The final whistle was three minutes away. Sounders FC had already done the job, closing in on a comfortable win over FC Tucson in its first match of the 2015 Desert Diamond Cup. Then something very substantial happened in the waning moments.
Seeing his first game action in almost a year, forward Kevin Parsemain scored back-to-back goals to make it a 6-0 victory for the Rave Green. After coming on in the 69th minute, Parsemain displayed his abilities to go one-on-one with a defender and calmly find the net. It was the first official match the 27-year-old has participated in since suffering a torn ACL last April.
That injury kept him sidelined for the entire 2014 season. So while Wednesday’s match was just a preseason friendly with a PDL team, Parsemain’s strong showing was of high importance.
“It’s really special to be back after a long injury,” Parsemain said following the match. “I just work hard, and I hope the season is going to be a great season without any injuries or issues.”
Both of Parsemain’s goals on Wednesday came via a counter attack and a Chad Barrett assist. In the 88th minute, Barrett played a through ball up the center of the pitch to Parsemain, who dribbled around the last defender and scored between the keeper’s legs. The very next minute, Barrett found a wide-open Parsemain for a simple finish inside the box.
“That’s his first real test, and I think people could see that he’s a pretty clinical finisher,” Head Coach Sigi Schmid said of Parsemain. “When he gets his opportunities, he finishes.”
Although Parsemain sat out all of last season, Schmid and his staff are used to seeing him find the back of the net. Before suffering his injury, Parsemain co-led the Rave Green with three goals during the 2014 preseason. He started at forward in four of his six appearances last spring.
Wednesday night, in the club’s opening match of the Tucson tournament, Parsemain and nine other reserves came on with about 20 minutes remaining. Sounders FC had already taken a 4-0 lead on first-half braces by Clint Dempsey and Lamar Neagle.
“Even if you play five minutes, you have to show something,” Parsemain said. “So that’s what all the guys who came in during the second half showed.”
Sounders FC now has a pair of friendlies with MLS foes on its horizon. The club’s next match in the Desert Diamond Cup is on Saturday at 7:00 p.m. PST against Sporting Kansas City.