2009 Mar 12
Sounders FC 0 - 1 Colorado Rapids
Qwest Field, Seattle, WA
38' COLO: Conor Casey (PK)
Seattle: Kasey Keller; Nathan Sturgis (substitute unidentified), Tyrone Marshall, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, James Riley; Stephen King, Brad Evans (substitute unidentified), Osvaldo Alonso, Sanna Nyassi; Nate Jaqua, Sebastien Le Toux.
Colorado: Matt Pickens; Jordan Harvey, Cory Gibbs (Ivan Guerrero 66'), Ugo Ihemelu (Ty Harden 66'), Kosuke Kimura; Pablo Mastroeni (Nick LaBrocca 66'), Colin Clark (Terry Cooke 66'), Jacob Peterson, Mehdi Ballouchy; Omar Cummings (Gregory Richardson 66'), Conor Casey (Ross Schunk 66').
Match report from Sounders FC:
The Sounders FC got their first taste of Qwest Field against an MLS opponent on Thursday night. Save for the empty stands and the 1-0 defeat to the Colorado Rapids in the technical rehearsal, head coach Sigi Schmid got what he wanted from the team in their final test before the season opener March 19.
Colorado forward Conor Casey scored the only goal of the game on a 38th minute penalty kick and, though Seattle had some opportunities in the second half, the Rapids held them off.
"I thought we carried the game for most of the time," Schmid said. "We gave up a bad goal. It was a bad foul in the box, one that we didn't need to give away and outside of that, I donít think we gave up a whole lot of chances. I thought we had a lot of good opportunities."
Schmid played most of his players for the full 90 minutes for the first time all training camp, showing that the team's fitness is up, and outside of the penalty kick the defense only allowed limited chances for the Rapids. The central defender pairing of Jhon Kennedy Hurtado and Tyrone Marshall proved up to the task against able forwards Casey and Omar Cummings.
"For Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, this was really first test against MLS forwards. I thought we did a pretty good job of battling Conor. It was good for Hurtado to get that test this week, so it gives him a better idea," Schmid said, noting a familiarity Hurtado likely has with New York's top striker. "He knows who Juan Pablo Angel is, so I'm sure he'll be ready for that next week."
For a team that has had no problem scoring goals in the preseason, Thursday was only the second time they had been shut out. They were playing without top preseason scorer Fredy Montero, who was in South America dealing with a personal contractual issue with his agent. His top replacement, Steve Zakuani, also missed the game with an ankle injury.
"We're still trying to fine-tune different things. Scoring goals will be difficult, especially for an expansion but I think we're definitely further than where we were last year in terms of scoring goals. We'll take the good with the bad and learn from it and be confident next week," defender James Riley said.
In Montero's absence, Sebastien Le Toux slotted ahead to the forward spot and Stephen King played outside midfield for the first time in training, earning high marks from Schmid. Defender Nathan Sturgis was singled out for his efforts, too.
Goalkeeper Kasey Keller also showed some panache in front of the net, ranging out for some balls to limit Colorado's attack.
"Anytime I'm taking balls off of guys feet right at the top of the 18 then I know I'm reading the game the right way," Keller said. "For myself, I felt good. I'm mad that I changed my mind in the middle of that penalty, but it's fine."
The players who didn't play Thursday night will play a training game against the Seattle Wolves, a local amateur club, Friday morning at Qwest Field
Sigi Schmid on the club's performance:
"It's good because we are able to push guys. The majority of the team went 90 minutes with the exception of (Nathan) Sturgis and (Brad) Evans. That was a positive. I thought we carried the game for most of the time. We gave up a bad goal. It was a bad foul in the box, one that we didn't need to give away. And outside of that, I don't think we gave up a whole lot of chances. I felt we were around their goal. I thought we had a lot of good opportunities. I thought Sebastien (Le Toux) was very dangerous for us on his free kicks that he put in from the flanks. I thought those were good opportunities. We were close. Nate (Jaqua) just missed Sanna's (Nyassi) cross on a diving header in the box. I think we were right around there. They cleared Tyrone's (Marshall) header back up the line. From that standpoint, I was pleased. I felt we held on to possession for the majority of the game.
Defender James Riley:
"It was a good showing. I thought we had a bit more of the game. We only really gave up one good chance late in the second half, minus the PK. We'll take the good with the bad and learn from it and be confident next week."
Additional postmatch quotes: News Tribune blog, Times blog, Rapids blog.