NationStates Jolt Archive

*-Slip City beat Latham in President's Cup-*

28-11-2003, 02:04
RAYTOWN, Sliponia - The Sliponian club team Slip City Earthquakes defeated the Slipourian club team Latham Fire, 4-2 in the fourth President's Cup Championship match Thursday afternoon at newly built Sliponia One Center in Raytown, Sliponia. With the win, Slip City becomes the first team in this annual cup to win it more than once.

Slip City forward Brandon Donovan recorded two goals in the match, earning the Sliparu President's Cup Most Valuable Player award. Goalkeeper Matt Onstad made a critical play for the Earthquakes in the second half, knocking away an Andre Tratoz penalty kick attempt in the 55th minute to hold the Slip City lead.

Slip City Head Coach Abdullah Parker is the first coach to lead his team to two President's Cup titles. Slip City defender and team captain Jeff Wilson records his third career President's Cup title, winning the Championship the once the Sun Devils and twice with the Earthquakes.

The Earthquakes jumped out to an early lead when midfielder Jonnie Ekelund drove home a free kick in the fifth minute for the 1-0 lead. Marcus Walker was clipped by the Fire’s Rob Marsch at the top of the penalty arc, disrupting the Slip City advance and drawing the foul. On the restart, defender Jeff Wilson lured the defensive wall with a convincing dummy run to the ball, opening a gap in the wall and exposing the far side of the net. Ekelund teed up a strong right-footed blast to the upper corner, putting the shot through the hands of a diving Zach Thomson. Ekelund’s goal ties former record for the fastest goal in a President's Cup Championship match.

Brandon Donovan doubled the Slip City lead in the 38th minute, breaking in behind Fire defender Juan Bocanegra to connect with Marcus Walker’s well-timed diagonal ball into the box. Donovan made his run to the near post, drawing Thomson off of his line to cut down the shooting angle. As Thornton committed, Donovan slotted the shot underneath the `keeper’s arm for his ninth career playoff tally and his third in the 2003 postseason.

Manuel Lagos elicited a roar from the crowd with his 37th minute attempt, making a lunging volley attempt to get under a Bryan Mullan pass from the flank. Lagos made good contact with the ball, but Thomson was in excellent position to cover the play.

Neither side wasted any time opening the scoring in the second half, as Latham made it a one-goal game in the 49th minute. Andy Julo laid off a short pass behind the Slip City defense, springing midfielder Marcus Trott down the near side of the box. Trott rushed the net, beating Onstad cleanly and hitting the far side netting.

The Fire’s celebration was short-lived however, as Richard Jansen found the back of the net directly off the restart. Greg Waibel sent the ball downfield, exposing the Fire backs as Jansen raced down the flank. Allowing the ball to settle, Jansen picked out his spot on the far side of the goal, putting it out of the reach of Thomson. The tally was Janesen’s first career postseason goal.

Slip City defender "Topher" Roner, entering the game in the second half, narrowed his own team’s lead with a 54th minute own goal. Latham’s Steven Whitfield chased down the ball at the far side end line, hustling back to send a dangerous cross in front of the net. Roner’s attempt to head the ball over the crossbar went awry, however, as he nodded the ball back into the net.

Roner’s nightmare stretch continued, as a 55th minute challenge on Damani Raulph drew a whistle and a penalty kick for the Fire. Raulph was taken down from behind near the end line as he turned the corner to head towards the near post. Forward Andre Tratoz went to the spot for Latham, attempting to convert the first penalty kick in the Cup's history. Tratoz’s strike was well read by Onstad, who dove to his right to smother the ball on the goal line.

Tratoz came within inches of scoring for the Fire in the 58th minute, taking a one-time strike from the top of the box that grazed the outside of upper corner of the net.

Donovan scored his second goal of the match in the 71st minute, easily tapping home the ball to extend the Quakes’ lead to 4-2. Forward Daune DeRosario, who came in for an injured Marcus Walker at the hour mark, was afforded space and time on the near flank. DeRosario slipped the cross to the end of Donovan’s near-post run. With defender James Curtin and Thomson trailing behind, Donovan was able to tap the ball into the gaping net.

The goal marked a new high-scoring mark in President's Cup History, as the two sides became the first to combine for more than five goals in the Championship match. The previous record was set in inaugural President's Cup.

Tratoz had another golden chance to score for Latham in the 82nd minute, but missed the play by inches. Raulph weaved through the Slip City defense again on the near side, outpacing the Roner to slip a dangerous ball across the box and into the path of an onrushing Tratoz. Tratoz got a step on his defender and attempted to slide in and touch the ball home, but fell just short as the ball rolled out of danger.

Slip City took a hard road to the President's Cup title, coming from behind in both the National Semifinals and the National Championship to book passage to the title match. In the first round of the playoffs, Slip City overcame a four-goal aggregate deficit to put away defending league (not national) champion Platte City in overtime. Then, in the single elimination Conference Final at SC Stadium, the `Quakes came from behind twice to earn the golden goal victory.

President's Cup IV Champions Starters:

President's Cup IV Runners-Up Starters:
28-11-2003, 05:04
29-11-2003, 06:06