Sounders score early, hold off late rally from Toronto FC

Hahnemann saves three points - Brad White

Behind a Rosales and Doniel Henry (own goal) goals in the first half Seattle Sounders FC coasted to a 2-1 win. The second half did see Toronto close the lead, but the result was only in doubt because Seattle already lead by two goals. Also, Clint Dempsey played more than a half for Sounders FC.

Early in the match Seattle Sounders FC pressured the TFC goal quite a bit. At the end of half one the Rave Green were up 2-nil. Though Obafemi Martins left early due to injury they'd replaced him with Clint Dempsey so spirits were quite high among the faithful. Half two would not justify those high spirits.

Sprung wide right from a Brad Evans pass Eddie Johnson headed the ball across the box in the 16th minute. Mauro Rosales' shot was not crisp, not clean. It went in and Seattle went up early. At that point they were 33-0-8 in scoring first. Things looked quite good.

Late in the first half Lamar Neagle hovered over the ball as Toronto could not deal with him on the left flank. He waited for the Sounders attack to catch up. When they did his cross was off by bare inches, but it was close enough that Doniel Henry was forced to address it. His attempt to interrupt Seattle's play resulted in a goal.

A harsh tackled forced Sigi Schmid to insert Clint Dempsey earlier than planned. Oba went down on a harsh tackle and so the Dempsey era started earlier than expected. Clint didn't get a goal, but in the second half the threats funneled through the American captain.

With a two goal lead Sounders FC's second half started with an intent to feel things out. Unfortunately the response would be rapid. Just a minute into the half Jonathon Osorio managed to put a ball in the net. He'd been the greatest threat for Toronto FC, but that goal was not one earned.

For the final 45 minutes Seattle would maintain a lead on the road. It took luck and skill against a team that should have been blown out. Entering a week when two marginal US National Teamers are likely headed to Bosnia the card against Eddie Johnson insured that he at least could not be a possible late sub against Houston.

The three points picked up by Mauro, EJ and our friend Own Goal put the Sounders in a playoff position with a bullet. Next up is Houston and then a logging town.

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