By Rich Myhre For The Weekly Herald
The North Sound SeaWolves made their season home debut on June 1, and for the second time in nine days they ended up in a physical, sometimes feisty soccer match with the Washington Crossfire.
And for the second time in nine days, the SeaWolves dropped a one-goal decision to the Crossfire.
Crossfire midfielder Adam Bonifacio broke a 1-1 deadlock in the 73rd minute with a header goal off a corner kick and the margin held up in a 2-1 Premier Development League victory over North Sound at Edmonds Stadium, the team’s home field this season.
The outcome followed a 1-0 Crossfire victory between the two teams.
It was a disappointing setback for the SeaWolves, who lost not only the game but forward Abduwali Aman, an Ethiopia native and a 2011 member of the University of Washington men’s soccer team who is one of North Sound’s most talented players. Aman scored North Sound’s goal in the first half, but was sent off via a red card in the 86th minute.
SeaWolves coach Alex Silva was frustrated by the defeat, and was particularly unhappy with Aman’s red card.
“I think it was an unfair red card,” Silva said. “The referee couldn’t see, but it started with the Crossfire player hitting (Aman) from the back. All of a sudden Abdu … he reacted. The guy was (being physical) often, often and (Aman) just took after him.”
“But hopefully he’ll take this as a learning lesson,” Silva said. “He’s a great player. That’s just something he needs to learn. … But I felt the other player should have gotten a red card, too.”
Silva said he told his team before the game to expect a “very physical” contest. He also told Aman “that they’re going to take you out of the game. They know you’re the star. … And it worked out for them.”
The Crossfire opened the scoring in the 14th minute with a goal from Daniel Gray, who won the race to a ball down the right side and brought it in on North Sound goalkeeper Claudio Lazar. Gray’s blasted a right-footed shot past Lazar and into the left side of the net.
Silva said the initial goal should have been ruled offsides, “so it was an unfair goal.” But the second Crossfire goal was simply a defensive lapse by the SeaWolves on a corner kick, leaving Bonifacio undefended. “We gave it to them,” he said.
Aman scored for the SeaWolves late in the first half as he took a pass down the right side, came through some defenders with the ball and sent a terrific shot past Crossfire goalie Jacob Feener.
Lazar was injured midway through the first half when he went into a crowd of players for an attempted save. He collided with another player and had blood on his face after being cut near his right eye. The game was stopped for over 10 minutes as Lazar was treated and patched before returning to the game.
Silva is confident about his team, which opened its season with a 2-1 victory over Fraser Valley on May 20 before the two losses to the Crossfire.
“Our goal is to make the playoffs and I think we can,” he said. “I think we have a good group and I think we’re going to do fine.”