BRADENTON, Florida – For the second straight preseason match, the Sounders FC fell behind early, but bounced back strong for a 1-1 draw in a game in which they dominated possession throughout the match.
On Monday, it was against Orlando City SC as Sammy Ochoa scored the second period equalizer in a match that featured three 30-minute periods.
“From the whole 90 minutes I thought we were the better team. We dominated the majority of the play,” Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid said. “We kept the pressure on them but obviously our finishing has got to get a little bit better.”
Seattle used a group made mostly of returning starters in the first period, but it was the combination of Ochoa and David Estrada that gave Seattle their best scoring opportunities in the final hour of the match.
“They did a better job of getting behind the defense,” Schmid said of the second unit. “I think a lot of that is a tribute to David Estrada and the runs that he made, really stretched the defense for us against them.”
In the 36th minute, Estrada found Ochoa for a header, but it was stopped at close range by a defender. Two minutes later, Ochoa returned the favor with a ball to Estrada and he sent a header bound for the inside of the far post, but Orlando City goalkeeper Miguel Gallardo made the diving stop.
Those types of chances littered the second and third periods, but they couldn’t convert until the 53rd minute when Christian Sivebæk raced past his defender on the right side and passed to Lamar Neagle in the box. Neagle touched it back to Mike Seamon, who hit Ochoa on the left side. Ochoa collected and shot inside the far post for the equalizer.
The first half saw Seattle dominate possession, but they weren’t able to put a tally on the board. That’s not to say they didn’t make Orlando City nervous though.
In the 12th minute, Osvaldo Alonso collected a pass from Mauro Rosales and ripped it past Gallardo, but it hit the underside of the crossbar and caromed out, where it was cleared by the Orlando City defense.
Seattle kept the ball in the attacking half most of the period, but were caught on the counter-attack in the 27th minute and Dennis Chin chipped around Seattle goalkeeper Michael Gspurning then pushed it in from the right side for the 1-0 lead that held until Ochoa’s equalizer.
“We got caught a little bit with a bad square pass, just as we did against Vancouver and then the counter came and that’s something that we have to eliminate,” Schmid said.
The Sounders had a chance to take the lead in the final minutes of the match when Servando Carrasco was taken down in the box by goalkeeper Sean Kelley to earn a penalty. Carrasco harangued Kelley into knocking the ball high into the air, then hustled to beat Kelley to the loose ball, but he was felled by the goalkeeper and the referee pointed to the spot.
Carrasco opted to take the PK, but hit it hard off the crossbar and it was cleared away by Orlando City’s defense and the match ended in a 1-1 draw.
Seattle will face the Columbus Crew in their next preseason match on Wednesday at 8 am Pacific Time (11 am local) and will be covered live with a blog on SoundersFC.com.
Sounders FC – Sammy Ochoa (Mike Seamon, Lamar Neagle) 53.
Orlando City SC – Dennis Chin 27.
Sounders FC – Mike Seamon (caution) 55.
Orlando City SC – (ejection) 61; (caution) 83.
Sounders FC (1st period) – Michael Gspurning, Adam Johansson, Jeff Parke, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Leo Gonzalez, Mauro Rosales, Osvaldo Alonso, Brad Evans, Alvaro Fernandez, Mike Fucito, Fredy Montero.
Sounders FC (2nd and 3rd period) - Andrew Weber (Bryan Meredith 61), Zach Scott, Andrew Duran, Patrick Ianni, Marc Burch, Christian Sivebæk (Cordell Cato 76), Servando Carrasco, Mike Seamon, Lamar Neagle (Roger Levesque 76), Sammy Ochoa (Lamar Neagle 82), David Estrada.