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Thursday, May 12, 2005 - Page updated at 12:00 a.m.

Maple Valley's Besagno delivers 1-0 victory for Sounders over Real Salt Lake

Special to The Seattle Times

Seattle Sounders fans can thank Leighton O'Brien for making the game possible. But they can thank Jacob Besagno for providing the entertainment.

Besagno, a 21-year-old rookie from Maple Valley, scored just 20 seconds after he substituted into the game in the 66th minute as the Sounders beat Real Salt Lake, the expansion Major League Soccer franchise, 1-0 in exhibition last night in front of 1,279 fans at Qwest Field.

The win was Seattle's first in 2005 and it gave the older Besagno bragging rights over 16-year-old younger brother, Nik, who saw his first professional action with Real Salt Lake.

"C.J. usually whips the ball in there and I just went to the far post hoping that something would squirt through," said Jacob Besagno, who put his arm around Nik after the game while walking off the field. "I was kind of in shock. I couldn't believe that just happened.

"It was my first touch. Oh, this is definitely up there for memories."

The game was compensation for Real Salt Lake signing former Sounder Leighton O'Brien, a Federal Way High product.

The 29-year-old O'Brien, the 2002 A-League Most Valuable Player with the Sounders, made his first start for an MLS team last night. He played all of 2001 and 2002 in Seattle and three games in 2003.

Besagno, who won an NCAA Division II national title last December at Seattle University, gave Seattle its first lead after getting his head and right leg on a 30-yard crossing free kick to the left post from fellow rookie C.J. Klaas.

"Getting scored on, you can't ever be happy about that, but now that the game is over I'm happy for him," Real Salt Lake's Nik Besagno said.

It gave UW product Klaas his second assist of the season.

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"We almost didn't get (Jacob Besagno) in for that particular substitution (for Ryan Edwards)," said Sounders coach Brian Schmetzer, who presented Jacob Besagno with a game ball in the locker room. "I almost left Eddy in there."

Nik Besagno, the No. 1 pick overall in this year's MLS draft, came into the match to start the second half. He had an immediate impact, making a hard tackle from behind on Edwards that resulted in a yellow card in the 50th minute.

Nik almost scored the match equalizer in the 89th minute, heading a ball to the right post that Sounders goalkeeper Preston Burpo stopped with a diving save.

"I thought he was going to get one, too," Jacob Besagno said of his brother. "I just told him, 'I'm proud of you' and that 'I'm glad to be out here with you.' "

SOUNDERS 1, REAL SALT LAKE 0

Real Salt Lake0 0 — 0
Seattle0 1 — 1
Goals — Sea: 1, Jacob Besagno (C.J. Klaas) 66:00. Shots — RSL 13, Sea 9. Saves — RSL (Jay Nolly) 5, Sea (Preston Burpo) 5. Fouls — RSL 17, Sea 17. Offsides — RSL 2, Sea 9. Corner kicks — RSL 2, Sea 5. Cautions — RSL (Evan Whitfield 45:00, Nik Besagno 51:00, Matt Behncke 87:00), Sea (Taylor Graham 69:00, Josh Hansen 88:00, Brett Wiesner 90:00). Att — 1,279.

Copyright © 2005 The Seattle Times Company

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