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Mariners Host Seattle Saturday Night

June 2, 2005 - USL First Division (USL-1) - Virginia Beach Mariners News Release

Virginia Beach, Virginia - The Virginia Beach Mariners will face Seattle for the second time in 12 days Saturday night when the Sounders visit the Sportsplex for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff. The Mariners traveled west on May 24, losing to the Sounders 1-0 in stoppage time at Qwest Field. This will be the third all-time meeting between the two clubs. Seattle won a 2002 meeting 5-1.

Saturday night also features Soccer Moms/Ladies Night. All Soccer Moms and Lady Mariner fans will get in free when accompanied by a paying Soccer Dad, friend or child. A women's match will take place at half-time and door prizes are geared towards our female fans including gift certificates from Merry Maids, Kathy Knack Interior Design, Atlanta Bread Company, Fazoli's, Regal Cinemas, Bazemore's Friendly Market, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts and Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream.

In addition, all fans that come to Saturday night's match will receive a full color movie poster from "The Game of Their Lives." Tickets to this film, which chronicles the United States' win over England in the 1950 World Cup, will also be given away. The U.S. win in this match is widely considered to be the biggest upset in soccer history. From the creators of "Rudy" and "Hoosiers", Major League Soccer, the United States Soccer Federation, United States Youth Soccer Association, and the American Youth Soccer Association endorse the film. The film opens Friday in our area.


The Match Up

Virginia Beach Mariners (1-7-4)

Midfielder Darren Caskey's seven points (3 goals, 1 assist) lead the Mariners, followed by David Castellanos' five points (2 goals, 1 assist). Castellanos was named to the USL First Division Team of the Week this week for scoring two goals in three games May 24-29. Caskey ranks fourth in the USL First Division in points and Castellanos ranks ninth. Caskey also ranks fifth in goals scored. Goalkeeper Matt Nelson ranks fifth Division-wide in saves with 25 in 12 games and fourth in goals-against-average with 1.583.

The Mariners added strength up top last week signing forward John Barry Nusum and shored up the defense with newcomer Ptah (TAH) Myers. The club released Carlos Garcia and Kevon Harris to make room for the new players. Midfielder Jose Gomez left the team last week, taking the position of head men's soccer coach at Palm Beach Atlantic College. Gomez also got married last weekend!

Mariners' Injury Update

Midfielder Jeff Bilyk is still recovering from a high ankle sprain suffered May 11 against Richmond. He should return to the field June 24 against Atlanta.

Defender Russell Hutchison, who hasn't played since May 20, is recovering from problems from back surgery last January that resulted in misalignment in his lumbar vertebrae. Physical therapy, rest, and strengthening exercises may have done the trick --he will be back in uniform on Saturday and ready to take the field.

Seattle Sounders (2-1-2)

Seattle will be on a two-game east-coast swing this weekend, facing the Richmond Kickers on Friday and the Mariners on Saturday. The Sounders have scored only three goals this season, one each by Roger Levesque, Welton Melo and Brent Whitefield. But goalkeeper Preston Burpo, since taking over the nets in Seattle's second match, has not allowed a goal and has 10 saves in the Sounders' last four games.


· The Mariners will have a 20-day USL First Division break following Saturday's match, retaking the field on Friday, June 24 at the Sportsplex against Atlanta at 8 p.m. This match will be televised live nationally by the Fox Soccer Channel (previously Fox Sports World). The team will travel to Wilmington, N.C. on June 15 to play the Hammerheads (USL Second Division) in an exhibition.

· The Mariners and the City of Virginia Beach Department of Parks and Recreation are co-hosting the U.S. Women's National Team vs. Canada at the Sportsplex on Sunday, June 26 at 3 p.m. The match will be televised live on ESPN2.

· Tickets for both Virginia Beach matches are available at the Sportsplex.

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