The Sounders U-23 (0-0-1, 1 pt.) battled the Calgary Foothills FC (1-1-1, 4 pts.) to a 1-1 draw Sunday afternoon in the Sounders first PDL game of the 2015 season. The physical match saw a combined 32 fouls and six cautions.
For the majority of the first half the two sides had trouble getting quality chances on goal. The best chance of the half for the Sounders U-23 side came in the 33rd minute. Sounders midfielder, Brandt Bronico, waited just outside the Calgary box as the defense struggled to clear the ball. Bronico did not hesitate as the ball came bouncing out of the box, and he hit his shot first touch with the outside of his right foot. The ball swung out and away from the Foothills keeper, and then struck the inside of the far post, but came back out and was cleared from danger.
The Calgary Foothills were first to break the scoreless tie in the 35th minute. Foothills left back, Brad Kamden had broken free all the way up the left side of the pitch. He took the ball toward the end line inside the Sounders U-23 box and then sent a left footed cross on the ground across the face of the goal. The cross found Dominic Russo who stuck out his right foot and poked the ball into the net for the 1-0 lead.
The Sounders U-23 threatened to level the match in the 70th minute. Second half substitute, Isidro Prado-Huerta, sent a crisp pass into the Foothills box. On the end of it was midfielder, Bronico, who found himself wide open only 10-yards in front of the goal. He lined up his shot, but hit it right at the Foothills keeper who made the save to keep the score 1-0.
The Sounders finally broke through for an equalizer in the 79th minute. Sounders defender, Alex DeCarolis, sent a cross into the Foothills box from the left sideline. The ball was brought down perfectly by midfielder, Joey Gjertsen. He then spun around and quickly hit a low shot just inside the far post to level the match at 1-1.
The final 10-minutes plus stoppage were played at a frantic pace as both sides scrambled for a game-winning goal. Sounders U-23 midfielder, Bronico, again had a chance to score, this time late in the game to steal a win. Bronico was all alone charging toward the goal, he looked up with only the keeper to beat, but then sent his shot well over the goal prompting an exasperated “Oh!” from the Sounders U-23 fans.
The Sounders will look for their first win of the 2015 season on Friday, May 29th at Bonnie Lake High School at 7:30 p.m. PST. There, they will take on Lane United FC out of Eugene, Ore. For more information, visit SoundersU23.com.