Though they ended the match with a 3-0 loss, the Sounders took some positives steps in building towards MLS First Kick on March 25 at Qwest Field against the Philadelphia Union.
Morten Moldskred opened scoring in the second minute and the Sounders were unable to recover. Per Ciljian Skjelbred added a second before the first half ended and Rade Prica made it 3-0 in the second half.
“Obviously they’re a good team and for us it’s good to play games against opponents of that quality. It gives us chance to take a measure of where we’re at,” head coach Sigi Schmid said. “They’re a quality that is going to be in the Champions League next year and I thought they played well. The early goal certainly helped them. Outside of that I thought we had some moments in the game, but we have away some bad goals.”
Moldskred got Rosenborg out on the right foot and they continued to control possession for much of the first half. Even still, Seattle was able to generate some good offensive possession throughout the game.
In the seventh minute, Lamar Neagle made a run from the left side into the middle of the field near the top of the 18-yard box, but his shot was corralled by Rosenborg keeper Daniel Orslund. In the 16th minute, the Sounders held the ball in the offensive third for an extended period of time, but were unable to get the ball into a dangerous scoring position.
After turning away a Seattle shot, Rosenborg countered the other way and Skjelbred uncorked a powerful shot from left of center at the top of the box that just eluded the reach of Kasey Keller diving to his left and found the back of the net for a 2-0 Rosenborg lead.
Late in the first half, the Sounders went back on the offensive, spurred by a dramatic parry-save by Kasey Keller on a shot from Prica in the 25th minute. Turning away the would-be goal set a spark for the Sounders, who through Freddie Ljungberg and the speed of Sanna Nyassi were able to build some offensive flow. It was the final touch into the box that they were missing though and the 2-0 Rosenborg lead held at halftime.
At the start of the second half, Schmid and the Sounders changed their lineup, bringing in seven new players. The result was a more aggressive offensive attack, but it also was unable to render any goals for the Sounders.
In the first five minutes of the second half, midfield trialist Rayner Michael asserted his presence with a cross from the left side that threatened Orslund and a shot from 25 yards out. Though neither bore any fruit, the maneuvers showed an aggressiveness that was lacking in the first half. Add to that the pressure up top from Roger Levesque and Tye Perdido along with Nathan Sturgis leading the charge from the midfield; only the swirling winds and the driving rain seemed to be able to keep the Sounders from scoring, slowing every run and leaving every ball passed through the air to float back like a balloon.
Then a tough rebound led to a 3-0 lead for Rosenborg. Chris Eylander punched out a problematic cross from the left side and it errantly spilled to Prica at the far post and he poked it in for a goal in the 66th minute.
The second-half subs continued to pour on the pressure like the rain from the sky, but they couldn’t break the Rosenborg defense.
“I thought even with the weather we dealt with it well. I thought we had moments in the game where he got chances. We were around the goal for sure,” Schmid said. “I didn’t think we embarrassed ourselves, but certainly the measure of the game they were the better team.”
The Sounders FC will face Norwegian club Stabaek on Sunday, February 21 at 3 pm local time (6 am Pacific).
Sounders FC: Kasey Keller (Chris Eylander 46), James Riley (Zach Scott 60), Tyrone Marshall (Patrick Ianni 46), Jhon Kennedy Hurtado (Jamel Wallace 60), Tyson Wahl (Leo Gonzalez 60), Sanna Nyassi (David Estrada 46), Osvaldo Alonso (Stephen King 60), Peter Vagenas (Nathan Sturgis 46), Lamar Neagle (Rayner Michael 46), Fredy Montero (Roger Levesque 46), Freddie Ljungberg (Tye Perdido 46).
Rosenborg BK starters (substitutions were not announced): Daniel Orlund, Mikael Lustig, Vadim Demidov, Kris Stadsgaard, Mikael Dorsin, Morten Moldskred, Gerrard Aaren, Per Ciljan Skjelbred, Anthony Annan, Steffen Iversen, Rade Prica.
Rosenborg BK: Moldskred, 2; Skjelbred, 18; Prica, 66
Sounders FC: None