Monday’s Reserve League draw saw Eriq Zavaleta score the lone goal for Sounders FC. While scoring goals is one of the key things that Seattle needs right now, the Reserve Match is about more than just a single goal.
“There are guys down there that our going to get opportunities to play up front some,” Sigi Schmid told the media during Monday’s practice. “[Sammy] Ochoa, [Will] Bates is going to get some minutes, we’re going to see how Patrick Ianni is and what’s his status. So we’re just checking on players and where they’re at right now, and where their performance level is at. If somebody is showing us that he can do something up front for as well. We also want to see how [Philip] Lund plays coming from a wide role instead of upfront, so just things like that.”
Those players got tested against a side that was generally younger. It was a chance for Ezra Hendrickson to see some forwards and attacking mids in new situations and new combinations. Unlike practices when the first team is playing this was full-sided action. In the end it is how players play in games that will win them playing time.
“Getting out there on the big field is important, you can only get so much from playing 4 v 4 versus that big space that you get on the big pitch,” assistant coach Ezra Hendrickson said last week before heading down to LA. “Sometimes it’s hard to get guys ready from training alone so the reserve games help get guys ready.”
Having the first-ever reserve match away while the first team plays at home created a new circumstance for the club. Philip Lund would see minutes on Saturday and then go 90 minutes out wide Monday. Moments like that will alter how the club trains since the two matches split the groups by about 48 hours.
“The only problem it causes is keeping the reserve guys on the same rhythm as the first team,” Hendrickson said last week. “When the first team is doing their regen Sunday we’ll be training and then traveling. They’ll train Monday while we’re playing. Then we’ll come back Tuesday and train as a team.”
Three of the team’s young attackers took the field with Zavaleta scoring. The team also got a look at draftee Will Bates as a forward. Bates is in the process of returning from an offseason surgery.
See the match's press release below.
MLS Reserve League: Seattle Sounders FC 1 at LA Galaxy 1 - April 15, 2013
CARSON, Calif.- The LA Galaxy and Seattle Sounders FC played to a 1-1 draw in the MLS Reserve League as both clubs traded first-half goals Monday at The Home Depot Center.
Seattle struck first when rookie Eriq Zavaleta headed in a corner kick in the 7th minute. Just before the half-hour mark, after LA rookie Charlie Rugg was taken down in the box, midfielder Hector Jimenez converted a penalty kick to tie the score in the 29th minute.
When the game kicked off, Seattle was the more aggressive of the two sides and were rewarded early on for their work-rate as Zavaleta headed in his first goal as a Sounder.
After the goal, LA settled in and began to take control of the game. After coming close to equalizing in the 25th minute when his shot from the top of the box forced goalkeeper Josh Ford to make a diving save, Jimenez put the Galaxy on the scoreboard by converting a penalty kick in the 29th. Rugg had gotten behind Seattle's defense and was taken down in the box, forcing referee Jesse Cisneros to point to the spot.
Jimenez stepped up and fired the shot to his left, just past the outstretch hand of Ford to level the score at 1-1.
In the second half, the clubs traded scoring opportunities but neither was able to add to their first half tally and the game ended in a 1-1 end in a draw.
The result means both the Sounders (0-1-1, 1 point) and Galaxy (0-0-1, 1 point) earned their first points of campaign. It was the first Reserve League match for LA after last week's contest with the Los Angeles Blues was rescheduled due to the Galaxy's participation in the CONCACAF Champions League semifinals. A new date and time has not been set yet.
SEA - Eriq Zavaleta 7'
LA - Hector Jimenez (Penalty Kick) 29'
Seattle Sounders FC: Josh Ford; Dylan Remick, Zach Scott, Patrick Ianni (Ashani Fariclough 68'), Marc Burch; Philip Lund, Servando Carrasco, Andy Rose, Josue Martinez* (Andrew Duran 46'); Eriq Zavaleta, Sammy Ochoa (Will Bates* 63').
Substitutes Not Used: Dough Herrick*.
* - Sounders Guest Player
TOTAL SHOTS: 10; SHOTS ON GOAL: 3; FOULS: 7; SAVES: 3
LA Galaxy: Brian Rowe; Oscar Sorto, Tommy Meyer, Kofi Opare, Bryan Gaul; Michael Stpehens (Paul Arriola^ 84'), Hector Jimenez (Colin Clark 84'), Rafael Garcia, Chandler Hoffman (Gyasi Zardes 73'); Jose Villarreal (Kenny Walker 39'), Charlie Rugg (Raul Mendiola^ 78').
Subs Not Used: Kyle Reynish*, Nathan Smith^, Drew Murphy^.
^ - Galaxy Academy Players
* - Galaxy Guest Player
TOTAL SHOTS: 7; SHOTS ON GOAL: 3; FOULS: 7; SAVES: 5.
LA - Bryan Gaul (caution) 79'
Referee: Jesse Cisneros
Referee's Assistants: Omar Meza; Adrian Gonzalez
4th Official: Bernhard Hosu