TORONTO – The eagerly anticipated debut of Clint Dempsey came a bit sooner than imagined, as the newly minted Sounders FC midfielder was on the bench to start the match against Toronto FC.
However, an ankle injury suffered by Obafemi Martins brought Dempsey into the match in the 34th minute with Sounders FC already toting a 1-0 lead.
Seattle would go on to topple Toronto 2-1, as Marcus Hahnemann earned his second straight victory after moving into the starting role last week against FC Dallas.
In the 16th minute Seattle put together a great string of soccer to get on the board. Pinging the ball back and forth with seeming ease, the ball wound up with Brad Evans on the left side of the box. He crossed it for Eddie Johnson on the right side and he knocked a header back across the box to Mauro Rosales, who bounced a side-winding volley into the net for his third goal of the season.
They added to that lead in the 40th minute when Evans carried the ball up the left side of the box and skipped the ball along the grass to the middle where Seattle had numbers crashing the front of the goal. His pass was blocked by Doneil Henry and the ball rolled slowly into the far netting for a 2-0 Seattle lead.
Toronto would pull one back just 30 seconds after the start of the second half.
Andrew Wiedeman pressed up the left side and crossed it to the middle. Reggie Lambe dummied the ball through to Jonathan Osorio coming down the middle of the box. Osorio cut the ball back to his left foot to elude Osvaldo Alonso before getting a shot away. Hahnemann got a leg on the ball, but his deflection didn’t slow the ball enough for Leo Gonzalez to get to the line for the clearance and the lead slipped to 2-1 in the 46th minute.
Seattle continued to hold off the Toronto comeback as the second half wore on. In the 60th minute, Robert Earnshaw unfurled a left-footed shot from the top of the box that clanged off the post. Then three minutes later, Richard Eckersley skipped a low cross that slid straight through the defense to the far side to Jeremy Brockie, but DeAndre Yedlin was there for the sliding stop.
As second-half stoppage time wore on, Jeremy Brockie got into the box on a long ball from the left side, but Hahnemann was there for the stop for his second save of the night to seal the 2-1 victory.
The win was the first on the road for Sounders FC since a 2-0 win over Chivas USA on June 1.
Seattle will play an MLS Reserve League match on Sunday against Orlando City SC of the USL-Pro at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando. The club’s next MLS match will be August 17 at BBVA Compass Stadium against the Houston Dynamo.
Sounders FC – Mauro Rosales (Eddie Johnson, Brad Evans) 16; Own goal (Doneil Henry).
Toronto FC – Jonathan Osorio (Andrew Wiedeman) 46.
Sounders FC – Eddie Johnson (caution) 23; Shalrie Joseph (caution) 75.
Toronto FC – None.
Sounders FC – Marcus Hahnemann, DeAndre Yedlin, Patrick Ianni, Djimi Traore, Leo Gonzalez, Mauro Rosales (Shalrie Joseph 72), Osvaldo Alonso, Brad Evans (Marc Burch 89), Lamar Neagle, Eddie Johnson, Obafemi Martins (Clint Dempsey 34).
Toronto FC – Joe Bendik, Richard Eckersley (Justin Braun 89), Steve Caldwell, Doneil Henry, Ashtone Morgan, Reggie Lambe (Alvaro Rey 71), Matias Laba, Jonathan Osorio, Bobby Convey, Andrew Wiedeman (Robert Earnshaw 56), Jeremy Brockie.
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