Tacoma Tide 2 – 2 Seattle Sounders
The Puget Sound’s top two teams put on an excellent show Saturday night in front of 1,000 fans packed into Curtis High School Stadium in Tacoma. The final score was a tie, but for the Tacoma Tide, and any Puget Sound soccer fan, it was much more than that. The Tacoma Tide earned a tie against a professional soccer team of the highest class. The Tide earned respect, and the Tide certainly earned a few fans Saturday night as they scored goals, defended, and excited.
From the initial whistle there was no question that the younger, more inexperienced PDL players were in no way afraid of the Sounders. The Tide players came out flying at the Sounders defense generating chances. Meanwhile, at the back, the defense was holding up strongly. The Tide’s aggressiveness paid off in the 23rd minute when Machael David made a surging run without the ball, down the center of the pitch. Ciaran O’Brien, who would make countless nice passes on the night, picked out his teammate with a precise ball and David was in 1 on 1 with the keeper. David made a touch to evade goalkeeper, Ben Dragavon, and Dragavon was forced to pull him down. Penalty kick for the Tide! Ciaran O’Brien shook off memories of last week’s cross bar penalty miss and knocked this shot into the right corner. The Tide had thrown the first blow in this Puget Sound clash, but it wouldn’t be their last.
The Tide continued to look the hungrier of the two sides. In the 43rd minute, Ciaran O’Brien again put through a perfect pass. This time, it was to Brayton Knapp. Knapp had a few defenders running to his right wing area so he knocked the ball across to Taylor Hoss on the back post. Hoss was receiving recovering pressure but didn’t blink. Hoss’ shot was true, and a deflection from the keeper was not enough to stop the goal. Amazingly, the Tide led the Sounders 2-0 at halftime.
The Sounders locker room was probably not a fun place to be at halftime. The players looked relieved to be back on the field as their play picked up in the 2nd half. The Tide players were beginning to tire near the middle of the 2nd half, and a few key substitutions to the Sounders lineup shifted the game. Sebastien Le Toux, a French forward/midfielder entered the game around the 50th minute. His first touches set up an asset to a speedy Craig Tomlinson. Tomlinson’s shot was partially blocked by substituted goalkeeper Daniel Prichard, but it wasn’t enough. The lead had been cut in half. The Sounders were coming, and they were not going to let up any time soon.
A head to head collision in the 85th minute between Tide left back, Taylor Hoss, and Sounder Taylor Graham left both players walking off the field with assistance. With Hoss out, Tim Grey (the starting center back who picked up a knock and subbed out at halftime), and Stephen Mohn unavailable for the match, the Tide had to go with a makeshift defense for the final stand. It took every effort to hold the professional attack of the Sounders time and time again. Finally, with the Tide battling to the death, the goal came. It goal was in the fashion that makes you speechless. A long corner to the back post was knocked around and amongst four or five players it was flicked in with a heel. Cuellar got the tally, but it may have been Knox with the touch. The final score, 2 – 2. In all fairness, a fair result.
The Tide’s next match is on the road at the Cascade Surge. The next home game is July 14th against the Yakima Reds. Tickets are $4 for students and $7 for adults. For directions to the stadium, or information on the team visit us at www.TacomaFC.com