defenders were up to the task. The Sounders were able to corral the ball and stay on the attack, but could not find the final pass to break through for a goal.
As the half came to a close, the pace of play quickened as both sides pushed for an opening half goal. The Whitecaps had earned a corner kick in the 44th minute. The ball was played sharply on the ground toward the top of the box where Whitecaps midfielder Marco Visintin was running on. Visintin stuck the ball pure, but with so much traffic in the box, the Sounders U-23 defense was able to head the dangerous shot away.
The Sounders U-23 used the opportunity to counter attack; pushing men up the field, and ultimately earned a corner of their own. However, as was the case for the whole first half, the defense won the battle and cleared the danger. The two sides headed into their locker rooms knotted at 0-0.
The Sounders U-23 broke the tie on a corner kick opportunity in the 65th minute. Quinn sent a curling ball into the box from the corner that was deflected across the goal toward the other side of the box. Whitecaps midfielder Aminu Abdallah tried an acrobatic clearance, but instead sent the ball right back across the face of the goal. The opportunistic Sounders forward Luis Esteves was in perfect position and headed the ball into the net, putting the Sounders U-23 on the board for the 1-0 lead.
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After the Sounders U-23 goal, the Whitecaps U-23 went on the offensive looking to equalize. The Sounders U-23 defense survived a nearly 10-minute attack from the Whitecap, and settled back into the match. Opportunities for counter attacks were prevalent for the Sounders U-23 side, but the Whitecaps defense was able to recover in time to thwart any scoring chances from Sounders attackers.
The Whitecaps again looked to equalize in the 83rd minute off of a corner kick opportunity. The ball was swung in toward goal and knocked down into the mixer. With eager feet flying everywhere just in front of the Sounders U-23 goal, the ball finally ended up in the sure hands of Edwards and the threat was averted.
Vancouver’s best chance to equalize came late in the second half in the 88th minute. Whitecaps U-23 substitute Sasa Plavsic pounded a free kick from 20-yards out that curled on frame and struck the crossbar squarely. The ball shot over 10-feet in the air in front of the goal, but when it came down Edwards was able to punch it away.
As the match came to a close, Sounders U-23 second-half substitute Miles Byass almost added a second goal. After taking the ball to the corner he slipped through to defenders and sped up the end line toward goal. He tried his luck from a tough angle, but his shot hit into the side netting for a goal kick.
With the win, the Sounders U-23 have put together a mini-winning streak of two straight matches. Next up is a mid-week matchup against the North Sound SeaWolves FC. The match is set for Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. at Sunset Stadium. For tickets to the match, and all
Sounders U-23 information including rosters, schedules, and league standings visit SoundersU23.com. For live updates from every match, follow us on Twitter: @SoundersU23 and ‘Like’ us on Facebook.
SFC – Luis Esteves – 65’
Sounders FC U-23 – Earl Edwards, Mark Lee, Michael Gallagher, Chris Brundage, Nick Raskasky, Aodhan Quinn, Michael Harris, Chase Hanson (Ian Lange, 73’), Mauricio Diaz De Leon (Michael Uyehara, 76’), Luis Esteves (Miles Byass, 73’), Steve Mohn (Blake Wise, 56’).
Substitutes Not Used: Zac Lubin, Miguel Gonzalez, Josh Phillips.
TOTAL SHOTS: 6; FOULS: 14; OFFSIDE: 2; CORNER KICKS: 6; SAVES: 4.
Vancouver Whitecaps U-23 – Sean Melvin, Michael Winter (Adam Clement, 73’), Colton O’Neal, Derrick Bassi, James Farenhorst, Marco Visintin, Bhupinder Jhutty (Harpreet Lakhan, 61’), Aminu Abdallah, Peter Bow (Yassin Essa, 45’), Kartar Hundal (Spencer Deboise, 45’), Naill Cousens (Sasa Plavsic, 83’).
Substitutes Not Used: Marco Carducci.
TOTAL SHOTS: 12; FOULS: 12; OFFSIDE: 2; CORNER KICKS: 2; SAVES: 1.
SFC – Luis Esteves (caution) 50’
VAN – Derrick Baddi (caution) 64’
Referee: Scott Conner
Referee’s Assistants: Jason Hutchinson, Richard Meeks
4th Official: none
Time of Game: 2:00 p.m. PST
Weather: Partly Cloudy and 67 degrees