Sounders Fall 2-1 to Vancouver Whitecaps

March 22, 2008 - USL First Division (USL-1) - Seattle Sounders News Release

(Tukwila, WA) - The Seattle Sounders opened the 2008 exhibition season Saturday night with a 2-1 loss to the Vancouver Whitecaps. Goals from Eduardo Sebrango and Nick Addlery offset a goal from Sounders forward Roger Levesque in front of 752 people at the Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila.

The Sounders starting lineup had a couple of fresh faces as trial players Jesus Mendoza and Jean-Martial Kipre joined veterans from the championship side.

The opening ten minutes saw an aggressive Sounders side creating chances as many balls were filtering through the former Mexican national player, Jesus Mendoza. In the sixth minute, Mendoza showed great ball control but his pass just missed Zach Scott on the wing.

The Whitecaps settled down quickly and began to press the Sounders defense. In the 11th minute Vicente Arze broke through the Sounders backline but the shot went wide to the left.

The Whitecaps continued to create chances and the 15th minute saw the first goal of the match as Jean-Martial Kipre was dispossessed on the right by Nick Addlery and found Jason Jordan in front of goal who squared and scored.

The Sounders nearly grabbed the equalizer two minutes later, but the header by Danny Jackson hit the woodwork.

As the half progressed, Roger Levesque was clearly becoming a thorn in the Whitecaps backline as he was the object of many long balls. After one of these balls in the 29th minute just missed Levesque, a poor clearance by Jay Nolly came to the feet of Sebastien Le Toux, but the league MVP was unable to control it and the ball was cleared.

The end of the half saw the Sounders pressing hard for the equalizer and in the 44th minute their work paid off as a Roger Levesque header found the back of the net off a corner kick from Jesus Mendoza. The half came to an end and the sides were tied at one goal a piece.

The Sounders brought out an entirely new side made of a majority of trial players as the second half got underway. Neither side created any immediate chances as both teams tried to get used to the line change.

Ten minutes into the half the Whitecaps were first to start creating opportunities as Nick Addlery got through the backline and fired a cross to Steve Kindel whose volley was saved by Chris Eylander.

The Whitecaps scored what would be the decisive goal in the 64th minute from the head of Eduardo Sebrango after Jordan Lyle passed the ball from the 25 yards. The Whitecaps continued to press as the Sounders struggled to retain possession of the ball.

As the 70th minute approached, the Sounders began to grow more comfortable and retain possession for longer spells. A foul on Adrian Cann in the 71st minute gave the Sounders a free kick from 25 yards but the Jamie Watson shot went high.

Vancouver broke through in the 79th minute with a flurry of shots but Chris Eylander did brilliantly to prevent a goal.

With the 80th minute approaching, the Whitecaps began to dominate and looked destined to score but Chris Eylander made consecutive brilliant saves to keep the score at 1-1.

As the game neared a close, the Sounders began to pour forward desperate to get the equalizer. A Daniel Scott cross in the 85th minute was cleared by Vancouver.

The last clear chance for the Sounders was a free kick from Kenji Treschuk just outside the box that went high. The final whistle saw Vancouver coming away from the match with a 2-1 win.

The exhibition season continues Saturday March 29th as the Sounders take on the Gonzaga Bulldogs. The Sounders regular season opener is April 19 at Charleston.

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