David Falk has followed soccer in the Puget Sound region since 1974. This blog covers Sounders FC, local college soccer, Seattle Wolves FC, Tacoma Tide FC and Kitsap Pumas. Send tips or comments to: goalseattle@gmail.com
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Seattle Soccer Examiner

Sunday, December 21, 2008

My top 5 favorite in-person matches of 2008

I am not going to do too many year-end lists, but I thought I would post the favorite five matches I attended in person in 2008. What do I mean by 'favorite?' The matches I enjoyed most for what happened on the pitch.

It was not a great year to be a United Soccer Leagues Sounders fan, and they do not top my list.

5. Tacoma Tide-4 Vancouver Whitecaps Residency-0, June 7, 2008, Curtis High School Field. The newly-created Vancouver Whitecaps Residency club came in to Curtis High School never having lost a match and boasting a handful of players from the USL-1 Whitecaps roster. Tacoma Tide FC were not impressed, but they were impressive. Blog flashback.

4. Sounders-2 Montreal Impact-1, USL Playoffs September 26, 2008, Starfire Sports Stadium. The Sounders could have and should have won by more than a goal on this night, and in the end it cost them in the series. As the last home match ever played by the USL club, it was a bittersweet affair in which we proudly went out winners at home. Blog flashback.

3. Sounders-1 Kansas City Wizards-0, July 8, 2008, Qwest Field. The Sounders played their best soccer in the United States Open Cup, including this overtime penalty kick thriller that advanced Seattle to the semifinals for the second straight year. Blog flashback.

2. Brazil-3 Canada-2, Qwest Field, May 31, 2008. It was a far closer match than anyone had expected, and the Canadians battled all the way with Brazil before falling late before 47,000 fans at Qwest Field. Blog flashback.

1. Tacoma Tide FC-6 Yakima Reds-2, July 19, 2008, Curtis High School Stadium. It was all-or-nothing, the winner making the playoffs and the loser going home. On a beautiful sun-baked night Tacoma Tide FC did what you always hope the home team will do---but they so rarely do---come up big in a big match. The Reds and the Tide have a nice rivalry building, and I actually got some kind of friendly 'stick' from the Reds' players wives and owners who traveled to the match. It got louder when the Reds went up early, 1-0. Junior Garcia, who would be named Most Valubale Player for the entire 70-club Premier Development League (PDL) continued his goal-scoring ways.

Tacoma soon drew level and eventually took the lead before halftime. The boys in yellow came at Yakima in wave after wave, thrilling the biggest home Tacoma crowd of the year, many of whom had brought drums and 'clackers' in support of the Tide. It was 2-1, then 3, then 4 before the Reds could get their second. Tacoma finished off the match with two more strikes to post an amazing 6-2 victory that qualified the Tide for the post season for the second straight year. Later that night Tide fans and players learned that Vancouver Whitecaps Residency had been upset 1-0 by Ogden Outlaws. Tacoma Tide FC had thus won their first-ever Northwest Division crown. Blog flashback.

Photo credit: Tide celebrate a goal against Yakima on July 19. Jenni Conner

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