2011 Feb 26

Sounders FC end Florida camp with lone goal win over Chicago Fire

Preseason training match:
Seattle Sounders FC  1 - 0  Chicago Fire
IMG Soccer Academy, Bradenton, FL

120' SEA: Servando Carrasco (Miguel Montaņo, Roger Levesque)

Seattle: Kasey Keller (Terry Boss 63'); James Riley (Richard Martinez 71', Michael Tetteh 114'), Jhon Kennedy Hurtado (Taylor Graham 71', Patrick Ianni 104'), Jeff Parke (Zach Scott 71'), Leo Gonzalez (Tyson Wahl 71'); Alvaro Fernandez (Mauro Rosales 46', David Estrada 91'), Osvaldo Alonso (Servando Carrasco 71'), Brad Evans (Jonathan Prieto 71'), Steve Zakuani (Miguel Montaņo 71'); Fredy Montero (Mike Fucito 63', Roger Levesque 104'), Blaise Nkufo (Pat Noonan 63', Lamar Neagle 100').

Chicago: Sean Johnson (Jon Conway 46', Alec Dufty 91'); Jalil Anibaba (Kwame Watson-Siriboe 77'), Josip Mikulic (Mike Videira 77'), Cory Gibbs (Pari Pantazopoulos 55'), Bratislav Ristic (Yoximar 64'); Baggio Husidic (Corben Bone 64'), Logan Pause (Marko Maric 51'), Marco Pappa (Daniel Paladini 77'), Gonzalo Segares (Michael Muniz 46', Davis Paul 77'); Diego Chaves (Patrick Nyarko 46', Martin Rivas 108'), Gaston Puerari (Orr Barouch 46', Jason Herrick 106').

Match report from Sounders FC:

The Sounders FC concluded the Florida leg of 2011 training camp with a 1-0 win over the Chicago Fire.

The win was anything but ordinary though.

While possessing the ball for much of the game and creating opportunities, the Sounders defense ruled the day and held Chicago to just perimeter shots for most of the 120-minute match. Then Servando Carrasco scored in the 120th minute to send the Sounders home from Florida with a 2-1-1 record in the Sunshine State and a 4-2-2 record overall in training camp.

"It was good that we played to zero. There were a couple of moments that were close, but that's always going to be the case," head coach Sigi Schmid said.

As the time wound down Zach Scott sent a long ball to Roger Levesque who corralled the high ball with a defender on his back. He dropped it back to Miguel Montaņo coming up the left side and Montaņo found Carrasco in the middle of the box for the shot and score in the final minute of the match, which was split into two 45-minute periods and one 30-minute period.

"I heard the coaches say there was a minute left in the game so there were only a few attacking opportunities left," Carrasco said. "Today was just a great team effort. We executed on the things we've been working on and so we're happy with our performance today."

Most of the group that started the game - which Schmid labeled players who have the first crack at starting roles - were pushed to 70 minutes. This gave the staff the longest look at the core players of the preseason and they responded by holding the possession and putting the ball in goal-dangerous positions with regularity.

In the 7th minute, Alvaro Fernandez spotted Blaise Nkufo in the box, but with a defender on his back he missed the shot high.

Fernandez later found Fredy Montero on the run in the box, but his shot was stopped by Chicago goalkeepr Sean Johnson.

Add in a Steve Zakuani shot that just missed outside the post and another Johnson save on a Montero header and Seattle held the majority of the chances in the first period.

"What I was happy about was that we did a good job of spreading the field and possessing the ball," Schmid said. "Our passing at times was very good."

In the second period, Terry Boss came on for Kasey Keller and was put to the test, but held Chicago off the board. His diving stop of an Orr Barouch shot late in the second period provided a lift to the Sounders defense.

Then, with time winding down, Carrasco gave the Sounders the boost they needed to finish the Florida trip with a victory.

28' CHI: Gibbs cautioned
55' SEA: Rosales cautioned
55' CHI: Gibbs cautioned and sent off for his second caution
72' SEA: Montaņo cautioned

Postmatch Quotes

Seattle Sounders FC

Sigi Schmid - Head Coach

On the training game: "It was good. It was good that we played to zero. There were a couple of moments that were close but that's always going to be the case. It was nice to get the late goal even though we played 120 minutes. What I was happy about was I thought some of the soccer that we played, again I know I sound like a broken record when we play good soccer and didn't score, but sometimes it's situations like Fredy Montero's chance where he did what we were asking him to do, he laid the ball off, sprinted to get into the box, let him roll the ball back and his fitness now maybe lets him down a little bit and he jelly legs it and doesn't score. So that will be something that by the time the season starts he should be able to finish that. Blaise had a good chance that he mis-trapped. We had some other chances around the box, a header at the back post, so there were good things. What I was happy about was we did a good job of spreading the field, we did a good job of possessing the ball and our passing at times was very good.

On the starting unit: "I wouldn't call them the starting 11 yet, that's a thing that we are looking at. This group based upon their performance in the second half of last season deserved the first opportunity and I had to give it a go. But obviously there's some guys like Erik Friberg, who was injured today, Patrick Ianni and guys like that who are on the verge of cracking into that group as well. Is Fucito a guy who cracks into that group? Is it some other people? O'Brian White, who was injured today, does he crack into that group? Jaqua when he is healthy does he crack into that group? So I think there are a number of options that still await us and what we are trying to do is find the right mix and make it go. This group did alright today but now the next time they step on the field they have got to do better because they've got to bang goals."

On the team's defense: "Defensively we did well. The first 10 or 15 minutes Chicago gave us a little bit of trouble until we sorted out the midfield and once we sorted out the midfield I think we were OK and we were defensively good. I thought both Kennedy and Parke came up with some good individual plays but probably the play of the game defensively was Terry Boss' save in the second half. People say, 'How are you guys if Keller gets hurt?' I feel we are in very capable hands if Boss is healthy. I think he's a very good goalkeeper."

On the training camp in Florida: "It was good. We were able to make progress in terms of our fitness continued to grow. We pushed those guys 70 minutes today, the majority of the guys. So the fitness has continued to grow and soccer-wise we were able to work on some of the things we wanted to work on and now we have got to continue on that process."