Argentina closes with loss to River Plate

The Sounders FC close out their Argentina trip with a 2-1-1 record losing 1-0 to River Plate on their last day in a full 90-minute friendly.

BUENOS AIRES - Facing the most formidable opposition during its four-match tour of Argentina, the Seattle Sounders FC was held scoreless for the first time in 10 preseason games, and fell 1-0 on goal in the final six minutes on Thursday in Buenos Aires.

Seattle’s starters battled the River reserves to a scoreless first half before Coach Sigi Schmid inserted a second unit for the final 45 minutes. The loss ended a five-game unbeaten run (4-0-1) and the team went 2-1-1 in Argentina.

Sounders FC returns home with a preseason mark of 7-2-1 and hosts the Colorado Rapids in a closed door training game on March 12 at the Xbox Pitch at Qwest Field.

Seattle’s best scoring chances came from central defenders coming forward on corner kicks in the first and again in the final five minutes. Tyrone Marshall hit a powerful header off Sebastien Le Toux’s corner in the 5th minute but keeper Gonzalo Marinelli leaped to turn it around the right post.

Searching for the equalizer in the 87th minute, Patrick Ianni headed a corner from Ely Allen, only to have the keeper Marinelli again save with a tip over the bar.

Eylander made an outstretched dive to stop a River shot in the 62nd minute.

The River Plate goal came in the 84th minute after Argentine guest player Sebastian Brunet was beaten down the right flank. Damien Lizio hit the cross into Chris Eylander’s upper right corner from 10 yards.

During the first half, Schmid paired Marshall with recently-signed Jhon Kennedy Hurtado for the first time in central defense.

Due to heavy rains Wednesday, the game was played on artificial turf, at the River Plate complex adjacent to the stadium, the site of the 1978 World Cup final.

Notes: The team returns home Friday morning with a scheduled arrival of 10:20 A.M. at SeaTac…General Manager Adrian Hanauer and defender Taylor Graham left Wednesday night…Sounders FC resumes training Monday at Xbox Pitch at Qwest Field at 10 A.M.

Scoring Summary
RIV-Lizio (Lossano) 84’

Seattle Sounders FC Lineups (4-4-2):
First Half: Kasey Keller; Zach Scott, Tyrone Marshall, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, James Riley; Sebastien Le Toux, Brad Evans, Osvaldo Alonso, Sanna Nyassi; Nate Jaqua, Fredy Montero

Second Half: Chris Eylander; Sebastian Brunet, Tyson Wahl, Patrick Ianni, Evan Brown; Ely Allen, Ryan Caugherty, Stephen King, Jeff Clark; Michael Fucito, Roger Levesque