The Portland Timbers took a 1-0 win over the Sounders this morning in a training game at Tucson.
The lone goal came in the 61st minute, with Portland trialist Mikaël Silvestre sweeping the ball past Josh Ford after a scramble in front of the goal.
In the first half, the Sounders went with a largely reserve lineup: Hahnemann; Scott, Hurtado, Traore, Gonzalez; Rosales, Carrasco, Moloto, Zakuani; Estrada, Ochoa. In the second half, the lineup became even less familiar: Ford, Yedlin, Thomas, Lelis, Remick, Rex, Essame, Moloto, Burch, Bowen, Sodade.
Here is a release and stats from the team, along with some quotes from coach Sigi Schmid:
Sounders FC kicked off the 2013 preseason with 1-0 defeat to the Portland Timbers in Tucson. Mikael Silvestre scored the lone goal for the Timbers as Seattle concluded their first of two preseason stints in Arizona.
Off a Portland corner kick in the 61st minute, Josh Ford and Deandre Yedlin made back-to-back saves on the line before Silvestre knocked the third attempt into the back of the net amidst a scrum.
Seattle pressed late, creating a few chances down the stretch, including a Jennings Rex header on target just seconds before the final whistle.
With several players out sick or away on national team duty, Seattle was forced to play a number of young and trialist players, as well as some players out of position. Both teams made mass substitutions in the game, Seattle’s coming on at half and Portland’s just after the 60-minute mark.
In the 30th minute, David Estrada eluded the defense down the right side, but his cross at the end line failed to find a target. In the 40th, Portland keeper Milos Kocic punched away a dangerous free kick from Mauro Rosales.
Marcus Hahnemann played the first half in goal for Seattle and kept Portland off the board. In the 14th minute, Hahnemann smothered a low and hard shot from Diego Valeri, then made a diving save on another Valeri shot just before the half.
Josh Ford came on for Hahnemann at halftime and was equally impressive in the net. In the 50th minute, he made a foot-save on a point-blank shot from Bright Dike. Eight minutes later, he dove to stop a dangerous shot from Kalif Alhassan in the box.
Portland almost added to the lead in the 69th minute when Danny Mwanga chipped a volley out of midair in the box that went off the cross bar.
Sounders FC returns home to Seattle today after a week in Casa Grande, but they will return to Tucson next week to participate in the Desert Diamond Cup. The preseason tournament will feature games against New England (February 13), Real Salt Lake (February 16), and New York (February 20).
POR – Mikael Silvestre 61′
Seattle Sounders FC - Marcus Hahnemann (Josh Ford 46), Zach Scott (Deandre Yedlin 46), Jhon Kennedy Hurtado (Shavar Thomas 46), Djimi Traore (Leo Lelis 46), Leo Gonzalez (Dylan Remick 30), Mauro Rosales (Jennings Rex 46), Servando Carrasco (Guy Essame 46), Lebogang Moloto (David Estrada 68), Steve Zakuani (Marc Burch 46), David Estrada (Travis Bowen 46), Sammy Ochoa (Babayele Sodade 46).
SHOTS: 1; SHOTS ON GOAL: 1; FOULS: 10; CORNERS: 2; OFFSIDES: 1; SAVES: 8.
Portland Timbers - Milos Kocic (Jake Gleason 46), Ryan Miller (Dylan Tucker-Gagnes 62), Andrew Jean-Baptiste (Mamadou Danso 62), Mikael Silvestre (Hanyer Mosquera 62), Michael Harrington (Chris Taylor 62), Diego Chara (Michael Nanchoff 62), Will Johnson (Mobi Fehr 62), Kalif Alhassan (Eric Alexander 62), Diego Valeri (Sal Zizzo 62), Darlington Nagbe (Jose Valencia 62), Bright Dike (Danny Mwanga 55).
SHOTS: 12; SHOTS ON GOAL: 9; FOULS: 8; CORNERS: 6; OFFSIDES: 1; SAVES: 1.
SEA – Servando Carrasco (caution) 7′
SEA – Lebogang Moloto (caution) 17′
POR – Will Johnson (caution) 38′
POR – Bright Dike (caution) 39′
Referee: Jair Marrufo
Time of Game: 1:41
Weather: Sunny and 61 degrees
Coach Sigi Schmid
On the game…) “Considering all the obstacles we went through today-with a bus ride that was supposed to be an hour that ended up being over two hours because of an accident, with about eight-nine guys out with flu-like symptoms, plus a couple of injuries and all that-I was pleased. In the first half I thought we did alright. We didn’t give up much. They had a couple of chances, we had a couple of chances on their end of the field. Second half, I had to play with more of the trialists and younger guys than I was planning on. A guy like Dylan Remick has never played central midfield, we had him playing central midfield. [David] Estrada, who’s sick, really shouldn’t have played more than 45, we had to throw him back out there…We still almost equalized at the end, so from that standpoint I was very happy.”
On the adjustments he had to make…) “A lot of adjustments. What we wanted to do was not play guys out of position too much, but we had to with Remick, we had to with [Marc] Burch playing left midfield…as well as Jennings Rex, who’s more of a forward than he is a wide midfielder, so there’s three guys who really played out of position. The other adjustments for us were simply adjustments because there’s guys that don’t know what their runs are, or their coordination between each other. I was very pleased with the coordination between Leo [Gonzalez] and Steve Zakuani in terms of their defending and their attacking on that side of the field, so that was good. That was a good start to it. If you look at the middle of midfield, we had nobody around in the middle of midfield-all those guys were missing, and that’s the engine room usually. Those were all little adjustments that were made.”
On the sharpness and fitness of the team…) “I think the 45 minutes the guys played was good. There’s some guys that are pretty crushed. There’s guys that came in a little more unfit than the other guys, especially on the front line for us. Their fatigue, because of the work they put in, showed through, so then the sharpness of from a Sammy Ochoa or from a Baba Sodade was not as sharp as it should be or will be for them. Right now we have to get fit. So that’s something that’s important, and along with that we have to look at some center backs so we played some guys there, where we might have played some different guys. We wanted to make sure we got a good look at the guys we wanted to see.”
On deciding personnel at center back and forward…) “It’s something we’re going to narrow down a little bit. We saw the center backs that play for us, as well. The forward spot, it’s a matter of what are we going to do to shift around? We’re still looking…If everybody was here-if [Mario] Martinez was here, if Brad Evans was here and so forth-maybe Mauro Rosales plays up top, maybe Zakuani plays up top. You have more forward options than you do right now.”
On the status of the team so far…) “I was pleased with our desire and our spirit. I know theres a lot of Portland fans that are all excited today because they picked up a one-nothing win victory, but I look at it as a situation of, who played, what we came through today, and at the end of the game being down one-nothing we were banging on the door trying to make it one-one. I’m pleased with our character, I’m pleased with our attitude and with our approach and how we played.”
On coming back to Tucson next week…) “Obviously this is the first year we’re coming back to the desert…so we’re going to see how that works out for us. Every year we always go back and we evaluate and decide. Bringing the team to new locations is important to do so you’re not always in the same old place. Sometimes it can become a little monotonous and a little bit of drudgery, so we have to look at it at the end of it. But we’re excited to come back here in a week. We’re going to be able to be here in Tucson playing games here and that’s the next phase for us now, the game phase. We’ll do a little bit more work on Friday-Saturday in Seattle, then we’ll really concentrate on games and getting our coordination and our timing and cohesion there.”