Sounders U-23 celebrate the go-ahead goal (photo by Chris Coulter, SoundersPhotos.com)
Bremerton, WA – The Sounders U-23 defeated the Kitsap Pumas 2-1 Friday night with two late goals. DeAndre Yedlin tied the game in the 87th minute off of a corner kick, and then an own goal from Pumas defender Steve Mohn in the 88th put the game away for the Sounders U-23.
For most of the first half the Pumas appeared to be the better team as they controlled play. Long throw opportunities for the Pumas were key on their home field. Kitsap’s only goal of the match came just before halftime from a long throw that found Kyle Johnson for the header goal.
The game started with the Pumas on the attack first. In the 2nd minute Steve Mohn whipped a free kick into the box. The ball was headed firmly toward goal, but the chance went wide of the far post past a diving Doug Herrick.
The Sounders U-23 struck back quickly in the 4th with a nice chance of their own. Aodhan Quinn picked up a loose ball outside of the Pumas box and sent it wide to Estevez in the box. He sent a bending cross into the box, which was headed on frame by Sean Morris. Pumas keeper Zak Lubin was able to get his body in front of it and deflect it away from goal and the defense cleared it away.
As the game progressed the Pumas started to control possession of the ball. In the 26th minute, a hard cross into the Sounders U-23 box from Daniel Fabian found an open Kyle Johnson. He got off a strong header but it went wide of the mark.
Then, one minute of play later, Quinn earned a free kick for the U-23s right at the top of the Pumas box. Quinn took the kick himself and hit a curling shot around the five-man wall that was heading for the corner but missed just wide.
As the half was winding down Kitsap got on the board first. In the 43rd minute of play, a long throw opportunity from the Pumas went into the box toward the far post. It was won in the air by Zack Sampson who headed it back across the goal. A streaking Kyle Johnson ran in to finish the chance past a helpless Doug Herrick.
The Sounders U-23s came out of the locker room ready to attack as the first five minutes of the second half were played in the Pumas defensive third. Several chances into the box from long throws resulted in shots on goal, but the Pumas were able to withstand the pressure.
The Sounders U-23’s best chance came in the 62nd minute from halftime substitute Darwin Jones. A long ball over the top of the Pumas defense was played out of the U-23’s back line. Jones ran on and controlled the ball with his chest in stride. As he ran into the box toward goal he had one defender to beat and a streaking Aodhan Quinn to his right. He elected to take the shot himself toward the near post but Lubin was there to make the save.
In the 72nd minute after continued pressure on goal from the Sounders U-23, Quinn found himself facing goal with the ball in the box. He took his defender left and took a quick shot across the face of the goal. Once again, Pumas keeper Lubin was there to scoop up the threat.
As play progressed, the Sounders U-23s pressed for the equalizer, which provided the Pumas with opportunities for counter attacks. The U-23’s defense survived several attacks from the Pumas forward Ben Truax.
In the 82nd minute, a long cross into the box from U-23’s defender Mark Lee sailed over the Pumas defense toward the back post. Brandon Brockaway controlled the ball and got off a quick shot but it went wide of the near post.
The Sounders U-23 continued to press in the 87th minute and earned a corner kick. A powerfull and whipping ball was struck into the box by Mauricio Diaz De Leon. U-23’s defender DeAndre Yedlin timed his run perfectly and met the ball in front of his defender. He directed his header toward the back post and into the lower corner for the equalizer.
Only one minute of play later the Sounders U-23 were on the attack again. Jamael Cox sent an in-swinging cross toward the back post. Diaz De Leon was free of his defender and tried to knock the ball down back across the face of the goal, but it deflected off of Pumas defender Steve Mohn and in for the own goal to make it 2-1.
The Sounders U-23s defense and keeper Doug Herrick withstood a flurry of late chances in front of their own goal late to hang on for the victory and three points.
The win is the Sounders U-23’s fourth in a row and puts them atop the PDL northwest division standings with an even 30 points. With the Timbers U-23 also winning Friday night they will join Kitsap in a tie for second. Kitsap and Portland will face each other this Sunday.
Meanwhile, the Sounders U-23 will face the last place Fraser Valley Mariners on Sunday afternoon and then finish out the regular season on Wednesday against the North Sound SeaWolves; both matches at home at Franklin Pierce High School. The Sounders U-23’s can guarantee a first place finish in the division with wins in its last two matches.
For tickets to Sunday’s match visit SoundersU23.com. For live updates from the match follow us on twitter @SoundersU23.