Ask many of the starters for Sounders FC and they will tell you that there is constant pressure coming from the reserves in training. A 3-1 win over Oregon State University by the reserves on Sunday gave a clear indication why, as Seattle got goals from three different players who have all seen first-team action already on the young season.
The match opened for Seattle the same way the previous day’s regular season match with the Portland Timbers ended, with a 10-minute stretch of dominating play from Sounders FC.
After a foul just outside the box in the third minute, Marco Pappa hit a free kick just out of the goalkeeper’s reach and in for the 1-0 lead.
Then in the 10th minute, Chad Barrett got in on goal for the second time in the match, but this time could not be stopped by the Oregon State keeper, putting his shot into the net for a 2-0 lead.
“I thought we came out well,” Sounders FC Assistant Coach Ezra Hendrickson said. “I challenged them to come out like we did the last time we played and really put our imprint on the match and I thought they did that.”
Seattle continued to pour on the pressure for the rest of the first half, but couldn’t find the net. Then, after a great run up the left side by former Sounders FC Academy player Michael Steele, the Beavers cut the lead in half with their first goal of the game. Steele burst into the box and hit a low-angle shot that caromed off the near post and rebounded out to the middle of the box, where it was knocked home for the goal to make it 2-1.
Sounders FC responded early in the second half and extended the lead to 3-1 on a quick sequence up the left side. Dylan Remick and Tristan Bowen played into the box before Bowen found Sean Okoli with a cross and Okoli smacked a header into the net for a goal.
Seattle held that lead for the remainder of the match and walked out with its second straight victory over a college opponent.
“It was above average,” Hendrickson said. “I don’t think we played our best soccer at times, but that will happen over the course of the game.”
The Sounders FC reserves will play against Seattle University on Monday, April 14, before starting MLS Reserve League matches on April 20 against Chivas USA.
Sounders FC starting lineup: Marcus Hahnemann, Sean Okoli, Zach Scott, Cody Crook*, Dylan Remick, Tristan Bowen, Fabio Pereira, Marco Pappa, Kevin Parsemain, Chad Barrett.
Others who appeared for Seattle: Cam Weaver, Henry Wingo*, Jacob Hauser-Ramsey*.
* - Sounders FC Academy players