TUKWILA, Wash. - The Sounders FC already wrapped up the MLS Reserve League’s Western Division title by going 7-1-0 in their first eight matches.
On Monday night at Starfire, they put that depth on display again in their final home match in the Reserve League, topping the San Jose Earthquakes reserves 3-1.
Michael Tetteh and Sammy Ochoa scored first-half goals and Nate Jaqua added a second-half tally to put the game out of reach as Josh Ford finished with four saves to earn the victory.
After San Jose controlled much of the possession for the opening minutes, Seattle got on the board first. David Estrada fed Ochoa up the right side of the box and Ochoa flipped a ball to the far post where Tetteh crushed a left-footed volley for the 1-0 lead in the seventh minute.
Ochoa added to the lead in the 30th minute when Mike Seamon got some space dribbling up the middle. Seamon then rolled it out to Ochoa going into the box up the right side and he knocked it inside the far post for a 2-0 lead.
“There team’s going to get some better of the play and we are going to get some better of the play,” said Sounders FC assistant coach Ezra Hendrickson, who heads the reserve team. “We pretty much controlled the first half and came back out in the second half and knew the game was ours.”
Seattle lost some of their momentum with an injury to midfielder Servando Carrasco, who indicated after the match that he was ok, but they still held their lead in the second half.
Not without some resistance from the Earthquakes, though.
In the 68th minute, Joey Gjertsen pushed up the left side and the Tacoma native crossed it to Matt Luzanaris for the goal to reel the Sounders in at 2-1.
However, they would bounce right back and put the game away when Tetteh made a run up the left side and hit it across the front of the goal. Goalkeeper Andrew Webber got a piece of it, but it fell to Jaqua for a sliding shot that put Seattle up 3-1 in the 85th minute.
At the end of the match, the Sounders had four players from their academy on the field, as Aaron Kovar, Ian Lange, Austin Sweeney and Dominique Dismuke brought a youthful energy to the field.
“All in all, I thought everyone who stepped on the pitch tonight did well,” Hendrickson said. “It was youth and ambition. I’m the type of coach that likes that. They played freely.”
The Sounders will play their final reserve match in Carson, California, on Sunday, October 21, following the regular season finale against Chivas USA.
Sounders FC - Michael Tetteh (Sammy Ochoa, David Estrada) 7; Sammy Ochoa (Mike Seamon) 30; Nate Jaqua (Michael Tetteh) 85.
Earthquakes - Matt Luzanaris (Joey Gjertsen) 68.
Sounders FC - David Estrada (caution) 49.
Earthquakes - Max Griffin (caution) 49; Ellis McLaughlin (caution) 78.
Sounders FC - Josh Ford, Roger Levesque, Patrick Ianni (Ian Lange 46), Taylor Graham, Zach Scott, David Estrada, Servando Carrasco (Aaron Kovar 39), Mike Seamon, Michael Tetteh, Sammy Ochoa (Austin Sweeney 75), Nate Jaqua (Dominique Dismuke 87).
Earthquakes - Andrew Webber, Tim Ward, Taylor Mueller, Chris Leitch, Jacob Peterson, Ellis McLoughlin, Brad Ring, Jake Nicholson, Joey Gjertsen, Max Griffin (Milton Blanco 65), Matt Luzanaris.