|Silverbacks Fall to SeattleMonday May 19, 2008|
SEATTLE—The Atlanta Silverbacks fell to the Seattle Sounders 4-2 Sunday night in a rematch of last year's USL-1 championship match at StarFire Soccer Complex. Jason McLaughlin and Ansu Toure scored for the Silverbacks.
(Photo Caption: Jason McLaughlin got his team-leading fourth goal in the Silverbacks 4-2 loss to Seattle Sunday night. Photo by Elaine Carroll)
McLaughlin's goal bumps his season tally to a team-leading four goals, three of which have come in consecutive games.
Coming off a 2-1 win over Minnesota Friday night in Atlanta, the Silverbacks entered the match having flown cross-country and on just over 24 hours rest.
“We had flashes where we were playing well, but we just couldn't sustain it, and spent most of the game chasing the ball—not something you want to do when you are already tired and a little banged up” said head coach Jason Smith.
Earlier this month the Silverbacks fell to Seattle 2-0 at home. It was the only match the Silverbacks have been shut out this season. In the Silverbacks previous four meetings with Seattle—including last year's championship match—the Sounders have outscored the Silverbacks 9-0.
In the second minute of the match the Sounders added to that total when Sebastian Le Toux danced through a spell-bound Silverback defense, slotting the match's opening goal under a charging Felipe Quintero. Sunday was Quintero's first start in goal on the season, and the only change Smith made from Friday night.
“Felipe earned the start,” Smith said. “I don't think the score necessarily reflects his performance tonight.”
In the 15th minute Quintero saved spectacularly off Le Toux after a defensive breakdown, and stood strong under considerable pressure in the opening 20 minutes of play.
In the 25th minute the Silverbacks finally began to settle down. The result was McLaughlin's equalizer, a powerfully driven header to the far post.
Ten minutes later the Sounders reclaimed the lead when Josh Gardner got on the end of a loose ball in the goal mouth after the Silverbacks were unable to clear the ball.
On the restart, Ansu Toure—who left the match in the second half with an ankle injury—leveled the score again, getting in behind a sleeping Sounders back line off a heads-up ball from Kandji. The goal was Toure's first as a Silverback since coming over from Minnesota in the offseason.
Two minutes later it looked as if the Sounders had taken the lead once again when Zach Scott slammed home a loose ball after Quintero was challenged—and fouled—on a Leighton O'Brien corner kick. The goal was called back.
With one minute remaining in the half it was Quintero playing hero again, turning a long free kick by Gardner over the cross bar, slamming into the post to make the save.
And in injury time, Toure was turned away by Eylander, who tipped his dangerous left footed drive over the crossbar to end the half.
Just four minutes into the second half the Silverbacks found themselves down both a man and a goal. Half time substitute Zach Kirby was shown an immediate red card for his blood-drawing aerial challenge on Le Toux on a looping cross played into the penalty area. O'Brien stepped up and calmly pushed the ball to his left as the flailing goalkeeper went the other way.
Matt Bobo nearly leveled the score in the 55th minute, getting on the end of a David Hayes corner kick, beating goalkeeper Chris Eylander before the ball was headed off the line. Two minutes after that McLaughlin missed just wide right from 20 yards out.
In the 63rd minute it was Bobo at the other end, clearing a ball off the line after Quintero slowed up a charging Le Toux to allow Bobo to play the ball clear.
Another Silverback defensive lapse in the 70th minute put the Sounders up by two after Quintero was drawn off his line. Gardner had little trouble finishing into an open net from close range for his second on the night.
The loss bumps the Silverbacks to 2-2-2 on the season. On Saturday the Silverbacks travel to Charleston to face the first place Battery (4-1-2) in a Southern Derby match-up. The game can be viewed live and on demand at www.usllive.com.
Chris Eylander, Kevin Sakuda, Zach Scott, Danny Jackson, Taylor Graham, Kenji Treschuk (Noah Merl 79), Leighton O'Brien, Youseef Kante (John Fishbaugher 24), Josh Gardner, Roger Levesque (Jason Cascio 74), Sebastian Le Toux.
Felipe Quintero, David Hayes, Matt Bobo, Martyn Lancaster, Justin Moore (Zach Kirby 46), Rodrigo Rios (Josh Bolton 46), Tony McManus, Scott Buete, Ansu Toure (Blake Camp 80), Mac Kandji (Jerson Monteiro 71), Jason McLaughlin.
SEA—Le Toux (Kante) 2
ATL—McLaughlin (Bobo) 25
ATL—Toure (Kandji) 36
SEA—O'Brien (penalty) 50
ATL—Kirby (ejection) 48
ATL—Quintero (caution) 71