Sounders FC closed out its 2015 Desert Diamond Cup play with a 1-1 draw with Sporting Kansas City Saturday night at Kino Sports Complex. Obafemi Martins scored a second-half equalizer as Seattle played its last preseason match ahead of next Sunday’s MLS regular season opener against the New England Revolution.
Sporting KC struck first in the eighth minute. Jimmy Medranda dribbled into the box, held off a defender and slid the ball to Connor Hallisey for a strike inside the far post.
The Rave Green tied it up in the 60th minute when Clint Dempsey played Martins through the middle of the defense, and the 2014 Volkswagen MLS MVP runner-up turned on the jets to beat the defender to it for a clean finish into the net.
Playing with a first-choice lineup from the start, Sounders FC dominated Sporting in the second half, unleashing shot after shot at second-half substitute goalkeeper Jon Kempin. Minutes before the goal, Dempsey and Martins had back-to-back chances on goal that forced Kempin into diving stops. In the minutes following Seattle’s goal, Martins nearly put two more in the net, first getting his head on a redirected header by Chad Marshall following a corner kick, then just missing the net after a dangerous cross from Lamar Neagle. Kempin made another diving save in the 72nd minute on a Dempsey half-volley in the box.
Seattle was forced to play a man down for the last 14 minutes after Gonzalo Pineda was shown a red card in the 76th minute. However, that didn’t stop the Rave Green from pressing the goal until the very end. In the 87th minute, Micheal Azira got forward and played it into the box to Dempsey, who rounded the keeper for an open shot that was cleared off the line by a Kansas City defender.
Sounders FC’s two-week stay in Tucson ends tomorrow as the team heads back to Seattle for one final week of preseason preparation. Next Sunday, Seattle hosts defending Eastern Conference champion New England Revolution at 6:30 p.m. PT on the Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field.
Seattle Sounders FC 1 – Sporting Kansas City 1
Saturday, February 28, 2015
Venue: Kino Sports Complex (Tucson, Ariz.)
Weather: Mostly cloudy and 70 degrees
SKC – Connor Hallisey (Jimmy Medranda) 8’
SEA – Obafemi Martins (Clint Dempsey) 60’
SEA – Micheal Azira (caution) 12’
SKC – Connor Hallisey (caution) 36’
SEA – Lamar Neagle (caution) 50’
SEA – Gonzalo Pineda (ejection) 76’
Seattle Sounders FC: Stefan Frei; Tyrone Mears, Chad Marshall, Brad Evans, Leo Gonzalez; Marco Pappa (Aaron Kovar 67’), Micheal Azira, Gonzalo Pineda, Lamar Neagle (Andy Rose 67’); Clint Dempsey, Obafemi Martins
Substitutes not used: Troy Perkins, Charlie Lyon, Andres Correa, Zach Scott, Damion Lowe, Jimmy Ockford, Oniel Fisher, Dylan Remick, Cristian Roldan, Darwin Jones
Sporting Kansas City: Tim Melia (Jon Kempin 46’); Seth Sinovic, Jalil Anibaba, Erik Palmer-Brown, Abdul-Salaam Saad; Servando Carrasco, Paulo Nagamura, Mikey Lopez (Marquis Brooks 67’), Jimmy Medranda, Connor Hallisey; James Rogers
Substitutes not used: Brisha, Hoyt