Friday, May 31, 2013
TUKWILA, Wash. – The Sounders U-23 defeated the Washington Crossfire 1-0 in dramatic fashion on Friday night for their first PDL win of the season. Blake Wise put the Sounders ahead for good with a stoppage time bicycle kick goal to break what seemed to be a match headed for a scoreless draw.
The Sounders U-23 started the match on the attack with chances coming early. In the fourth minute, Miles Byass slipped through the back line, into the box, and on to a perfectly weighted through ball. Byass looked up to take a shot on goal but the oncoming Crossfire keeper, Spencer Richey, met him at the penalty spot and took the shot right of the Sounders U-23 striker’s foot.
The Sounders U-23 continued the pressure on goal earning three corner kicks within the first 10 minutes of play. However, despite the chances, they could not find that last finishing touch to put a goal on the scoreboard.
At the back the Sounders U-23 defense played as a well-organized unit, limiting the Crossfire to only two shots on goal in the first half. Washington’s best chance came on a corner kick in the 39th minute. Sounders U-23 keeper Ben Dragavon came out to punch the ball, but it fell at the feet of Crossfire attackers. The ball rattled around in the box for a few nervous touches, but was ultimately cleared from danger.
The half came to an end with the Sounders U-23 on the attack again. A combination of long throws, free kicks, and corner kicks tested the Crossfire keeper, Richey, but the two sides went into their locker rooms locked at 0-0.
The second half proved to be much like the first, with the Sounders U-23 side knocking on the door, but not able to push through for a goal.
In the 56th minute Aodhan Quinn picked up the ball in an attacking position. The surrounding Crossfire defenders all decided to leave him to mark other players making their runs. Quinn lined up the shot with his left foot and let one fly, but it dipped just a moment too late, after it had cleared the bar for a goal kick.
The best look of the second half for the Crossfire came in the 81st minute. Forward Hamza Haddadi found himself alone behind the Sounders U-23 defense, onside, with only Dragavon to beat. The Sounders U-23 veteran was up to the task as he got just enough of the ball to deflect it away for a defensive clearance.
Then, in the closing moments of the match the Sounders U-23 pushed men forward looking for a chance at three points. They sent a long free kick into the box, but Richey was there again to punch it away. Still on the attack, Josh Phillips gathered the rebound and popped it back into the box where Wise was positioned with his back to the goal. The ball took one bounce up into Wise’s chest, and without hesitation, Wise leapt into the air and fired a bicycle on goal. Finally the Sounders U-23 had scored as the ball whipped through Richey’s gloves and into the net.
With virtually no time left in the match the Sounders U-23 went on to claim the 1-0 victory and their first league win of the season.
Next up for the Sounders U-23 are the Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-23. They’ll meet for a Sunday afternoon match at Sunset Stadium at 2 p.m. For live updates from Sunday’s match follow us on Twitter: @SoundersU23 and ‘Like’ us on Facebook. For a recap of all Sounders-U23 matches as well as ticket information, visit SoundersU23.com.