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Leerdam’s late winner gives Sounders 1-0 win over Whitecaps

By TIM BOOTHJune 30, 2019
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Seattle Sounders' Kelvin Leerdam (18) leaps and pumps his fist after scoring against the Vancouver Whitecaps late in the second half of an MLS soccer match Saturday, June 29, 2019, in Seattle. The Sounders won 1-0. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
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Seattle Sounders' Kelvin Leerdam (18) leaps and pumps his fist after scoring against the Vancouver Whitecaps late in the second half of an MLS soccer match Saturday, June 29, 2019, in Seattle. The Sounders won 1-0. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

SEATTLE (AP) — Kelvin Leerdam’s late dramatics made certain a disallowed goal from 16-year-old Danny Leyva became an afterthought.

Leerdam scored in the sixth minute of second-half stoppage time after Leyva’s goal earlier in the second half had been overruled on video review, and the Seattle Sounders beat rival Vancouver Whitecaps 1-0 victory on Saturday night in their second Cascadia Cup showdown of the season.

“It was a beautiful goal and I think (Leyva) deserved it. But the rules, stupid rules,” Leerdam said. “I’m always happy to score, happy to help the team out.”

While Leyva’s goal was overturned, there was no denying Leerdam’s goal after Seattle had an extended period of possession deep in Vancouver’s end in the closing minutes. Leerdam’s right-footed shot from near the penalty spot beat Vancouver goalkeeper Zac MacMath.

It was the fifth goal of the season for Leerdam and gave Seattle its first win since beating Orlando City on May 15.

Vancouver saw its six-game unbeaten streak come to an end, although five of the six had finished in draws. Vancouver coach Marc Dos Santos was unhappy with his team having to play a third game in eight days.

“Let’s educate everybody in that we’re playing league games while there is the Gold Cup. It’s actually amateurish,” Dos Santos said. “It’s not good for us, it’s not good for Seattle, it’s not good for the environment for all of the fans that were here today.”

While Leerdam’s goal was the winner, Leyva was the star of the night as he became the third-youngest player to start an MLS match and nearly netted his first goal, only to have a review by referee Alan Kelly nullify the strike.

Levya appeared to give Seattle the lead in the 60th minute with a chipped shot from well outside the penalty area into an open Vancouver goal. The net was unguarded after MacMath tried to beat Seattle’s Justin Dhillon to a loose ball and inadvertently had his foot stepped on. With MacMath down and the goal open, Leyva chipped the rest of the Vancouver defense to momentarily give Seattle the lead.

Vancouver argued Dhillon fouled MacMath and Kelly agreed following the video review.

“I was happy for about 30 seconds until it was overruled. Then I was really mad, but you have to keep going with the game,” Leyva said.

Seattle fielded a makeshift lineup with a number of starters still off on international duty, including Jordan Morris, Cristian Roldan, Nicolas Lodeiro and Raul Ruidiaz. Playmaking midfielder Victor Rodriguez tweaked his hamstring in practice on Friday and was held out for precautionary reasons. The absences forced Seattle to sign and start Dhillon from its developmental USL squad, and give Leyva his first start. Seattle also brought on 17-year-old Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez as a sub in the second half.

Vancouver was without five players due to international duty. The Whitecaps’ best chance at a winner came in the 57th minute when Ali Adnan’s shot from a tight angle surprised goalkeeper Stefan Frei and forced an awkward save.

“It was a back-and-forth game where I think we could have been a little better in their half. Sometimes, we had some space to create better chances,” Dos Santos said. “There are things in our decision-making that needed to be better.”

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