CASA GRANDE, Arizona – The Sounders FC finished the Arizona leg of training camp on Saturday with a 1-0 victory over Chivas USA at Grande Sports World to conclude with a 2-1-1 record in four matches in Arizona.
David Estrada netted the lone goal of the match in the 75th minute of Seattle’s first 90-minute match of the preseason.
“The second half I thought we came in and played with a lot of energy,” head coach Sigi Schmid said. “The guys knew that they were battling for spots to get on the plane to Florida and a lot of guys stepped up their game and it was very good.”
After a scoreless first half, the second half was full of energy as the Sounders pelted Chivas USA with pressure from the opening whistle.
In the 59th minute, the ball fell to Servando Carrasco for a powerful shot from 35 yards out, but Zach Thornton made the stop for Chivas USA.
Trialist Lamar Neagle just missed on a header in the 67th minute, hitting a cross from Jonathan Prieto, another trialist, just over the crossbar. In the 71st minute, Neagle dribbled around the Chivas defense, but his shot was knocked clear by backup goalkeeper Sergio Arias.
The pressure reached a crescendo in the 75th minute when Prieto got away up the right side and crossed the ball into the box. Miguel Montano got his foot on it and knocked it to Estrada at the far post. Estrada touched it into the net for the 1-0 lead.
“It was a play that was created off of energy,” Schmid said. “The guys worked hard. Sometimes we give up on plays and we don’t want to give up on plays. We want to make sure we stay in place and continue it because you never know what’s going to happen at the end.”
In the first half, Seattle wasn’t without opportunities, but they were limited and would not prove fruitful. Mike Fucito took a low shot from 20 yards out in the 20th minute and Fredy Montero got on the end of a combination from Erik Friberg and Alvaro Fernandez for a chip shot in the 41st minute, however, both were saved by Thornton.
Defensively, the Sounders got back in to their early form of camp with their second clean sheet in four matches. Kasey Keller made a diving first-half save to stop a dangerous shot from Blair Gavin and Terry Boss dove to the post to stop a Memo Torres shot.
After the match, the Sounders loaded the bus to return to Seattle. They will get back on the training field on Wednesday and Thursday at Starfire before heading to Florida on Friday.
“It’s been good. It’s been a long two weeks,” Schmid said. “I think the guys are ready to get back to Seattle, but our work is not completed in preseason and we will continue to work hard.”
Sounders FC – David Estrada (Miguel Montaño, Jonathan Prieto) 75.
Chivas USA – None.
Sounders FC – Tyson Wahl (caution) 30.
Chivas USA – Zarek Valentin (caution) 56.
Sounders FC - Kasey Keller (Terry Boss 46), James Riley (Roger Levesque 46), Jhon Kennedy Hurtado (Zach Scott 46), Tyson Wahl (Leone Cruz 46), Danny Earls (Michael Tetteh 46), Alvaro Fernandez (Lamar Neagle 46), Osvaldo Alonso (Servando Carrasco 46), Erik Friberg (Jonathan Prieto 46), Steve Zakuani (Miguel Montaño 46), Fredy Montero (David Estrada 46), Mike Fucito (Seedy Bah 46).
Chivas USA - Zach Thornton (Sergio Arias 60’), Zarek Valentin (Jimmy Asprilla 60’), Jimmy Conrad (Trialist 60’), Michael Umana (Andrew Boyens 60’), Ante Jazic (Jorge Flores 60’), Michael LaHoud (Ben Zemanski 60’), Victor Estupinan (Sal Zizzo 60’), Blair Gavin (Memo Torres 60’), Gerson Mayen (Mariano Trujillo 60’), Francisco Mendoza (Jesus Padilla 60’), Alan Gordon (Chukwudi Chijindu. 60’).