Cascadia Beer Summit

16 03 2013
Sounders vs Timbers - Cascadia Rivalry - Image from Cascadia Trifecta

Sounders vs Timbers – Cascadia Rivalry – Image from Cascadia Trifecta

The more I am involved in the Cascadia Rivalry, the more I find my perspective broadening and not becoming cemented to one perspective. My heart is for only one club. But the passion, humor, and history of the rivalry have engaged me to the point of enjoying other people across team borders.

This afternoon I have the opportunity as a Seattle Sounders fan to meet up with a Portland Timbers fan. Although your first instinct is to call Homeland Security. I assure you it is not needed. This meeting is the rational outgrowth of many Facebook conversations between a Teacher and a Banker. A Timber and a Sounder.

He is a Timbers fan who was once a Sounders fan. I am a Sounders fan with family and friends near Portland. We have region, beer, and soccer to bond with. Rivalry support is separate, but raising scarves, and cheering on our respective clubs each week, turns out to not be the only supporter qualities we share.

If Obama had the “Beer Summit”, I guess you could say we will have the Beer Meet-up.

We take part in a unique Facebook group known as “Cascadia Trifecta”. Involving fans of all three of Cascadia’s clubs from Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver. Jabs are common place, but moments of rational intellect are not filtered out.

Last year the site gained recognition with the creation of a Cascadia kit. The design came from the creative minds and comments of those who regularly participate in the site.

Here is my recent piece in Prost Amerika where I take some of what I’ve gained in my Cascadia conversations. I still wear my Sounders badge on my sleeve, but my perspective has taken on elements of neutral respect.


© 2013 Sales on Sounders by Ryan J Sales




Can Sounders Write History vs Tigres

12 03 2013

Tigres UANLWhen was the last time you heard of fans celebrating a loss?

That could happen Tuesday night if Sounders FC defeat Tigres UANL at CenturyLink Field in the second leg of the CONCACAF Quarterfinal series. With Tigres leading 1-nil after the first leg last Wednesday in Monterrey, Mexico, Sounders FC will need two goals to make the near impossible become strange reality.

Seattle was outshot 18-3. But a veteran defensive effort from Leo Gonzalez and Djimi Traore, along with a stand-on-his-head effort by Keeper, Micheal Gspurning, kept the final score close.

Djimi Traore is the Sounders most recent acquisition. Most noted for his European Champions League title in 2005 with Liverpool.

The first leg was hard-fought. In the end, right back, Leo Gonzalez simply couldn’t make enough spectacular goal line clearances. None more notable than his third minute kick save on the line.

The lone goal for Tigres came in the 73rd minute. Alberto Acosta placed a set piece over Seattle’s defense to Lucas Lobos. His strike on frame was again knocked away by Gspurning. Unfortunately, Alan Pulido was able to push forward and head home the first leg winner.

The Sounders came home only a goal down. Facing Tigres in the second leg Tuesday, they have everything to play for. A pair of goals, OT miracle, or PK (Penalty Kick) glory are all possible.

If the Sounders win Tuesday night against Tigres, pulling off the undisputed upset of the 2013 CONCACAF Champions League, then last weeks first leg loss could go down in sports lore as one of the greatest, most celebrated losses.

If a publisher is reading, and the Sounders win Tuesday, we can discuss a deal for the book,

“The time we went to Mexico, fought to a loss, and came home a champion”

© 2013 Sales on Sounders by Ryan J Sales

Sounders at C.D. Marathon – Live Chat

19 09 2012

Seattle Sounders FC vs C.D. Marathon in Champions League action tonight at 7pm.

A Sounders win advances them to the quarterfinal knock out stages of CONCACAF Champions League.

Click below to join the fun.

Click Here

LA Confidential part-two, The Boogie Team; Sounders vs Galaxy

4 08 2012

“Sometimes you just have a boogie team, you know, a team that just, for some reason, it just doesn’t work for you. And right now, they’re that team for us. I think they know that in their locker room.” 

Sigi Schmid, after 2010 season opening loss, 1-nil to LA Galaxy, March 16, 2011
(The Seattle Times | Sounders FC Blog, Joshua Meyers, Sounders vs Galaxy 3/16/11)

2011 MLS Champion LA Galaxy. Sounders 4-5-2 vs Galaxy in all competitions. 2-5-2 in MLS (including playoffs)

For this LA Confidential sequel, don’t go looking up IMDB (Internet Movie Database) when you have SOS (Sales on Sounders).

Seattle Sounders finally defeated LA Galaxy May 2nd, 2-nil. Stopping a winless streak dating to the 2009 inaugural season. Including regular season and 2010 MLS Playoff matches the Sounders record over that stretch 0-wins, 5-losses, 1-draw. The win in May was worth 3-points for the season, but without LA’s complete star-driven lineup it felt anticlimactic.

Sure, Sounders managed two US Open Cup wins over the Galaxy during that period. But at best the Galaxy were only giving 80% effort in those matches. Which ordinarily would be questionable behavior. If it weren’t for the fact the Galaxy made it clear winning MLS Cups are their priority. They backed that up convincingly winning the 2011 MLS Cup.

LA, Where the Wild Things are.

The Galaxy are loaded with international talent causing nightmares for MLS clubs.

No Galaxy name registers more attention than midfielder, David Beckham. With 6 goals and 9 assists, Beckham has been bending it the way only Beckham knows how. He has been directly involved in 15 of LA’s 39 goals. He’ll be nightmarish for the Sounders on set pieces.

Robbie Keane will make his first appearance for the Galaxy at Century Link Field. Although he has struggled to find the back of net this year, he has registered 52 shots, and tied with Donovan for 9 goals, leading the Galaxy. His struggles were only due to expectation for him to have scored 15-18 goals. He’s also recorded 6 assists. The Republic of Ireland National Team captain, is indeed the kind of nightmare the Sounders defense will have to challenge themselves to survive. His threat to score is as deadly as his ability to score.

When the Galaxy drifted to the bottom of the table earlier this season, all eyes turned on captain, Landon Donovan. Coach, Bruce Arena didn’t panic. Confident he had players with talent and will to pull through a sluggish start. Recently Arena pulled Donovan aside for a brief 1-vs-1. No surprise the Galaxy started climbing the table soon after. With a win over the Sounders, LA would rise to third place in the Western Conference.

“Struggling”, is a relative term in the world of defending champion, LA Galaxy. Landon Donovan continues to lead his team in scoring with 9 goals. He’s also recorded 7 assists, only 2 behind Beckham. It is easy to see why Donovan is the most prolific goal getter the US has produced. Even when he struggles, he’s a difference maker that finds ways to remain on the pitch contributing to the Galaxy’s success.

When LA struggled early on, one key player was absent from their championship squad, Omar Gonzalez. As the Galaxy slowly work back into championship form, it is his presence on defense that haunts opposing clubs.

LA’s three Designated Players: Robbie Keane, Landon Donovan, and David Beckham

Juninho is already known as a goal scoring thorn in the Sounders side. Playing at Century Link wont rattle this Brazilian’s football-brain.

Mike Magee doesn’t initially strike fear in opponents. He’s deceiving. Seems like a good guy. Defendable. Then, in the closing minutes of matches, who’s the guy on the end of so many Beckham bending blasts?  Magee, Magee, and Magee.

The Sounders have produced a unique ability to win US Open Cups. Since the Sounders 2009 inaugural season they are the only club to touch the cup. Winning three in a row. The name of the trophy is on the verge of being renamed, The Rave Green, Emerald City Cup. Next Wednesday, Sounders travel to Sporting Kansas City to play for their fourth consecutive US Open Cup.

The same can not be said for the Sounders ability to win key Major League Soccer regular season and playoff matches. They continue to be one of the most successful, attack oriented MLS clubs. But they struggle in key MLS matches. LA is one of those teams the Sounders have yet to measure up to.

Keys for the Sounders to exorcise a Boogie:

Don’t give up silly set pieces within Beckham’s bending range. Mark Robbie Keane. If you lose him, then you will find him in the back of your net. Mark up Magee. You can let Magee wander a bit, but watch out for his late runs into the box. When Beckham’s behind the ball, Magee better be covered, or you’ll soon realize he was the target all along.

With Eddie Johnson fully in form, will he be able to find that inch of space he needs to score on Omar Gonzalez? The Omar Gonzalez vs Eddie Johnson matchup may prove to be the key to the match. Another key question, will Osvaldo Alonso be able to hold up LA in the midfield, as he has against so many clubs? Tactically, he surely will. But not allowing LA to get inside his head, which I guarantee is an LA Confidential objective, will be Alonso’s challenge.

There may not be a footy-priest available tomorrow to conduct a Sounders exorcist. But, there will be 60,000 faithful, rave green, screaming fans boisterously believing they can beat a LA Boogie.

© 2012 Sales on Sounders by Ryan J Sales

And the journey begins, Champions League 2012; Sounders vs Caledonia AIA

2 08 2012

Caledonia AIA play in Trinidad and Tobago’s TT Pro League

Seattle Sounders FC return to Champions League Thursday at CenturyLink Field. Starting their third consecutive campaign in our regions international tournament. The Sounders host the Caribbean Football Union’s Club Champion, Caledonia AIA of Trinidad and Tobago’s TT Pro League.

The Sounders have reached Champions League three consecutive years. Winning the US Open Cup the previous three seasons qualified them for CONCACAF Champions League.

Our international soccer (football) region is the wonky acronym, CONCACAF. (The Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football). Fortunately their website is easier to remember than their name.

Sounders in Champions League 2010:

The Sounders first plunge into Champions League was in 2010. The major accomplishment in their first international campaign was qualifying for Champions League on their first attempt. Joining MLS in 2009, they won the US Open Cup in their inaugural season. That first Open Cup title punched their Champions League ticket.

If reaching international competition in their first attempt was their high, the disappointing low was failing to advance beyond the group stages. They went 2-wins, 3-losses, and 1-draw. Their first campaign could be summed up in one match.

A long way to Mexico. In the Sounders home match with Monterrey they lost 2-nil. In the away-leg in Mexico, Sounders sought revenge. They held a surprising 2-nil lead going into the 70th minute. No MLS club had won in Mexico. Monterrey scored in the 74th minute rattling the Sounders excited nerves. Seattle proceeded to allow two more goals in less than five minutes. Suffering a disappointing 3-2 loss. But it prepared them for 2011.

Monterrey went on to defeat Real Salt Lake to win the 2010 Champions League.

Sounders in Champions League 2011:

Group stage ready, the Sounders didn’t simply hope to do well. They made advancing from group stage a priority. The Sounders improved to 4-wins, 2-losses, and 1-draw. Again, the big moment came in Monterrey.

A week before Sounders played Monterrey, FC Dallas defeated Pumas to become the first MLS club to win in Mexico. Sounders didn’t waste any time being second.

Thirty-eight minutes into the away match, Alvaro Fernandez scored the decisive goal. This time the Sounders stood tall. Earning their most prominent international victory to date. They defeated the reigning CONCACAF Champion, halted their thirteen match Champions League undefeated streak, and did it in Mexico. More importantly, the win helped propel the Sounders to the quarterfinal knock-out round.

2011 Quarterfinals vs Santos Laguna:

Club Santos Laguna, Primera División, Mexico

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Advancing from group stages for the first time the Sounders again faced a formidable Mexican club in a two-leg, knockout quarterfinal.

For the first leg in Seattle, David Estrada wasted no time giving the Sounders fans a chilling, March-madness goal in the twelfth minute. Santos equalized in the sixty-first minute with a goal from US National Team’s striker, Hercules Gomez. On a free kick two minutes later, Mauro Rosales sent a soaring kick dangerously into the box, where Brad Evans headed the ball over Santos outstretched and airborne goalkeeper into the right corner of his net.

The two-leg series is aggregate. Sounders traveled to Santos one goal to the good (2-1).

The Sounders were always up against it. They knew defeating Santos would take more than a one goal advantage. But giving up two goals in the opening ten minutes was more than eloquent foreshadowing. Sounders got one goal back in the thirty-seventh minute. At halftime of the second leg the aggregate score sat knotted at 3-3. But Santos put away four second half goals. The Sounders took home their worse competitive loss to date 6-1 for the night, and 7-3 aggregate.

“Why so serious”?  Joker asks Batman. With every MLS team struggling to keep players healthy without US Open Cup and Champions League matches, why take Champions League seriously? Doesn’t that potentially weaken your chances for winning an MLS Cup?

You can’t avoid answering “yes”. But stopping there, you’d never see one of the beautiful, unique aspects of the game. The best teams, and only the best teams play in multiple leagues at one time. Barcelona, Chelsea, Manchester United, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, and AC Milan do this year in, year out.

These matches are not added to a clubs schedule for punishment. They add pedigree. They distinguish the elite champions from a regular list of the rest.

Seattle Sounders coach Sigi Schmid took a moment recently and gave some good insight into the importance of playing in, and taking our regions Champions League so seriously.

“It’s important because it’s our international tournament. It’s our Champions League. It’s our opportunity to show how good we are within our region. It gives us the opportunity to go to the World Club Championship”.

“I think you look at last year when we played against Santos, certainly the win at home was a big confidence booster for us, and the game down there was a big learning experience for us as well. But if we could have gotten past that game, matched up with Toronto, got into the final, it would have been a huge thing for our club. So, this is the beginning of that journey, and being recognized within your region I think is very important for our league as well. Because it’s definitely, I can say it’s a power struggle between Mexico and the US, as to who’s the dominant country in our region. That power struggle gets played out at the national team level, and then it gets played out at the club level as well, and the only place it gets played at the club level is in the Champions League”.

The group stage format is revised for 2012. In previous years each group, like the World Cup, had four clubs. The top two advancing. This year each group has three clubs, with only one advancing.

Winning the first match becomes more critical. In the past, clubs had wiggle room. They could settle for a couple draws advancing to the second round without exercising their full effort to win their group. This format change forces clubs to compete from the start.

To make other clubs want to reach Champions League, the new format offers some advantages over past formats. Two fewer games, which means less travel. But having less wiggle room means if you want to be a champion you have to win, or go home.

© 2012 Sales on Sounders by Ryan J Sales

Defend It – Sounders vs Chivas USA – Seattle wants fourth Open Cup

11 07 2012

“Defend it”

“Defend It” – USL Sounders slogan – keychain side 2

USL Sounders “Defend It” keychain side 1

Dusting off an old Sounders keychain, I found a message from their USL days. It’s a simple slogan lacking originality. But sends a clear message. Defeat Chivas USA, Wednesday at Starfire and the Sounders earn the right to defend their three consecutive US Open Cup titles. A unique American sports dynasty that Sounders would like to defend while striving for a fourth.

Sporting Kansas City travels to PPL Park in Philadelphia to face the Philadelphia Union in the other Wednesday semifinal.

Three is not enough. Seattle have already established a modern US Open Cup dynasty winning three straight US Open Cups. From the 2009 inaugural season to the present they have reigned supreme. Possibly more significant than winning three straight cups is tomorrows semifinal with Chivas USA, which marks Seattle’s sixth consecutive trip to the US Open Cup semifinal round. A tremendous achievement in the cups ninety-nine year history. A mark extraordinary enough to likely stand for another hundred years.

If the Sounders make it past Chivas they will become only the second team to accomplish the feat.  The last being Stix, Baer and Fuller (St Louis Central Breweries) from 1932-1935.

Advantage Levesque or advantage Riley?
Teammates and fan favorites from the Sounders inaugural season and the run of three US Open Cups. Roger Levesque and James Riley face one another as opponents this time. Both are steady cogs in each clubs lineups. Never the star, but always accountable.

Roger Levesque plays any position. From Defender to Forward. James Riley was a steady Right Back for Seattle’s first three seasons. He plays the Right Back position consistently for Chivas USA since being picked up by Montreal and subsequently traded in the Expansion Draft. Levesque has played for the Sounders since their USL days.  He’s been part of each of the Sounders six-year run at reaching as far as the semifinal.

Starfire’s home advantage. Riley knows Sounders home away from home pitch at Starfire as well as any opponent Sounders could face. The short field plays quickly. Teams have little space to build a midfield attack. It makes for an exciting game for fans as the possession transitions like hockey quickly from defense to attack. Riley will be able to help Chivas prepare for that style of play.

2012 is the 99th edition of the US Open Cup – Sounders are 1st club since 67-69 to win 3 in a row – 6 consecutive semifinal appearances

For the Sounders, there is an intriguing simultaneous duel they are fighting for beyond the one with Chivas USA to reach the US Open Cup finals. One for respect. The US Open Cup does not get its due credit as an American sporting institution. And the Sounders aren’t treated like a reigning champion.

Rather than the Sounders having home-field advantage throughout this years competition as reigning champions. They lost home-field hosting rights to Sporting Kansas City with a coin flip. A sporting flop. A coin flip determines who kicks off and who defends. Not who hosts a match.

In any other major sporting league the Seattle Sounders US Open Cup accomplishments would be more highly regarded by their peers. Winning the US Open Cup is a direct path to CONCACAF Champions League. The Sounders have benefitted from punching their CCL ticket before any other MLS club the past three years. But MLS clubs often show up to US Open Cup matches ill prepared. Portland losing 1-0 to Cal FC may have even been the match that undid John Spencer’s coaching position for Portland. The Sounders don’t need any parades, but more acknowledgment from Major League Soccer and their club peers would help grow the interest and image of the 99-year-old knockout competition.

There are no guarantees, but if the Sounders defeat Chivas USA, they will be making a fourth consecutive US Open Cup Finals appearance. Their dynasty becomes legacy.

The Final may well be a name changing event. From US Open Cup, to Seattle’s Open Cup.


2007 – Seattle Sounders lose to FC Dallas 2-1 overtime – Qwest Field, Seattle, WA (Semifinal)
2008 – Seattle Sounders draw Charlotte Battery 1-1, lose on Penalty Kicks (4-2) – Charlotte, NC (Semifinal)
2009 – Seattle Sounders FC defeat DC United 2-1 – RFK Stadium, Washington, DC
2010 – Seattle Sounders FC defeat Columbus Crew 2-1 – Qwest Field, Seattle, WA
2011 – Seattle Sounders FC defeat Chicago Fire 2-nil – CenturyLink Field, Seattle, WA
2012 – Seattle Sounders  FC vs Chivas USA – Starfire Sports Complex, Tukwila, WA (Semifinal)

© 2012 Sales on Sounders by Ryan J Sales

Major League Wobegon Days – MLS Struggles to succeed in US Open Cup

5 06 2012

And now, the news from Major League Wobegon.

Lamar Hunt US Open Cup – Sounders FC 2009 – Present

All sixteen US-based Major League Soccer squads were included in this years US Open Cup. Their first action came in the third round. 2012 marks the 99th year for the US Open Cup. The last three consecutive cups have gone to Seattle Sounders FC who are pursuing an unprecedented fourth straight cup. With a dynasty already in tact, another would mark a legacy.

Common sense says 12 of the 16 MLS clubs move on. Vegas betting says no fewer than 10. No one picked only 8 moving on. If you did pick 8, quit your job and join SpaceX, The first commercial spacecraft missions to visit the international space station. So come on, you know you didn’t pick eight. No one did.

Their is only one American capable of picking so few big-league soccer clubs to move on. Eight Goliaths falling to eight Davids. A story of epic woebegone proportion. A true American storyteller, Garrison Keiller.

Lake Wobegon United fields only 10 starters. Because of some misinterpreted Lutheran athletic law of less is more. That, and no one, at least none of the men ever admitted Lake Wobegon’s Women’s soccer team were actually far superior. Ten championships out of eleven years. The men had still never scored twice in a single game. Always said they could win with one fewer player than the women. Down inside, they trembled with fear at the idea of playing the women. The swerving crosses, slicing kicks, never afraid of a little blood diving for a header. Ice fishing was more a mans rights of passage with his father anyway. Plus songs on the travel bus never went over well. Songs of course were a part of every young Lutheran’s church going experience on Sunday. But Lutheran soccer chants on the travel bus were pretty awful. “Burn, destroy, wreck, and kill”, never settled well with their stomachs. Or their ability to harmonize. “Ole, ole, ole”, and “holy, holy, holy blurred together without recognition. None of the men wanted to travel anywhere to play soccer. The women just kept on winning. Either way, no one ever talked about soccer in Lake Wobegon, where all the women score goals, the men go fishing, and the children sew scarves.

When pairings were drawn for the third round of the US Open Cup, the Minnesota Stars got home field against 2009 MLS Cup Champions, Real Salt Lake. No travel. Holy, holy, holy! Finances are tough for everyone. Same for every second, third, and amateur level sports franchise. Real Salt Lake offered to buy the rights to host the match. Enough so Minnesota could fly to Salt Lake City. Seventeen thousand Real Salt Lake fans showed up. More for a pre-final match than in the 99 year history of the US Open Cup. Real Salt Lake had bought a sure win. Ole, ole, ole!

Kevin Venegas controlled an attempted clearance by Real Salt Lake Keeper, Kyle Reymish in only the third minute of the match. Venegas headed the ball barely under the crossbar and Minnesota was on the board. 17,000 hadn’t found their seats. Real Salt Lake suffered a Goliath collapse. Falling 3-1. Lake Wobegon United scored more than once. They finally won. But they weren’t even the least likely of the Davids to pluck the heart of Goliath.

Only half the Goliath MLS clubs played at a level you would expect. Barely making news. They simply delighted, like the New York Red Bulls in winning 3-nil over Charleston Battery.

2009 DC United, 2010 Columbus Crew, 2011 Chicago Fire, 2012 (?)

Other Goliath MLS winners included, Philadelphia Union ravaging the Rochester Rhinos 3-nil. Colorado Rapids toppling Tampa Bay 3-1. Kansas City took no pity on Orlando City 3-2. Chivas USA crumbled Ventura County 1-nil. San Jose Earthquakes shook Fort Lauderdale 2-1. And DC United gave the boot to the Richmond Kickers 2-1.

The other half of the MLS squads collapsed in historic fashion. There were fewer witnesses to the Goliath carnage as in Salt Lake, but the results were equally epic.

Harrisburg City and the New England Revolution took a nil-nil draw into overtime. Then split six goals. Level again at the end of overtime the clubs went to PK’s. The Revolution couldn’t hack the penalty kick pressure, losing 4-3.

Other Goliath MLS collapses included Michigan Bucks putting out the Chicago Fire 3-2. Dayton Dutch played something closer to their homeland Dutch style “total football” than the Columbus Crew, whom they ousted 2-1. San Antoinio knocked out rival, and 2012 MLS Cup runner-up Houston Dynamo 1-nil. Charlotte Eagles took the other MLS-heart out of Texas, knocking out FC Dallas 2-nil. Carolina RailHawks ousted 2012 MLS Cup Champion LA Galaxy 2-1.

That is only 14 of the 16 third round matches. 7 up. 7 down. Leaving the two best for last.

Like Real Salt Lake, Seattle Sounders FC bought hosting rights for their draw with the Atlanta Silverbacks. Atlanta drew the right to host, and Seattle made an offer Atlanta accepted. Seattle hosted the third round match at Starfire Sports in Tukwila. Where they have hosted all but two home matches in their three-year run. The other two home matches have been the finals at Century Link Field.

Unlike Real Salt Lake, Sounders FC did what any MLS squad is expected to do to an early US Open Cup round opponent. Especially if you are the owner of three consecutive cups. Crushing Atlanta 5-1.

Down the I-5 corridor in Portland was a Goliath woebegone story beyond anything Garrison Keillor could imagine.

The Portland Timbers did everything possible a team could do to win. Except actually win. Their inability to win was so perplexing their loyal fans seemed unsure what to cheer, or who to cheer for. Not out of anger, or not caring, but confusion. There was simply no way they could comprehend how they lost. They will never see another match like it as long as they live. There will never be another match like it.

Cal FC is an amateur team. Managed and handpicked by former MLS star and US International player Eric Wynalda. Castaways from MLS, other professional leagues, and guys who think they just need the right opportunity to be seen. Wynalda believes all his players deserve a shot at a professional contract. “If these guys aren’t with professional teams in August, then I didn’t do my job”, said Wynalda.

The star players of the first three rounds of the US Open Cup have all come from Cal FC. Rounds one and two were Danny Barrera. The third round underdog hero, or “he who shall not be named” in Portland, is Artur Aghasyan.

The Timbers are an outstanding attacking team. They don’t lack soccer creativity. But their finishing has become mysteriously missing. Statistics in this case speak for themselves. Portland Timbers took 37 shots, with 15 on frame. None found net. Enough goal scoring creativity for four matches. Enough frustration to consider taking a flight out of orbit.

Portland’s most notable shot came on a penalty kick in the 80th minute. Designated Player, Kris Boyd stepped up. Bald strikers always seem to be the best at taking heady PK’s. Boyd got under the ball to avoid showing direction to the keeper. To give it lift over the keepers outstretched arms and under the crossbar. A technically sound match winner. If it stays under the crossbar. Instead the shot foreshadowed the 8th death of Goliath in the 3rd round of the US Open Cup. Boyd’s shot took angels wings and embarked on an orbit off NASA’s radar.

Both squads were level after 90 minutes. Then came the two 15-minute overtime periods. In the fifth minute of the first overtime Danny Barrera played a perfectly timed, perfectly placed through ball to the running feet of Artur Aghasyan, who suddenly turned into Fernando Torres of Spain in the 2008 European Championships, and eloquently timed a lofted ball over Timbers Goalkeeper, Troy Perkins as Perkins went for the block.

The first goal by an amateur United States Adult Soccer Association team against a top professional MLS team.

Now the Sounders move on to face Cal FC.  The US Open Cup Goliaths against unpaid David. It’s been over twenty-two years since he said it, but if the Sounders don’t que up the goal finishing, someone will likely que up Al Michaels classic, “do you believe in miracles”. A happy tale for the winner, and an ice-age of woebegone for the loser.

© 2012 Sales on Sounders by Ryan J Sales

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