Sounders FC U-23 @ Kitsap Pumas
Bremerton High School Stadium - 7pm Kickoff
Bremerton, WA – The Sounders U-23 lost by a score of 3-1 to the defending PDL Champions, the Kitsap Pumas on Saturday night in Bremerton. The Sounders went down a goal early but equalized in the 25th minute. After gaining momentum with their goal from Sean Morris, the Sounders were stunned by a long shot that is usually saved. The Pumas took the lead and despite dominating the 2nd half, the Sounders gave up a penalty kick and were handed their first loss of the 2012 season.
With last week’s heroic goalkeeper, Doug Herrick, away for the Sounders U-23 vs. Kitsap Pumas matchup due to college graduation, his shoes proved difficult to fill. The first time Sounders debutant goalkeeper, Ryan Herman, touched the ball was when he picked it out of his net. Herman is coming off an achilles injury that made him miss all of his freshman season at Santa Clara. Last season’s leading points scorer for the Pumas, Matt Friesen, hit a shot from 6 yards outside the Sounders penalty area and Herman couldn’t stretch to it in time.
In the 17th minute, Zack Sampson was able to turn the corner on Mark Lee and get a shot off from a tough angle. Sampson’s shot hit off the bottom of the near post, behind the Sounders U-23 goalkeeper, and out.
In the 25th minute, the Sounders U-23 started to draw more of the attacking possession. Peterson was able to get into the box and his chance was cleared out for the corner. On the corner kick, the ball was knocked around until it spilled out to the left corner of the penalty box. Sean Morris struck it with his first touch and got everything behind the ball. Morris’ right footed shot quickly found the bottom far corner to bring the Sounders even at 1-1.
The Kitsap response was immediate. This time it was Ben Truax’s turn to try a shot from distance. The 28th minute shot skipped in front of the big Sounders goalkeeper and through his fingertips into the bottom left corner. The goalkeeper, Ryan Herman, would admit he’d like a 2nd chance at the save.
Things almost ended poorly for the Sounders U-23 at the end of the first half some miscommunication at the back ended in a Kitsap look on goal. Outside back, Michael Uyehara challenge right while a Kitsap attacker was shooting to make things difficult, and Ryan Herman did the rest with a nice save to keep the score 2-1 going into halftime.
The Pumas made no changes to start the 2nd half, but the Sounders made an unorthodox move swapping out goalkeeper, Ryan Herman for Rodney Greiling. Greiling is a Sounders Academy product and just finished his freshman year at Florida International University.
The Sounders started the 2nd half well. DeAndre Yedlin began to make the right wing his, but streaking down the line. As he cut in between two defenders, he was chopped down by Daniel Fabian for a yellow card.
Then, minutes later, Morris looked for his second goal of the game from the opposite wing of Yedlin. His shot was pounced on by Lubin, in the Kitsap net.
In the 55th minute, Facundo Dipascuale was fouled 30 yards from goal. Jamael Cox stepped over the free kick from a distance that looked like a crossing opportunity. Instead, Cox took a shot and if not for a smart save from the Pumas goalkeeper, the score would have been tied. Cox drove the shot with a hint of bend, but almost no spin towards the far corner.
As things heated up, the Pumas utilized a long throw in and nearly scored themselves. The throw was flicked on through a crowd of players to the back post where it was cleared nearly off the line by Fernando Monge.
Substitutes, Daniel Gray and Liam Kelley linked up well in the 74th minute when Gray clipped a ball over the top of the Kitsap defense to Kelley. The forward used his first touch to tip the ball over Steve Mohn, from Kitsap. With Mohn now behind Kelley he had a chance one on one and could have gone down in the box from contact from the Kitsap defender. Instead, he held his ground and his shot was saved.
The best Kitsap chances in the 2nd half came from set pieces. With a small field at Bremerton High School, the Pumas used throw ins like they were free kicks. In the 86th minute a throw in resulted in a mad scramble inside the penalty area. Kitsap couldn’t poke it in and after what felt like eternity, the Sounders U-23 were able to clear the ball.
In the 87th minute, Kitsap developed a chance into the right section of the Sounders penalty area. Truax, the Kitsap forward and Mark Lee, the Sounders defender collided. The referee awarded a penalty kick. Matt Friesen shot right down the middle but deceived the Sounders goalkeeper to make the score 3-1.
The Sounders best chance to narrow the gap before the end of the match came just after the clock turned over 90 minutes. A long throw in of their own was knocked down at the edge of the goal box. Multiple players had chances that were blocked and then Yedlin had a clear look on goal but the space was immediately closed down and his shot was blocked as well.
With everyone pushed forward for the Sounders in search of a goal, Kitsap countered. Ben Truax worked enough space to try a near post shot with his left foot. Substitute goalkeeper, Rodney Greiling was able to trap the ball nearly behind his back to keep the Sounders within two goals and keep chances alive. Thirty seconds later, the referee blew his whistle three times to end the match.
The Sounders will host their inaugural home match as a member of the PDL on May 25 vs. Victoria at 7:30pm from Franklin Pierce High School. Tickets are available on SoundersU23.com for just $10.
Don’t forget that May 30 marks a historic day when the U-23s will play at Cheney Stadium. They will be the first team to play soccer in the renovated Cheney Stadium, and before the match fans will have the chance to meet and greet the Sounders Women including Team USA stars. Tickets can be found on SoundersU23.com.
KIT - 1 Lubin, 6 Robbins, 7 Mohn, 15 Fauske, 17 Sampson, 8 Friesen, 18 Fabian, 2 Medina, 11 Johnson, 9 Bettencourt (13 Jensen-85th), 12 Truax
SEA - 00 Herman (31 Greiling-45th), 2 Uyehara, 3 Lee, 6 Brundage, 20 Yedlin, 7 Cox (19 Kelley-61st), 9 Dipascuale, 10 Monge, 13 McCluskey, 16 Peterson (26 Gray-62nd), 17 Morris (22 Reyes-78th)