Casa Grande, Arizona - Two teams at very different stages of their pre-seasons met on the pitch at Grande Sports World on Tuesday.
The Sounders FC is very early in training camp and is making decisions on players and started a young group of players who are battling for roster spots. Real Salt Lake, meanwhile, is preparing for CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal matches with the Columbus Crew on February 22 and March 1.
Contrary to what might be expected, though, the young Sounders held their own against the RSL side that will likely take the field on opening day. Likewise, Salt Lake’s young players got on the board and Seattle needed a last-minute penalty to finish the day with a 3-3 draw in the 110-minute exhibition.
“Overall I thought the young guys did well against a very experienced team. They sort of held their own and came up with some big saves by Terry Boss in that period, but I thought we held our own and did alright,” Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid said. “Obviously then the last period was sort of the reverse. It was our first team against their guys and they end up scoring two really good goals. We ended up scoring two goals and we probably deserved one or two more based on the run, but it was a fair result and we saw what we needed to see.”
Lamar Neagle got things started in just the third minute, picking off an errant pass, holding off his defender, then sliding the ball inside the far post for a goal to give Seattle the early lead.
The Sounders held strong throughout the rest of the 45-minute period, but Salt Lake was able to equalize on the boot of Javier Morales. RSL picked up a foul deep in Seattle territory and Morales curled the free kick over the top of the wall and inside the left post past a diving Boss for the goal in the 37th minute.
It was the only blemish on an otherwise outstanding 45 minutes for Boss and Josh Ford took over where he left off, making several stops in a scoreless, 35-minute second period.
The final period, which ran 30 minutes picked up the scoring though.
O’Brian White, who has been a scoring machine in training camp shielded a Salt Lake defender and took a pass from Erik Friberg and tipped it out of reach for Tim Melia to put Seattle up 2-1 in the 10th minute of the final period.
“He is big and strong and once he gets a guy on his hip it’s tough for them to get the ball off of him,” Schmid said.
Then two rocket goals from Collen Warner in a two-minute stretch gave Salt Lake their first lead of the match. In the 17th minute of the third period, Luis Gil got the ball to Warner on the right side and he blasted a shot inside the far post for the equalizing goal to make it 2-2. He took the next one from just outside the box in the 19th minute to give Salt Lake the 3-2 advantage.
Friberg, Osvaldo Alonso, Steve Zakuani and Alvaro Fernandez continued to exert pressure through the midfield, but it wasn’t until Zakuani picked off a Salt Lake pass in his own end and raced down the left side with it that Seattle got a strong opportunity. Zakuani out-ran his defender into the box and the center back was left to handle the ball on his way down in an attempt to stop the speedy winger. The referee was quick to the call though and pointed to the spot for the penalty.
Fredy Montero put the PK away in the 30th minute and the final moments quickly ticked off the clock to finish the match with a 3-3 draw.
The Sounders are now 1-0-1 in their preseason matches after a 1-0 win last Friday over the Vancouver Whitecaps. They will face the Columbus Crew on Thursday at 10 am Pacific Time at Westside Soccer Complex in Phoenix. There will be a liveblog of the match at http://sndrs.com/9mcr.
First Period Scoring Summary
Sounders FC – Lamar Neagle 3.
Real Salt Lake – Javier Morales 37.
Second Period Scoring Summary
Third Period Scoring Summary
Sounders FC – O’Brian White (Erik Friberg, Osvaldo Alonso) 10; Fredy Montero (PK) 30.
Real Salt Lake – Collen Warner (Luis Gil, Donny Toia) 17; Collen Warner 19.
Sounders FC Lineup
Game 1 (45 minutes): Terry Boss, Zach Scott, Leone Cruz, Patrick Ianni, Danny Earls, David Estrada, Jonathan Prieto, Servando Carrasco, Miguel Montano, Lamar Neagle, Seedy Bah.
Game 2 (35 minutes): Josh Ford, Roger Levesque, Zach Scott (Jeff Parke 17), Patrick Ianni (Jhon Kennedy Hurtado 17), Danny Earls (Tyson Wahl 17), David Estrada (Alvaro Fernandez 17), Jonathan Prieto (Erik Friberg 10), Servando Carrasco (Osvaldo Alonso 17), Michael Tetteh, Lamar Neagle (Fredy Montero 17), Mike Fucito.
Game 3 (30 minutes): Bryan Meredith, James Riley, Jeff Parke, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Tyson Wahl, Alvaro Fernandez, Osvaldo Alonso, Erik Friberg, Steve Zakuani, O’Brian White, Fredy Montero.
Real Salt Lake Lineup
Game 1: Nick Rimando, Robbie Russell, Jamison Olave, Nat Borchers, Chris Wingert (Tony Beltran 45), Kyle Beckerman, Andy Williams, Ned Grabavoy (Nelson González 69), Javier Morales, Alvaro Saborio (Collen Warner 62), Paulo Jr.
Game 2: Nick Rimando, Robbie Russell, Jamison Olave, Nat Borchers, Tony Beltran 45, Kyle Beckerman, Andy Williams, Ned Grabavoy (Nelson Gonzalez 24), Javier Morales, Alvaro Saborio (Collen Warner 17), Paulo Jr.
Game 3: Tim Melia, Tony Beltran, Jamie Cunningham, Rauwshan McKenzie, Nelson Gonzalez, Nico Muniz, Collen Warner, David Flores, Luis Gil, Mikey Orellana, Donny Toia.