SEATTLE, WA – The Atlanta Silverbacks tied the Seattle Sounders at the Starfire Complex in Washington tonight by a score of 1-1.
With only two playoff berths remaining, Seattle and Atlanta found themselves battling for one of the final spots. Seattle was able to clinch a playoff berth with the tie. Meanwhile, Atlanta kept playoff hopes alive with the tie, though a Minnesota Thunder win tonight put heavy pressure on the ‘Backs. The Thunder's win eliminated both Portland and Miami from playoff contention.
(Photo Caption: Atlanta Silverbacks captain Rodrigo Rios led Atlanta to a draw on the road, snapping a three-game losing streak against the Sounders. Photo by Ron Holt).
The match saw the return of the ‘Backs’ top player, Macoumba Kandji, after he missed the past five games due to a high ankle sprain.
While the Sounders controlled the run of play for the first 20 minutes, the first true scoring opportunity of the match came in the 23rd minute of the match for the Silverbacks. Kandji received a ball in the middle of the pitch and struck a ball from just five yards out, but Seattle goalkeeper Chris Eylander was able to dive into the ball at point-blank range to thwart the effort.
The red-and-black suffered a blow in the 37th minute, when midfielder Sean Cameron was forced to leave the match due to a knee injury. Cameron returned to the Silverbacks in the team’s last match after a jaw injury had sidelined him for several games.
The Sounders would capitalize and strike in the next minute; after Kenji Treschuk dribbled through several defenders inside the Atlanta box on the left side, he poked a ball into the middle of the pitch to Sebastien Le Toux for the easy goal to put the home team up 1-0.
Kandji was able to answer for the Silverbacks in the 55th minute of play. The tall striker won a ball against Sounder defender Taylor Graham at the top of the 18-yard box, then had only Eylander to beat. Kandji slotted the ball to the far post, registering the 11th goal of his 2008 campaign and tying the game at 1-1.
The goal broke a streak of 460 consecutive scoreless minutes against the Sounders, dating back to the end of the 2006 season.
Neither team would be able to put away another goal, and the game would end in a draw, allowing Seattle to punch their ticket to the playoffs and Atlanta to continue the fight for postseason play.
The Silverbacks will next face the league-leading Puerto Rico Islanders this Friday, September 19th at Juan Ramon Loubriel Stadium in Bayamon.
Around the League:
Charleston Battery 0, Minnesota Thunder 4
Montreal Impact 0, Vancouver Whitecaps 1
Game Summary: (Atlanta Silverbacks vs. Seattle Sounders, September 13th, 2008)
SEA: Sebastien Le Toux – 38’ (Kenji Treschuk)
ATL: Macoumba Kandji – 55’
Atlanta Starters: Rodrigo Rios, Felipe Quintero, Brent Sancho, Justin Moore, David Hayes, Matt Bobo, Tony McManus, Josh Bolton, Jason McLaughlin, Sean Cameron, Macoumba Kandji
Substitutions: Aaron Paye for Sean Cameron (37’), Zach Kirby for Justin Moore (45’), Duke Hashimoto for Macoumba Kandji (81’), Scott Buete for Tony McManus (86’), Chris Mahaffey for Rodrigo Rios (89’)
Cautions: Justin Moore – 29’, David Hayes – 78’, Aaron Paye – 83’
Seattle Starters: Danny Jackson, Chris Eylander, Kevin Sakuda, Taylor Graham, Zach Scott, Kenji Treschuk, Josh Gardner, Youssouf Kante, Leighton O’Brien, Roger Levesque, Sebastien Le Toux
Substitutions: Michael Rodriguez for Taylor Graham (58’), Kevin Forrest for Roger Levesque (67’), Sanna Nyassi for Josh Gardner (70’)
Weather: Clear, 69F