The Seattle Sounders closed out the 2016 preseason with an authoritative victory Wednesday night over the LA Galaxy, capping off a satisfying string of results in Southern California.
After a slow start, which saw a sharp Galaxy side run the field of play for the first fifteen minutes, head coach Sigi Schmid said he was impressed with how his squad turned things around.
“I’m very pleased with the goals we scored,” Schmid said. “I thought after the first fifteen minutes, we controlled the tempo of the game.”
With an eye on boosting the confidence of his locker room, Schmid said the win in SoCal would go a long way as the team heads back to Seattle to make final preparations for next week's Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League match against Club America.
“We had played, we had tried to integrate a new system, and were tweaking it as we went along.” Schmid said. “Now it’s about getting results … We had three games here and we got three results, so we’re very happy about that and we've got to build on that positive momentum.”
Midfielder Andreas Ivanschitz, who picked up two goals in the win, said there was something different about the Wednesday night clash against the team's regular-season rival.
“You could tell right from the start that we wanted a good result, that we took it very serious,” said Ivanschitz. “Everyone is getting ready for the big game next week. This game against LA was very important.”
Dempsey, Ivanschitz fill playmaker role
Ivanschitz and forward Clint Dempsey were dominant in the win, collectively combining for three goals and one assist. Schmid said he's happy to see the chemistry coming together for the two veterans after their first full preseason together.
“I think the interchange between him [Ivanschitz] and Clint worked really well,” Schmid said. “Ivanschitz getting in there off the lay off from Dempsey showed that Clint can take on that playmaking role for us, as well as being goal dangerous.”
Morris integrating well into Sounders' system
Jordan Morris, who joined preseason early this month after returning from USMNT duty, showed that he is ready to start 2016 alongside fellow forwards Dempsey and Nelson Valdez in Schmid's new 4-3-3 formation. Morris logged 90 minutes in the victory and contributed two assists.
“The combination between Morris and Dempsey was a very good goal,” said Schmid. “The integration of Jordan Morris is coming along.”