In the 28th minute, a Jeff Parke pass was intercepted at the top of San Francisco’s attacking zone, and when the Monks worked the ball into the penalty area, Parke slipped on the wet turf, and his hand brushed the ball.
A penalty kick was awarded, and Roberto Brown drove it home past goalkeeper Kasey Keller for what would prove to be the only goal of the evening.
San Francisco will try to protect that one-goal advantage one week from Wednesday, when it visits Seattle for the concluding leg of the series – in effect, the final 90 minutes of a 180-minute competition to advance into group play of CONCACAF Champions League.
The wet field at Estadio Rommel Fernandez was a factor all evening, as players from both teams repeatedly had trouble staying upright, and both teams struggled to maintain any offensive flow.
In general, Seattle seemed to do the better job of controlling the ball. But San Francisco managed to get four shots on goal to two by Seattle.
Despite that statistic, the Sounders had several good chances to equalize in the second half.
In the 55th minute, Fredy Montero buried a shot into the side netting. A few minutes later, an apparent handball in the box by San Francisco went uncalled. In the 85th minute, substitute Pat Noonan put a header off the far post, and the rebound when to Alvaro Fernandez, who couldn’t finish.
Finally, in the final moments, substitute Mike Fucito had a chance from in front of the goal, but couldn’t finish or sweep the rebound across the line.
Tomorrow, all but one of the Sounders will fly directly to Houston, where they will resume MLS play Saturday against the Dynamo.
The exception is Keller, who is traveling to New York, where he will represent the Sounders at the MLS All-Star Game against Manchester United.
They will settle their Champions League preliminary round series with San Francisco at 7 p.m. Aug. 3 at CenturyLink Field. If the Sounders win that game by two goals or more, they will advance into Group D. If San Francisco wins or draws, they will advance.
If Seattle wins by one goal, road goals will be used as the first tie breaker. If that doesn’t settle it, the teams will play 30 minutes of extra time and then, if still even, the series will be settled by penalty kicks.
I'll add quotes in a new post above. Here are the stats:
Scoring Summary:SFR - Roberto Brown (penalty) 28'
San Francisco FC - 16-Eric Hugues, 3-Rolando Algadona, 5-Manuel Torres, 6-Martin Gomez, 11-Eybir Bonaga, 13-Felipe Olivardia, 19-Johan de Avila (7-Jose Graces 71'), 20-Eduardo Jimenez (22-Edgardo Panezo 44'), 25-Amir Waite, 32-Roberto Chen, 77-Roberto Brown (9-Jefrey Diaz 80').
Substitutes Not Used: 1-Miguel Torres, 8-Fredy Arizala, 40-Jose Pimentel, 48-Pedro Jeanine, 51-Alexis Gondola. TOTAL SHOTS: 7 (Brown 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 4 (4 players 1); FOULS: 15 (Panezo 3); OFFSIDES: 3 (2 players 2); CORNER KICKS: 2 (2 players 1); SAVES: 2 (Eric Hugues 2).
Seattle Sounders FC - 18-Kasey Keller, 7-James Riley, 4-Patrick(2 players 1 Ianni, 31-Jeff Parke, 12-Leo Gonzalez, 10-Mauro Rosales, 6-Osvaldo Alonso, 8-Erik Friberg (25-Pat Noonan 75'), 27-Lamar Neagle (15-Alvaro Fernandez 59'), 17-Fredy Montero, 24-Roger Levesque (2-Mike Fucito 59').
Substitutes Not Used: 29-Josh Ford, 20-Zach Scott, 23-Servando Carrasco, 21-Nate Jaqua.
TOTAL SHOTS: 10 (Montero 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 2 (2 players 1); FOULS: 20 (Gonzalez 4); OFFSIDES: 0; CORNER KICKS: 3 (Rosales 2); SAVES: 3 (Keller 3).
Misconduct Summary:SFR - Roberto Brown (caution) 17'SEA - James Riley (caution) 25'SEA - Osvaldo Alonso (caution) 70'SFR - Edgardo Panezo (caution) 73'SEA - Alvaro Fernandez (caution) 78'
Referee: David EspanaReferee's Assistants: Ronaldo de la Cruz; Cesar Ruano4th Official: Oscar ReynaTime of Game: 1:50
85th minute. Noonan header off post. Rebound to Fernandez, but he can't do anything with it.
75th minute: Noonan in for Friberg.
59th minute. Fucito in for Levesque. Fernandez for Neagle.
Second half: ... has begun. No lineup changes for Sounders.
Halftime: Sounders having the best of it, but PK was the only score. 1-0 at half.
Rosales to Neagle gave Seattle good chance in closing minutes of half ... but headed over bar.
Two shots on goal by SF, one by Sea. Lone corner of game to Seattle. Lone caution to SF.
Certainly nothing to indicate so far that the Sounders couldn't win by a goal or two next week. But obviously going into that one at least even would be better.
28th minute: GOAL San Francisco. Sounders defender Jeff Parke slips in the box and his hand skims the ball as he falls. PK is called and Roberto Brown converts to put the Panamanian club up 1-0.
First 15 minutes: No real flow or trends yet. Except for some footing problems and a ref who is calling some soft fouls. At least by MLS standards.
Kickoff: The game has begun. But don't tell anyone in Panama, where apparently this game was kept a secret.
San Fran in red/red and Sounders, for some reason, in charcoal/charcoal.
Lineup: Sounders going with GK Keller; D Riley Ianni, Parke, Gonzalez; M Rosales, Alonso, Friberg, Neagle; F Montero, Levesque.
Pregame: The Sounders and San Francisco FC of Panama begin their CONCACAF preliminary round two-game, aggregate-score, road-and-home series at 5 p.m.
The game will be shown on Fox Soccer Channel. And we'll keep this post open for pregame, in-game and postgame updates and comments. Be back soon.