They Shall Overcome

1996 – Around the World and Close to Home

The FBI arrests suspected Unabomber, Madeline Albright is appointed the first female U.S. Secretary of State, and Internet usage rises to 45 million worldwide, including 30 million in U.S. and Canada. In Washington, Gary Locke is the first Asian American to be elected a U.S. governor, Aberdeen native Douglas Osheroff is co-winner of Nobel Prize for Physics, and the Seattle Sonics fall to Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls in the NBA Finals.

They Shall Overcome

Of sporting achievements, winning a championship ranks as the most difficult, perhaps surpassed only by the feat of repeating. In 1996, the Seattle Sounders stamp their name on the A-League championship trophy, doing so against all odds and with all the panache of a body punch. It was gritty, not pretty.

The Sounders had won their first A-League title in spectacular fashion the year before. Yet in very short order they had lost five starters from the ’95 final. Four were snatched by MLS, which was beginning play in 1996, including league MVP and Golden Boot winner Peter Hattrup. Ownership also slashes pay to most of the returnees, and six weeks prior to the preseason, coach Alan Hinton retires and is replaced by Neil Megson, his top assistant and captain.

The transition leaves Seattle relatively inexperienced, however there is a foundation of veterans on which to build. Megson, assistant coach Bernie James and fellow defender Bill Crook have played a combined 32 seasons indoors. All are former NASL Sounders, along with striker Chance Fry. One youngster playing at a level beyond his years is stationed in goal: 24-year-old Marcus Hahnemann.

Out of the gate, Fry and the Sounders are on fire. He scores six goals as Seattle quickly wins six of seven matches. Then things unravel. A gruesome leg fracture in Atlanta finishes Fry for the season. Seattle goes into a tailspin, scoring just 10 goals while losing nine of the next 12.

“It was devastating,” says Jason Farrell. “Here’s a guy (Fry) who battled for us. Losing him was obviously a huge loss on the field and in the locker room, but I think it may have galvanized the team.”

The turnaround finally comes after two tortuous months, beginning with a late Joey Leonetti winner at New York. Hahnemann and the backline weave together four consecutive clean sheets, and the Sounders regain their footing, winning seven of the final eight regular season games.

Seattle upsets Colorado in the semifinal round, winning the deciding game away, 3-0, in a freak September snowstorm. That also earns home-field advantage for the final, and more than 7,000 come to Memorial Stadium to see two late goals from Leonetti to claim the championship over Rochester, 2-0.

“It was a steel-city, hard-working team that grinded out results,” Megson says. “Everybody had written us off. Everybody. But we had a tremendous work ethic, we found a system, stuck to it and in the end it paid dividends.”

“When that season ended with a championship, it was against all odds,” Webber maintains. “There was a sense of finality about it. Ninety-six was the beginning of that transformation, becoming minor league.”

Truly, it is the end of an era. Nine of the starters would move along Webber, Hahnemann and Webber to MLS. Beyond winning titles, Megson’s mission going forward was to push more players to that level.

Year in Review
SEATTLE SOUNDERS
Season Record
12-11, 3rd, champion
Coach
Neil Megson (1st year)
Best XI
Wade Webber
Top Scorer
Jason Farrell, Chance Fry, Joey Leonetti (6 goals)
SEATTLE SEADOGS
Season Record
10-18, 5th West
Coach
Fernando Clavijo (2nd year)
All-League
Juan De La O
Top Scorer
Ben Erickson (22 goals)
U.S. Open Cup
Seattle Sounders, semifinals
COLLEGIATE
Men's Collegiate Postseason
Seattle Pacific, D2 quarterfinals Washington, D1 2nd rnd
Women's Collegiate Postseason
Washington, D1 1st rnd
NWAC Men's Champion
Spokane d Bellevue, 3-1
NWAC Women's Champion
Tacoma d Highline, 3-0
YOUTH
Girls National Champion
FC Royals U17, FC Royals U18
Boys Regional Champion
Emerald City Fusion U17
Girls Regional Champion
FC Royals U17, FC Royals U18
Largest Attendance
7,027, Sounders v Rochester (APSL Final)
Largest Amateur Attendance
2,700, Seattle Pacific v Washington (m)

1996: They Shall Overcome

The Sounders defy all odds and adversity to repeat as A-League champions.

Spokane's Stiles Sends Portland to Finals
December 1, 1996

Spokane sophomore Kim Stiles scores the decisive second-half goal to send unbeaten Portland through to the NCAA finals for the third year in a row. Stiles, netting just her second career goal, breaks the scoreless deadlock vs. Nebraska in the 57th minute and the crowd of 3,960 at Merlo Field erupts.

Hinton Steps Down from Sounders
January 22, 1996

Alan Hinton is steps down as Sounders coach after two seasons, citing a desire to pursue other interests, including coaching youth. Hinton, 53, will remain a member of the franchise's board of directors. He leaves as the A-League career leader in winning percentage (.725, 37-14). His state premier league U17 boys, Crossfire Sounders, has won three of the past four Washington youth titles.

Gorog Among MLS Officials from WA
May 19, 1996

Frank Gorog, one of three Washingtonians among MLS officials in the league's inaugural year, referees his first match at the Rose Bowl. Gorog handles the LA Galaxy-Kansas City Wizards game. Oscar Myre and Mohammed Zarabbi-Kashani are the other MLS officials from Washington.

Megson Becomes Sounders Player/Coach
March 3, 1996

Sounders captain Neil Megson, 33, is named the new head coach, replacing the retired Alan Hinton. Megson, who was one of Hinton's assistants, will continue to play. Bernie James is retained as assistant coach. Megson was a first team all-star in 1994. Club part-owner Neil Farnsworth states Megson's popularity with teammates weighed heavily in the decision.

Keller Goes Up as Millwall Goes Down
August 15, 1996

Kasey Keller, 27, essentially earns a Premier League promotion as Millwall, going down to the Second Division, sells him to newly-promoted Leicester City for a reported $1.5 million. Keller, the first U.S. goalkeeper to play in the EPL, earns a clean sheet in his debut two days later, a 0-0 draw with Sunderland. Millwall had gone into a tailspin during the final two months of the 1995/96 season, dropping from 10th to 22nd.

Seattle U Votes to Leave NAIA
February 22, 1996

Following an 18-month study, Seattle University's Board of Trustees votes to change affiliation from NAIA to NCAA Division III with the hope of joining nine other Pacific Northwest private schools in a non-scholarship athletic conference by 2000. The Chieftains stop awarding new athletic scholarships beginning with the 1996-97 school year. The vote translates into a savings of at least $350,000 for Seattle U, which plans to channel the funds into its general aid fund and possibly into the creation of at least two new varsity sports within four years to meet NCIC membership requirements.

Seattle U Women Get 13th Shutout
November 6, 1996

Jennifer Mauck and Brooke Hill lead NAIA 13th-ranked Seattle University to the PNWAC championship game by defeating Western Washington, 2-0. It's a record 13th shutout for the Chieftains, who then fall to No. 5 Simon Fraser, 2-0, for the title.

Sounders Top Scorer Fry Out for Season
June 14, 1996

Sounders striker Chance Fry, the A-League career and current season scoring leader, suffers a broken leg in a 2-0 loss at Atlanta, ending his season. A collision with Fabian Davis results in a fractured tibia and fibula of his right leg above the ankle. Moments earlier Fry stayed in the game while receiving stitches to close a wound above his left eye. He had scored six goals and two assists in leading Seattle to a 7-1 start. The team would lose six of the next eight starts.

Washingtonians, UP Denied Place in NCAA Final
December 6, 1996

Portland's postseason arch-nemesis, Notre Dame, stops the Pilots and their Washington-based players short of the NCAA championships game. The Irish come from two goals down to win the semifinal, 3-2, before 8,800 at Santa Clara, Ca. A free kick from Justi Baumgardt of Federal Way creates the first UP goal. Jody Dutra, Wynne McIntosh and Kim Stiles are among the other Washingtonians playing for Portland. Notre Dame had beaten the Pilots in the 1994 semifinals and the 1995 final.

Vikings Crush Northwest
October 19, 1996

Western Washington sets a scoring record in a 12-0 men's victory over Northwest College in Bellingham. Scot Swanson scores three goals in the first 25 minutes, and Jay Harper has four assists.

Bellarmine Reloads, Rebounds for 3A Crown
November 23, 1996

After graduating 10 seniors from its state runner-up side, Bellarmine Prep rebounds with a 2-1 triumph over Decatur in the girls 3A state final at Shoreline Stadium. Sophomore Julie Butler's 30-yard blast with 30 seconds remaining is the Lions' winner. All three goals came in the final eight minutes, with Bellarmine's Lisa Wilson being answered by the Gators' Kellie Krueger. Bellarmine (17-1-2) was second to Shorecrest in 1995 3A final and champion in both 1987 and '94.

UW Women Gathering Momentum
November 3, 1996

Katey Ward's overtime goal put Washington ahead of Oregon State for good in a 3-1 road win at Corvallis. It's the eighth win in 10 games for the resurgent Huskies, who started 3-4-0. It completes a UW road sweep. Erin Pochman and Jana Wilson scored the game-winner in the first-ever meeting with Oregon two days earlier.

Seattle Ends Second Season on Upswing
September 29, 1996

John Olu Molomo completes his second hat trick of season as the SeaDogs wrap-up their second season by drubbing playoff-bound Detroit, 11-5 before a record crowd of 6,592 at KeyArena. Olu Molomo, a midseason acquisition from San Diego, finishes with 17 goals and eight assists in 12 games. During those 12 games, Seattle is 6-6. The SeaDogs score six straight goals beginning late in the second quarter and extending into the fourth. Local products Tim Bartro, Ben Erickson and Shannon Murray score two goals apiece, and Erickson has team-high 22 goals altogether.

Woe Are SeaDogs: 8 Straight Losses
July 24, 1996

Before the game they release top scorer Mike Castillo, then the Seattle SeaDogs surrender a two-goal lead and spiral to their eighth straight defeat. Following a 5-4 loss to Houston at KeyArena, Seattle's league-worst record is 1-9. Giampaulo Pedroso scores three times - twice on power plays when Seattle is a man short because of penalties.

Fresno State Stops Huskies in 2nd Round
December 1, 1996

Bang-bang goals from No. 13 Fresno State early in the second half foil the Huskies' dreams of a deep run in the NCAA tournament. The Bulldogs come from behind to win, 2-1, and again deny the top-seeded UW's bid to reach the quarterfinals at the North Creek Complex. Rees Bettinger heads the Dawgs ahed in the 10th minute and Fresno State went down to 10 men in the 22nd. Early in the second period, however, the visitors scored twice in a span of 1:38 to take the lead. The Huskies finish with a 21-6 advantage in shots.

Federal Way's Sawatzky Get Brace
July 20, 1996

Darren Sawatzky of Federal Way becomes the first Washington native to score an MLS brace, scoring twice in the second half of New England's 2-0 home victory over D.C. United. The goals are the first in Sawatzky's rookie season. He finishes with four goals and five assists.

Huskies Beat Cougs, Cinch Berth
November 10, 1996

Freshmen Jana Wilson and Katey Ward each score in their first Apple Cup meeting with Washington State, helping the Washington close-out the regular season with a 2-0 victory in Pullman. The Huskies earn their highest finish in the Pac-10, tying for second place, and the NCAA includes them in the tournament field for the third straight year. It's the third straight UW win over WSU in the series. No. 3 Portland eliminates Washington in the first round. Seven of eight losses are inflicted by ranked opponents.

3 Washington Regional Champs in Redmond
June 24, 1996

Three Washington teams take USYSA Far West Region championships at Redmond's 60 Acres. Emerald City Fusion wins the boys' U17 title by beating Clovis (Ca.) United Heat, 5-2. Dana Garner scores a total of three goals in the semifinals and finals. Five weeks later, Emerald City wins its semifinal but falls in the national final, 4-2, to Columbia City (Md.) United. Winning two girls' regional championships are FC Royals, 2-0 over Lakewood (Co.) Fury at U17 and 2-1 over Central Valley (Ca.) Express.

Sounders Successful in First Overseas Trip
April 10, 1996

Completing a home-and-home goodwill series, the Seattle Sounders make their first overseas journey a success on the field, defeating Vissel Kobe, 2-1. Chance Fry brings the visitors from behind with a pair of second-half goals. Vissel Kobe, winner of seven straight J-League matches and operating with a $30 million payroll, had played in Seattle five months earlier. Kobe, the Japanese sister city of Seattle, had been struck by a deadly earthquake in January 1995.

Medved Starts MLS Inaugural Match
April 6, 1996

Issaquah native and Evergreen State graduate Shawn Medved starts in midfield for D.C. United in the inaugural Major League Soccer match at San Jose's Spartan Stadium. Medved, who played the previous two seasons for the Sounders, becomes the first player substituted in the 71st minute. Eric Wynalda scores the game's only goal for the Clash in 88th. Medved plays 27 games, starting 13 and scoring three goals during the regular season. Seattle's Paul Holocher plays 11 minutes as a substitute for San Jose.

Tacoma's FC Royals Win U18 Nationals
July 28, 1996

FC Royals capture two national girls' crowns on the same day, with the U18s from Tacoma staving off McLean (Va.) Zephyrs, 1-0, at Kuntz Stadium in Indianapolis. Jana Wilson scores the game-winner from a corner kick. The Royals, the only club to win multiple USYSA championships this year, had routed Oklahoma City Capital Elite, 5-0, in semifinal.

SPU to Finally Get A Home Field
September 30, 1996

The Seattle City Council approves Seattle Pacific University's proposal to build a $3.1 million, 900-seat soccer stadium at Interbay, providing the Falcons their first permanent home in the program's 28-year existence. SPU will have priority use of the facility during collegiate season, paying the city $15,000 a year for maintenance. The facility will be available for community use during the offseason.

Keller Starts for U.S. Olympians
July 20, 1996

Wearing the captain's arm band, Kasey Keller steps between the posts as the U.S. faces Argentina before 83,183 at Legion Field in Birmingham, Al. Keller, one of Bruce Arena's three overage selections, starts all three matches as the Americans, after losing, 3-1, to the eventual gold medalists, finish 1-1-1. He gets a shutout vs. Tunisia.

FC Royals Win U17 Girls National Title
July 28, 1996

FC Royals of Tacoma-Pierce County prevail over Cincinnati's GSE Cardinals in the USYSA Girls Under-17 final via penalty kicks in Indianapolis. The Royals' Deka DeWitt ties the score, 1-1, with 11 minutes remaining in regulation after the Cardinals had scored in the 11th minute. Tied, 2-2, after five rounds in the tiebreaker, Melissa Parker makes the game-winner in the sixth round. In the semifinal, Meotis Erikson scored two goals and two assists in a 5-3 victory over the Dallas D'Feeters.

Sounders Repeat as A-League Champions
October 6, 1996

A physical, scoreless stalemate is suddenly broken open by two goals from Joey Leonetti as Seattle wins its second straight A-League championship, 2-0, over Rochester before 7,027 at Memorial Stadium. Leonetti's goals come 10 minutes apart and Marcus Hahnemann nails down his 14th shutout of the year and the 34th of his career. The match is marred by five cautions and the sending off of Sounders striker Niall Thompson in the 88th minute. Rhinos goalkeeper Bill Andracki collides with the goalpost in the 11th minute while diving to stop a Jason Farrell shot. Andracki sustains a broken nose, two lost teeth and wounds requires 76 stitches.

Bennett Adds 4 More for 4th Title
November 16, 1996

Tami Bennett adds four more goals to her state high school record and completes her prep career unbeaten as well following Seattle Christian's 5-0 victory over Vashon in the state girls' A/B title game at Sammamish High School. Bennett's total reaches 150 goals – 43 as a senior – and the Warriors (16-0-0) go 63-0-1 during her four seasons. She later commits to Washington for her college career.

Bensch Brace Leads Rams to 2A Title
May 25, 1996

Joe Bensch's two second-half goals prove the difference as West Valley is victorious over O'Dea, 3-2, in the state 2A championship game at Selah. The Rams never trail, going in front on Jake Sagare's ricochet in the 23rd minute. Bencsh, who sustained a broken bone in his left foot during the semifinal, doubles the lead. After Ryan Robinson pulls the Irish a goal back, Bensch buries another. A WV red card and Jim Skurski's late penalty makes it an exciting ending.

Joe Albi Stadium to Get Wider Field
June 26, 1996

Renovation work begins at Spokane's Joe Albi Stadium to create a wider field for the Spokane Shadow. Total cost to raise the field by over six feet is #1.9 million. Shadow owner Bobby Brett commits $100,000 toward the improvements.

Lakeside Repeats in 2A Girls
November 23, 1996

Sophomore Bryce Weed follows her own shot for the sole goal and Sarah Peterson posts the two-save shutout as Lakeside repeats as state 2A winner, 1-0 over Gig Harbor at Shoreline Stadium. Weed's winner comes four minutes before halftime. Tides keeper Karen Ecklebe blocks the initial shot, but Weed puts home the deflection. Tammy Westinghouse, two-time Metro League MVP, helps the Lions keep Gig Harbor off the scoresheet. Lakeside (19-0-2) extends its unbeaten streak to 28 games. The Tides (19-1-0) are runners-up for a second year running.The Lions' Theresa Wagner caps her career with 120 goals, 38 as a senior.

Baumgardt Adds to Honors
December 11, 1996

Portland's Justi Baumgardt, a junior from Federal Way, is named first team All-America by the NSCAA after leading the Pilots back to the NCAA finals. Baumgardt, who was earlier voted West Coast Conference Player of the Year, led the league with 13 goals and 13 assists. "She may be the best college midfielder in the country," says her coach, Clive Charles.

Seattle U Shocks Huskies in Opener
November 9, 1996

In the season opener for both teams, Seattle University, an NAIA program, topples 19th-ranked Division I Washington, 1-0, at East Field. Sophomore Kurt Swanson scores the only goal in the 7th minute on a deflected shot. The Huskies dominate the game otherwise, out-shooting the Chieftains 30-5. Seattle U had not beaten the Huskies in 17 years, a string of 15 losses in which they had been outscored by 75-3. Since 1988 the programs had played five times, all exhibitions.

UW Men Advance in NCAATournament
November 23, 1996

Jason Boyce scores in the second overtime and the 146th minute overall to give Washington a 2-1 win over Santa Clara in the first round of the NCAA Tournament before 1,401 at North Creek Complex in Bothell. Boyce takes a pass from Rees Bettinger and chips the ball over Broncos goalie Joe Cannon. Bettinger ties it at 1-1 in the 66th minute. Washington, making back-to-back tournament appearances for the first time in 23 years, is the No. 1 overall seed in the field.

Huskies Without True Home
September 23, 1996

Both the Washington women's and men's programs begin a season of playing far from campus, with the UW women opening Pac-10 play by beating USC, 3-2, at FC Royals Field in Puyallup. All seven home dates are played there while construction on a permanent on-campus facility is completed. Meanwhile, the Husky men opt for North Creek Complex in Bothell.

Dallas Come Back to Win Open Cup Semi
September 16, 1996

Coming from behind in the second half, the Dallas Burn beat the Sounders, 3-2, in a U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal at the Cotton Bowl. The Burn swiftly wipe-out Joey Leonetti's third-minute opener and take a commanding lead. All three Dallas goals come in 21-minute span, punctuated by Ted Eck in 79th. David Hoggan scores a late penalty for Seattle.

Shoreline Pays Tribute to Crossley
November 11, 1996

Shoreline Community College dedicates its field as Paul Crossley Memorial Stadium in a tribute to their former men's coach and Sounders winger. Crossley, 48, died March 11, 1996, from a heart attack. He guided SCC to a regional title in 1993 and also was boys coach at Lynnwood High School from 1994-95. Players raised funds for the plaque, mounted on a boulder above the pitch from where Crossley often observed training.

Resurgent SeaDogs Pound Portland
August 10, 1996

Marcelo Fontana scores three goals as the resurgent Seattle SeaDogs pound the Portland Pride, 8-3, before more than 9,000 at the Rose Garden. It was the second straight victory for the SeaDogs, who have won three of four games after an eight-game losing streak. Bruce Broughton also scores twice for Seattle.

Hattrup is Top MLS Draft Pick from State
February 6, 1996

Seattle native and former SPU and Sounders star Peter Hattrup, 31, is selected in second round of the inaugural MLS Draft, 17th overall, by Tampa Bay. Issaquah's Shawn Medved, 29, goes 20th overall to D.C. Other state natives drafted include Scott Uderitz (Edmonds Kansas City), Darren Sawatzky (Federal Way New England), Paul Holocher (Seattle San Jose) and Matt Olson (Renton D.C. United). Two months later, on the eve of the Mutiny season opener, Hattrup suffers a ruptured ACL and MCL in his right knee. The reigning A-League MVP will miss the entire season.

Akers Penalty Keeps Gold Hopes Alive
July 28, 1996

Michelle Akers converts from the spot to bring the United States level, 1-1, with World Cup champion Norway in the 76th minute and force overtime in the Olympic semifinal at Sanford Stadium in Athens, Ga. Shannon MacMillan delivers the golden goal in 10th minute of extra time, sending the USWNT to the Gold Medal match.

Everett's Henderson Scores 1st MLS Goal
May 5, 1996

Everett's Chris Henderson scores his first MLS goal in just his third appearance. Henderson's free kick assists Steve Trittschuh's goal to make it 2-nil for Colorado over Kansas City in the 16th minute. Henderson takes the ball from Preki and makes it 3-0 in the 38th. Roy Wegerle, formerly with the Tacoma Stars, and Scott Benedetti, who once played for FC Seattle, also score for the Rapids and ex-Sounder Dusty Hudock gets the shutout in their 4-0 win at Mile High Stadium.

Seattle Shocks Colorado Away
September 25, 1996

After blowing a chance to win the A-League semifinal series at home, the Sounders stun Colorado, 3-0, on the road to advance to the championship game. The Foxes, fortified by the return of four Jamaican National Team members, including league scoring champ Wolde Harris, fall behind in the rain on Jason Farrell's skipping, 30-yard shot in the 27th minute at Mile High Greyhound Park. Niall Thompson seals the deal with goals in the 63rd and 70th minutes. "The experience of their team showed,'' Foxes coach Lorne Donaldson says. "They were a lot more determined than us.”

Huskies Win 9th Straight to Open MPSF
October 6, 1996

Overtime goals from Rees Bettinger and Jason Boyce lift Washington to its ninth straight win, 4-2, at Oregon State. The No. 2-ranked Huskies' skein is the longest in five seasons under Dean Wurzberger, and only two of the victories have come at home.

Spokane Growth Spurs Field Project
July 11, 1996

With youth soccer numbers having more than tripled in the past decade, Spokane Valley Junior Soccer Association begins an ambitious public/private partnership to develop a 15-field complex just east of Plante's Ferry Park.

Holocher Gets First MLS Goal
April 21, 1996

Paul Holocher becomes the first Washingtonian to score in MLS, tallying in his first start for San Jose and also converting the decisive shootout attempt of win, 2-2 (7-6), over Kansas City at Spartan Stadium. In all, seven Washington natives are on MLS rosters, including Jeff Betts (San Jose), Ricci Greenwood (Columbus), Chris Henderson (Colorado), Shawn Medved (SJ), Matt Olson (New York) and Scott Uderitz (Kansas City).

Medved Nets Equalizer in MLS Cup Final
October 20, 1996

Shawn Medved plays a vital role in D.C. United's miraculous late 2-goal comeback in the MLS Cup Final at Foxboro Stadium. Medved, who comes off the bench in the 70th minute with United trailing 2-nil, first forces a save from LA's Jorge Campos, then converts the rebound for a 2-2 tie in the 81st. D.C. goes on to win, 3-2, on Eddie Pope's golden goal four minutes into extra time.

Akers, Other USWNT Stars End Holdout
January 4, 1996

A monthlong dispute that kept Michelle Akers and eight other U.S. women soccer standouts off the national team and threatened this country's chances for an Olympic gold medal ends when the players and the U.S. Soccer Federation agreed to a new contract. Akers indicated some of the players feel a lingering resentment over the men's team making considerably more money but that it runs runs deeper than money. In addition to salaries of $3,000-$4,000 per month, the federation had initially offered a bonus pool of $250,000 to the 16 women who play on the Olympic team, provided they win the gold.

Third-Year Eastlake Finishes Undefeated
May 25, 1996

In just its third year, Eastlake emerges as undefeated and state 3A champion following the Wolves' 2-1 victory over Mead at Puyallup. Michael Casale puts away a penalty kick in the 65th minute for the game-winner. Chris Farnsworth had given Eastlake just before halftime. Mark Lupton's free kick in the 62nd minute tied it. Eastlake (19-0-1) goes on to finish 6th nationally and Mead 8th in the NSCAA poll.

Seattle Gaining Steam Before Playoffs
September 14, 1996

Jason Farrell scores in the opening minutes to spur Seattle to its seventh win in eight games, 2-1 over Atlanta in the final regular season match at Memorial Stadium. Joey Leonetti scores what proves to be the winner midway through the second half. The Sounders finish as the A-League's third seed despite being under .500 (9-10) five weeks earlier.

Brazil Benefits from OG, Beats USA
January 18, 1996

Kasey Keller keeps Brazil's potent attack (9 goals in first two matches) scoreless, but a Marcelo Balboa own goal is the difference in the Gold Cup semifinal at the Los Angeles Coliseum. Keller makes five first-half saves vs. Brazil Olympic team. He starts all four matches, posting two shutouts, including the third-place victory (3-0) over Guatemala.

We came down here and threw a scare into them. Now we get down to the business of winning a championship.
Sounders coach Neil Megson after his team exits the Open Cup at Dallas just prior to the A-League playoff opener
We're kind of like the Thunderbirds (junior hockey team) now. We've got to take a back seat to the MLS. No question that's the top league, and that's where the top players are. We lost four players to the new league from last year, and next year, when free agency comes around, we'll lose some more because players will go where the money is.
Marcus Hahnemann describing role of A-League teams like the Sounders now that MLS has launched
For some who toiled together in the region's amateur leagues before coming together with the Sounders, it was a bittersweet moment before 7,027, the largest crowd this season. Few want to leave Seattle but realize their futures are in Major League Soccer, or in professional leagues in Europe and Japan. As long as Seattle remains a minor-league soccer city, some see little choice but to play elsewhere.
Elliott Almond, Seattle Times reporter, on Sounders top players' future beyond 1996
The kid could play anywhere. I've seen a lot of goalkeepers and big Marcus is phenomenal. If I was the MLS or a Premier League or first division team in England, I'd be looking at him. I'd pick him up straightaway.
Scottish midfielder David Hoggan on Marcus Hahnemann's career prospects
I've accomplished what I set out to do. My mission was to bring the Seattle Sounders and professional soccer back to the Puget Sound region. To win the A-League championship last season was a great thrill.
Alan Hinton on his reasoning for retiring as Sounders coach
We're in the midst of history. Something very significant has happened in these players' lifetimes. They did it. They captured the world's attention. They'll carry that with them the rest of their lives. It's amazing. There's no place we can go without running into people cheering, on the streets, at the venues. It's been incredible.
Retired PLU coach Colleen Hacker, now USWNT sports psychologist, on the team's rising profile in the wake of its Olympic gold
Our kids came up through college, while (Portugal's) have experience with Benfica and Lisbon, some of the best clubs in the world.
Kasey Keller on the disparity of experience on Olympic rosters
Akers had made it through 90 minutes of regulation and the 9 minutes, 20 seconds of overtime. She had scored the game-tying goal on a penalty kick. She had been a magnet at midfield, winning every ball in the air, drawing a crowd of Norwegian defenders wherever she went. She was magnificent. And she was near collapse.
Steve Kelley, Seattle Times columnist, on Michelle Akers's Olympian performance vs Norway
If you look at the players around here, it's a confidence thing. The first two years here under the Gaffer (Alan Hinton), we were always confident that anytime we stepped onto the dance floor there's a good chance we'd win. That's what this team is starting to believe now.
David Hoggan, Sounders midfielder, on team's growing confidence down the stretch
Michelle is a warrior. I hope people realize what they're seeing. They're seeing a great athlete who's an even greater warrior. She's worked so hard. She's given every ounce of herself in every single game. She leads by example. By throwing her body in places where most people wouldn't because it's too dangerous. By winning head balls. By being so composed. By creating opportunities.
Mia Hamm on USWNT teammate Michelle Akers
I was swearing, shouting and whatever, trying to get them going. I told them, 'Hey, we're playing like (bleep). We gotta start running, gotta start fighting. If we want this, we start playing now.' The boys responded with two goals and it was fantastic. Two championships in two seasons to end my career. Fantastic!
David Hoggan on his midgame speech to rally the Sounders in the A-League title match
Since we lost the World Cup last summer, we vowed as a team we would be on that podium as the best team in the world, and our dream came true. I can't remember the last time I played four 90-minute games. But nothing was going to stop me from focusing on the one reason I came here, which is to win the gold medal. This day has made up for every struggle our team has been through, particularly in the past year. I'm ready for a vacation.
Michelle Akers after the USWNT defeats China, 2-1, in the gold medal game at the Atlanta Summer Games
What's more important, making a few extra dollars or giving the Sounders every opportunity, every advantage they earned? Plus, our fans have been great, very loyal. I look at it this way: If we put 7,000 or 8,000 people at Memorial Stadium, there's your $70,000.
Sounders owner Scott Oki on refusing Rochester's $80,000 bid to take championship game homefield advantage from Seattle
Some people say losing players to MLS will have a negative impact on the Seattle Sounders, but what is important for soccer in the state is to give the kids a future. If they can see there's a big league up there, past semi-pro, past the A-League, it will only help the development of the sport. The MLS is helping create that status, so we're happy to give them the players.
Tor Taylor, Sounders general manager
We're not going to be on top like we used to be. We're like the second division now and that's fine. That's the natural course of things. I'm hoping that both leagues can put their egos aside and work together. Our league would be like a developmental league and the MLS would be where they would star and make all the money.
New Sounders coach Neil Megson on his team's newfound role with MLS beginning play
We were written off halfway through the season. This team took adversity with Chance Fry's injury and again in the playoffs against Colorado (a 1-0 loss in Seattle). But they came back, and I'm feeling extremely happy.
Neil Megson, Sounders coach, on his team's resilience to repeat
MLS has to come to me. I'm under contract. But MLS has had a great year, better attendance than they were expecting and more people watching on television. If someone comes along and says, `We want Kasey Keller,' I'll listen.
Kasey Keller on the prospect of playing in MLS someday
I think they were expecting us to be defensive. I think we shocked them.
Neil Megson on his attack-minded approach, starting three forwards, in the deciding semifinal game at Colorado
This man (Hinton) almost single-handedly resurrected pro soccer in Seattle and delivered this city a championship.
Sounders majority owner Scott Oki on Alan Hinton's legacy
College & High School All-America (USC)
Player (Hometown) School (Div/Team/Pos)
Justi Baumgardt (Federal Way) Portland (D1/1st/F)
Tom Hardy (Seattle) Seattle University (NAIA/2nd/D)
Jason Palmer (Seattle) Seattle University (NAIA/3rd/G)
Laura Robinson (Seattle) Seattle University (NAIA/3rd/D)
Mary Boerner (Tacoma) Bellarmine (F)
Bree Edwards (Bellevue) Newport (D)
Collegiate Men's Records
Central Washington 4-14-0
Evergreen 7-12-1
Gonzaga 11-6-1
Northwest 7-11-1
Pacific Lutheran 4-14-1
Puget Sound 11-8-2
Seattle University 13-9-2
Seattle Pacific 12-8-2
Washington 15-3-1
Western Washington 11-8-1
Whitman 3-12-2
Whitworth 8-9-2
Collegiate Women's Records
Central Washington 8-8-1
Evergreen 6-12-2
Gonzaga 1-16-3
Pacific Lutheran 5-10-3
Puget Sound 11-5-2
Seattle University 16-3-0
Washington 12-8-0
Washington State 8-7-2
Western Washington 7-10-2
Whitman 12-6-1
Whitworth 16-5-2
Commissioners Cup Winners
Age BoysGirls
U11 Bullets (FWSA)FC Flames (MRSA)
U12 World Wide Strikers (WYSA)Spectre 84 White (NYSA)
U13 Campiones (MRSA)Vision (OYSA)
U14 Flames (SpVJSA)Spectre 82 White (NYSA)
U15 Cascade Avalanche (NCYSA)Reign 80 (FWSA)
U16 FC Alliance (TPCJSA)FC Marauders (GRJSA)
U17 FC Rangers (WCYSA)Lady Phoenix (OYSA)
U18 Mer's Thunder (FWSA)Shorelake Arsenal (SYSA)
U19 International (TPCJSA)FC Azzurri (KYSA)
Professional All-League
Player (Pos) Team (Lg-Tm)
Wade Webber (D) Sounders (AL-1st)
Juan de la O (G) SeaDogs (CISL-1st)
State Youth Recreational Cup Winners
Age BoysGirls
U11 Hawks (D4)Flash (D2)
U12 Runnin Rebels (D5)Strikers (D6)
U13 Rebels (D4)Rocking Robins (D5)
U14 Wolverines (D4)Undertow (D4)
U15 Wildcats (D2)Wildcats (D2)
U16 Turbos (D4)Gazelles (D2)
U17 MI Stars (D2)Maltby Spirit (D2)
U18 Star Hawks (D2)Thrill (D3)
U19 not awardednot awarded
USISL, PDL Records
Bellingham Orcas, PDL 3-11, 6th Div.
Everett BigFoot, D3 10-6, 3rd Div.
Puget Sound Hammers, PDL 8-6, 4th Div.
Spokane Shadow, PDL 12-2, 1st Div.
Yakima Reds, D3 8-8, 5th Div.
Washington State Youth Champions
Age BoysGirls
U12 Heat Blue 94 (HAS)Legend (LWYSA)
U13 Outlaws (TPCJSA)FC Royals 82 (TPCJSA)
U14 Solaris (FWSA)Eagles 81 (HSA)
U15 Juventus (AYSA)Emerald City Green (SYSA)
U16 Allemania (SSCJSA)FC Royals (TPCJSA)
U17 Emerald City 78 (SYSA)Emerald City Green (SYSA)
U18 United Bullet/Soccer West (FWSA)FC Royals (TPCJSA)
U19 United (LWYSA)Eagles 77 (HSA)
WIAA Championship Games
Boys 4A Eastlake 2Mead 1
Boys 3A West Valley (Yakima) 2O'Dea 2
Boys 1A Overlake 2Bellevue Christian 1 OT
Girls 4A Shorecrest 2 (5-4)Bellarmine 2
Girls 3A Lakeside 1Gig Harbor 0
Girls 1A Seattle Christian 5Vashon 0
CONCACAF Champions CUp - Cruz Azul vs Sounders

VIDEO: CONCACAF Champions CUp - Cruz Azul vs Sounders

On this Day in History
July 16, 2016
Darwin Jones scores two goals and as the Sounders FC2 overcome a deficit and oppressive heat for a 3-2 victory over Arizona United on the road. The kickoff temperature is 109 degrees at the Peoria Sports Complex. Down 2-1 late in the first half, Jordan Schweitzer pulls S2 into a halftime tie. Jones then nets his second goal and the game-winner in the 56th minute. It's the second win in a row of a four-game win streak.
More from 2016 ›
October 7, 2006
Paolo Mottola resigns as Evergreen State College women's coach after 15 games (6-9-0), citing personal issues. Evergreen defeats Warner Pacific, 6-0, and afterward Mottola, hired in July, tells team and athletic director he is leaving. Assistant coach Luise Frank serves out the remaining games as interim coach, and the Geoducks finish 8-13-0.
More from 2006 ›
November 14, 1982
Tad Willoughby nets a brace, and Mark Schuur collects his record 14th shutout of the season and 31st of his career as Washington concludes regular season play by beating Puget Sound, 5-0, at Husky Stadium. The victory clinches Washington’s first NCSC crown in six years. It’s the Huskies' 18th win and extends their unbeaten run to 17 games (16-0-1) going into the postseason.
More from 1982 ›
September 24, 2005
Leah Wymer's hat trick and Ashley Porter's three assists lead Seattle University past Northwest Nazarene, 6-0, at Championship Field. Porter, a senior, becomes the GNAC career leader in assists and goes on to total 14 for the season.
More from 2005 ›