In its inaugural year as the revamped Seattle Sounders FC U-23, the team is rolling through the playoffs. Two weeks after celebrating the Northwest Division regular season title, the Sounders defeated the Ventura County Fusion 2-0 on Sunday to be crowned the Western Conference Champions.
Incoming sophomore transfer Darwin Jones played a big part in both goals, scoring the first goal to tie the game 1-1 and then assisting in the game-winner. 15 minutes into the second half, Jamael Cox (brother of former Husky Raphael Cox) fed the ball down the left hand side and Jones placed a curling shot beyond the reach of the Fusion goalkeeper.In the final ten minutes of the match, Jones found a wide-open Cox breaking down the middle of the field and Cox slid his shot past the Fusion goalkeeper for the game-winner that would send the Sounders on to the National PDL Final Four.
Red-shirt junior defender Michael Uyehara played the full 90 and helped with the shutout while Jones came on as a sub at the end of the first half.
The Sounders will play FC London, the biggest surprise of the semifinalists that defeat the two teams with the best regular-season records in the PDL. The match is set for Saturday, July 28 at the German Club in London, Ontario; kickoff starts at 4:30 p.m. PT.
Former Husky standout Jamie Finch made his professional debut with the Carolina RailHawks on Saturday evening. The RailHawks, of the North American Soccer League (NASL), defeated last year's NASL champions the Minnesota Stars 1-0.
Finch signed a professional contract with the RailHawks earlier this season. Although the defender subbed on in the 77th minute, he had to wait more than five hours after the match started, as lightning forced the referees to suspend the game in the 47th minute. After nearly four hours of delay, play resumed around 12:15 am local time.
The Sounders FC U-23 stormed back with two unanswered goals for a 2-1 win over FC Tucson in the Western Conference Semi-finals on Saturday night in Ventura, California.
After being down a goal in the 47th minute, incoming sophomore Darwin Jones scored the equalizer ten minutes later. The Sounders right back, DeAndre Yedlin, threw a long throw-in towards the front of the goal and it was flicked on to the back post for Jones to side-volley the ball into the net. Sean Morris scored the go-ahead goal in the 64th minute.
The victory puts the Sounders U-23 to the Western Conference Championship on Sunday, June 22 against Ventura County Fusion for a spot in the PDL National Final Four; kickoff is set for 5 p.m. PT. There will be live streaming at http://www.kadytv.com/sports/ventura-county-fusion. Stay tuned on SoundersU23.com for more coverage information on the match.
In the first semi-final game, the Portland Timbers U-23s lost a heart breaker in overtime against the Ventura County Fusion. The only goal in the game came three minutes into overtime and the Fusion were able to hold off a series of late attempts by the Timbers U-23s to claim a 1-0 win and advance to the Western Conference finals.
The Timbers U-23s held a majority of the possession int he first half and it led to a 5-2 advantage in shots. Junior goalkeeper Spencer Richey, however, turned in the biggest play of the half for the Timbers U-23s, making a key save on a penalty kick attempt in the 28th minute after a Portland player had been called for a handball int he box. Richey turned away a low shot from the spot aimed at the left post to keep the match deadlocked heading into halftime. Richey played the whole 120 minutes making three saves.
Husky alum and current Sounders Women defender/midfielder Kate Deines posted her third video blog (courtesy of Prost Amerika).
Deines and the team take viewers on the road and show what happens in van rides after a victory, during meals, and a music video (with bloopers) to end it.
Check out the segment here: Ep. 3: Victorious on the Road
Make sure to tune in next time for more "Kickin' It With Kate" episodes!
Four former Huskies, Jenn Salling, Danielle Lawrie, Niki Williams, and Ashley Charters, are currently playing for the Florida USSSA Pride in the National Pro Fastpitch league. Here are how they did in their games last week and up-to-date season stats (courtesy of Jessica Ives at NPF):
Jenn and the Pride had a high scoring series with the Chicago Bandits. They scored 36 runs in the 4 game series. The Pride will travel to Akron, Ohio to take on the Racers for a 4-game series starting tonight.
Danielle pitched 5 innings of series as she got a start in one of the games. She struck out 9 of the 22 batters that she faced and only walked one.
Nikia worked her way into the games as a pinch hitter for the Pride.
Ashley saw action in 3 of the games over the weekend. She hit .250 with a double and only struck out once against the Chicago pitching staff.
For a complete recap of week 5 action click the link below:
For a complete recap of week 6 action click the link below:
Be sure to follow these former Dawgs by watching live streamed games at www.profastpitch.com or by downloading the Official NPF App for iPhone and Droid and have the game stream live to your mobile operating devices. The App can be downloaded at the iTunes App Store and the Google Play Store.
Also join the fun with the new NPF Fantasy League by Pointstreak Technologies:
News release from USSSAPride.com:
The USSSA Pride players kicked off their return to Kissimmee in grand style, beating up the Chicago Bandits 17-2. The Pride (12-10) scored more runs in the game than any other this season, and scored runs in nearly every inning against the Bandits (15-8).
The Bandits struggled with pitching all night, starting with the first inning. Bandits pitcher Michelle Moses (0-3) walked three batters and allowed five runs in the first inning, two of which came on bases-loaded walks. Moses failed to record an out and was replaced by Meagan Denny-White (2-2) before the end of the first. Denny-White went on to pitch three innings, allowing four more runs and three more walks before being replaced by recent signee Chanda Bell (0-0).
In all, Pride players were walked 10 times and were hit by pitches four times, putting them in excellent offensive position for most of the game.
Three Pride players, Kelly Kretschman, Ashley Charters and Kelly Bruder, had three RBIs each, and 11 of the 15 players in the game scored at least one run, making in at all-around great offensive performance for the team.
Any attempts by the Bandits to make a comeback were halted by strong defensive plays by the Pride. The most exciting defensive play of the night came at the top of the third inning, after the Bandits seemed poised to rally. Following a two-out RBI double by Alisa Goler, Pride outfielder Jessica Mendoza made a spectacular diving catch in left field to end the inning.
Pride pitcher Danielle Lawrie (4-2) struck out nine and allowed only one run and seven hits in her start.
With the win, the Pride move to 2.5 games behind the Bandits in the 2012 NPF standings. The Pride and Bandits finish up the series Monday night at 7:05 p.m. at Osceola County Stadium in Kissimmee.
Former Husky All-American goalkeeper Hope Solo spoke with Andrew Romano of The Daily Beast about her past, including losing her dad, getting benched, shoulder surgery, the recent news of "testing positive for a banned substance", and overcoming all those situations. She also talked about how she got started in goal at UW and the upcoming London Olympics.
Read the full story at The Daily Beast.
The Sounders U-23 and Timbers U-23s are off to the Premier Development League (PDL) Western Conference semifinals after their victories this weekend.
The Sounders continued their success after winning the regular season NW Division championship title with a 3-1 victory over the Washington Crossfire in the 1st round of the PDL playoffs.
Husky sophomore transfer Darwin Jones recorded an assist and red-shirt junior Michael Uyehara played the full 90. The Sounders U-23 also added an old Sounder, Nate Jaqua, to their ranks as the entire squad was relied on to send them to the Western Conference Final Four.
The Crossfire ended their 2012 season with the loss. However, several Huskies (Ben Fisk, Andy Thoma, Alex Klein, and Nate Sackeyfio) were a key part of the team's success this year, helping the club bounce back after a seventh-place finish last season and qualify for the playoffs with the 4th seed.
Click here for match stats.
In the second divisional playoff match in Oregon, the Portland Timbers U-23s defeated the defending champions the Kitsap Pumas 2-1 on Sunday evening.
Goalkeeper Spencer Richey turned in a solid performance on what was a busy night for him despite making just one save.
Click here for match stats.
WESTERN CONFERENCE PLAYOFFS
The Western Conference will be hosted by the Southwest Division champion Ventura County Fusion at Ventura College (Calif.), where they will be joined by Southwest Division runner-up FC Tucson and the Northwest Division's Sounders FC U23 and Portland Timbers U-23s.
The Timbers will face the Timbers U-23s on Saturday (7/21) night in the opening semifinal at 5 p.m. PT, while the Sounders U23 will face FC Tucson at 7:30 p.m. PT. The championship game will be played on Sunday (7/22) evening at 5 p.m. PT.
The Conference Champions will meet in the national semifinals on the weekend of July 27-29 at two host locations to be determined. The PDL Championship will be played on Saturday, August 4 at the home of one of the semifinal winners.
Click here to read more about the Conference playoffs.
Former Husky standout Brent Richards made his MLS debut for the Portland Timbers against the LA Galaxy in front of a sold-out home crowd Saturday night. Richards subbed on at the start of the second half and found himself marking Galaxy and U.S. star Landon Donovan on a corner kick almost immediately after he stepped on the pitch.
Richards, a 2012 UW graduate, signed with the Portland Timbers on a Homegrown Player contract, the first for the club, and has been playing for the Timbers Reserves all season. Although he has made the 18 for the first-team several times, Saturday marked the first time to play in a first-team match; he becomes the Timbers' second rookie to make their official MLS debut this season.
Here is Richards talking about his debut in the postgame video and article:
Full match report:
Also, check out this fun video of Richards talking about the rookie life while playing a ping-pong match with teammate Chris Taylor:
Allie Beahan scored her first goals for the Sounders Women in a 5-2 win over the LA Strikers on Friday. (Photo: SoundersWomen.com)
Match report from www.pitchsidereport.com:
Forward Allie Beahan broke a 1-1 tie and sent the Sounders into the lead in the fourteenth minute. The play began with Mexican National Team star Veronica Perez. Perez found Beahan, who then turned to Annie Sittauer. Sittauer crossed the bar to Beahan, who finished the play by netting in her first goal of the season.
Despite her young age, Beahan has proven herself to be a very physical and fearless player during the 2012 W-League season. Fortunately for the young University of Washington player, her physicality wasn't the only factor on point tonight. In the 43rd minute, Beahan completed the brace by scoring a goal in the upper corner that sailed right past Jorguesen. At halftime, the Sounders Women led the LA Strikers by a score of 3-1.
In the 73rd minute, former Husky Veronica Perez took a penalty kick, which sailed right into the net. Perez's goal put the Sounders up 5-2.
The Sounders Women will play their final regular-season match against the Pali Blues on Sunday, July 15th at 3:00 p.m.
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