Here is today’s report from the club in Florida:
The Seattle Sounders FC played the University of Central Florida in a training game on Thursday afternoon at the IMG Soccer Academy. Sounders FC (3-2-2) used five second-half goals to beat UCF, 7-nil, in a traditional 90-minute game.
Pat Noonan and O’Brian White both scored a brace, David Estrada recorded a goal and an assist and Mike Fucito scored a goal with two assists for Sounders FC.
Noonan, who recently returned from injury, scored the game’s first goal in the 39th minute when Miguel Montaño found him in the box for a left-footed shot. Noonan added a second tally just four minutes later when he took a ball in the box and slid it past the keeper.
Noonan nearly had a hat trick but his header in the 21st minute bounced off the post and was cleared before he could get to the rebound.
The five second-half goals began when Lamar Neagle sent a cross into the middle of the box that was deflected by a UCF defender for an own goal. White extended the lead to 4-0 just two minutes later when Fucito found him in the box.
Estrada was the next Sounder to find the back of the net when he scored in the 61st minute. Fucito combined with Neagle just outside the box but Fucito’s shot from ten yards out was deflected by the keeper. The ball fell to Estrada at the far post and he rocketed a shot off the crossbar and far post and into the net.
White capped off Seattle’s run of four goals in seven minutes when he combined with Fucito for the second time. Fucito played White into traffic in the box, forcing the keeper to jump off his line. White slid the ball past the keeper to extend Seattle’s lead to 6-0.
Fucito finished the scoring for Sounders FC in the 75th minute with his first goal in preseason play. Estrada sent a well-placed cross to Fucito at the far post and his strong header beat the keeper.
White is currently Seattle’s leader with three goals scored in seven preseason games. He has also added one assist. Estrada and Noonan matched Fredy Montero’s two goals and Estrada is tied with Montaño and Fucito with two assists. Estrada is the only Sounder with multiple goals and assists this preseason.
Both teams finished with 10 men after Roger Levesque and UCF’s Nik Robson were shown red cards in the 80th minute for a scuffle at midfield.
Sounders FC will play its final training game of the Florida leg of preseason training on Saturday when it faces the Chicago Fire at 11 a.m. PT.
SEA – Pat Noonan (Miguel Montaño) 39’
SEA – Pat Noonan (Trialist) 43’
SEA – Own Goal 57’
SEA – O’Brian White (Mike Fucito) 59’
SEA – David Estrada 61’
SEA – O’Brian White (Mike Fucito) 63’
SEA – Mike Fucito (David Estrada) 75’
UCF – Nik Robson (ejection) 80’
SEA – Roger Levesque (ejection) 80’
UCF – Ben Hunt (caution) 84’
Sounders FC Lineup
Bryan Meredith (Josh Ford 46), Richard Martinez (Zach Scott 66), Tyson Wahl (Taylor Graham 46), Zach Scott (Leone Cruz 46), Michael Tetteh (Tyson Wahl 66), Roger Levesque (Lamar Neagle 46), Servando Carrasco (Roger Levesque 71), Trialist (Jonathan Prieto 46), Miguel Montano (David Estrada 59), David Estrada (Mike Fucito 46), Pat Noonan (O’Brian White 46, Servando Carrasco 87’).
Shawn Doyle, Ben Hunt, Camillo Rendon, Chris Feigenbaum, Cam Cooskey, Nik Robson, Kevan George, Warren Creavelle, Andrew Quintana, A. Jay Nelson, Luiz Yamashita.
*The UCF lineup does not reflect substitutions.
Sounders FC will train at the IMG Soccer Academy on Friday morning before heading to Tampa for the Lightning (NHL) game on Friday night.
Defender Danny Earls continued to rehab his injury. Several other players were held out of the training game; none due to injury.
The starters from Tuesday’s game held an intense hour-long training session on Thursday morning. After fitness work and several games of 5v2 to warm-up, the group played 5v5 plus two neutral players with the goals in tight. The session ended with a crossing and finishing drill. Forward Nate Jaqua, midfielder Erik Friberg and defender Patrick Ianni all participated in the morning session.
Quotes from Coach Sigi Schmid
(On the goal scoring…) “It was good. A lot of MLS teams so far have played against college teams and so sometimes that is good for rhythm and confidence. We went a little bit different way and played MLS teams early and mixed and matched our teams a little bit. Today was a good game for us. I thought we did a better job of possessing the ball and we created some chances. It was good to see Noonan score. It was good to see O’Brian White get a couple. It was good to see Fucito get there. All of that involvement and spreading it around was good but it all came because we were a little more patient.”
(On what went well today…) “It’s just keeping the ball, keeping our possession. Like I say, coaching is a pendulum and so early on in preseason we pushed them to play quicker, look forward sooner, let’s get in behind, and we swung too far. So now we are trying to swing back, hold it up, be patient, pick the right times. What we are looking for is that right combination and still even though we were more patient we still made some good runs in behind, hit some good one-twos, which is really a reflection of the work in the first ten days of the season so it all comes together. At some point we will play too slow and we will have to speed it up again.”
(On the guys fighting for roster spots…) “It always makes it a little bit tougher, but that’s always a good spot to be in. You want to see how guys deal with pressure, how they deal with situations where their backs are against the wall a little bit and how they respond because unfortunately in professional soccer there’s pressure there. There’s pressure when you play in front of 36,000 people. There’s pressure when you’ve got to get a result. There’s pressure when you are matching up against some of the players in our league. You have to be able to deal with pressure so the pressure of making a team is just another form of looking at that.”
(On the confidence of the team…) “I’m sure it helps. Even for the guys who didn’t play it’s like, ‘Hey, we can score goals.’ And especially, you don’t want to score compare, but when you score compare how they did against New England, how this team did against Philly, obviously on any given day things are different, things can happen, but it helps us say we’re on the right track. We are able to score goals against an opponent that we should score goals against and now we just got to continue doing what we are doing because we are on the right track.”
There was a new trialist in camp today that the Sounders FC decided not to name…A space shuttle launched from Cape Canaveral during the game…Former President/CEO of the Seattle Seahawks & Sounders FC and current part owner of the Lightning Tod Leiweke will host the team at Friday’s Tampa Bay Lightning game