The Sounders FC reserves played their final tune-up against a college opponent on Monday, continuing a trend of success with a 4-1 win over Seattle University with the opening match of the MLS Reserve League coming next Saturday against Chivas USA.
“It’s always good to win. The real thing starts on Sunday and I think the last three games that we’ve played against these college teams we’ve improved on a weekly basis,” Sounders FC reserve team Head Coach Ezra Hendrickson said.
Sounders FC got two goals from Cam Weaver against his alma mater and one each from Marco Pappa and Chad Barrett, while also seeing strong performances from others on the roster.
The Sounders got things started early with pressure from Sean Okoli and Tristan Bowen. In the 15th minute, Bowen ripped a shot from the top of the box that caromed off the crossbar. Pappa was there to clean up the rebound and put it away for the 1-0 lead.
In the 39th minute, Weaver chested a ball from Pappa into the net, but was whistled for a handball and the goal was waved off. Three minutes later, Weaver would leave no doubt, heading in a ball from Micheal Azira to make it 2-0.
Barrett, who has been an instant threat in his three substitute appearances during the MLS regular season, came into the match for Pappa at halftime and made an instant impact with a goal in the 47th minute. Aaron Kovar had moved to the left back position, but made a great overlapping run up the left side before crossing to the far post. The ball got through the Seattle University defense and landed at the feet of Barrett for the tap-in goal and a 3-0 Sounders FC lead.
Then Weaver added his second goal in the 64th minute, connecting on a ball from Chad Barrett for the 4-0 lead.
“It’s good to see our reserve team developing. It’s just a way to continue to develop and makes the club stronger on the whole,” Hendrickson said. “Guys are getting more comfortable with each other and that’s good. From week to week you don’t know who’s going to be on the reserve squad, but the guys have been good gelling with each other.”
In the 67th minute, Seattle University pulled a goal back when Jeff Rose converted the best scoring chance of the night for the Redhawks, getting the shot past Josh Ford to make it 4-1. That’s how the match would finish as Sounders FC earned the victory at Starfire.
The Sounders FC first team will meet Chivas USA on Saturday at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif., with the reserve match following on Sunday.
Sounders FC lineup: Josh Ford, Micheal Azira, Zach Scott, Jalil Anibaba, Dylan Remick, Tristan Bowen, Fabio Pereira, Aaron Kovar, Marco Pappa, Cam Weaver, Sean Okoli.
Also appearing: Chad Barrett, Yoshi Chaffin*, Henry Wingo*.