2013 Feb 20

Sounders sweep Desert Diamond Cup round robin, beating New York Red Bulls

Preseason, Desert Diamond Cup:
Seattle Sounders FC  2 - 0  New York Red Bulls
Kino Veterans Memorial Stadium, Tucson, AZ

36' SEA: Alex Caskey
78' SEA: Mario Martinez

Seattle: Marcus Hahnemann (Josh Ford 63'); Dylan Remick (DeAndre Yedlin 63'), Eriq Zavaleta (Zach Scott 63'), Ashani Fairclough (Jhon Kennedy Hurtado 63'), Marc Burch (Leo Gonzalez 63'); Alex Caskey (Mario Martinez 63'), Servando Carrasco (Osvaldo Alonso 63'), Andy Rose (Brad Evans 63'), Lamar Neagle (Steve Zakuani 63'); Travis Bowen (Jennings Rex 46', David Estrada 63'), Sammy Ochoa (Mauro Rosales 63').

New York: Luis Robles; Kosuke Kimura (Brandon Barklage 63'), Jamison Olave (Markus Holgersson 46'), Heath Pearce (Tyler Ruthven 63'), Roy Miller (Peguy Luyindula 67'); Eric Alexander, Juninho (Michael Bustamante 46'), Josue Martinez (Lloyd Sam 63'), Ruben Izquierdo (Rafhael Domingues 77'); Connor Lade, Fabian Espindola (Amando Moreno 46').

Match report from Sounders FC:

Alex Caskey and Mario Martinez each scored goals as Sounders FC (3-0-0, 9 points), defeated the New York Red Bulls (0-2-1, 1 point), 2-0, in the Desert Diamond Cup. Seattle will play Real Salt Lake in the tournament's final on Saturday night at 5 p.m. PT on NBC Sports Network.

In the 36th minute, Travis Bowen's shot was saved by New York keeper Luis Robles, but Caskey picked up the rebound and converted from a tough angle to put Seattle up, 1-0.

Martinez doubled the lead in the 78th minute when he converted a 20-yard volley from the top of the box. Mauro Rosales' cross was deflected into the air and fell right to Martinez, who netted his second goal in just two games this preseason.

Sounders FC started a reserve lineup, with the staring unit coming on in the 63th minute. The starters are expected to start in Friday's preseason friendly against Veracruz.

The Rave Green were able to create chances with both lineups. In the 29th minute, Lamar Neagle took the ball into the box on the left side, but his shot was saved point blank by Robles. In the 41st minute, Bowen sent a cross to Sammy Ochoa at the top of the box, but the striker's volley was saved. In the 75th minute, Steve Zakuani blew by his defender on the left side and sent a cross to the far post, but Rosales' header went wide.

Marcus Hahnemann, who played the first 62 minutes of the game, was strong between the posts for Sounders FC. In the 28th minute, he intercepted a dangerous New York cross and made crucial saves in the 31st, 35th, and 45th minutes.

Seattle finishes the Desert Diamond Cup group stage as the only unbeaten team. Real Salt Lake clinched a spot in the final with a 3-2 win over New England earlier Wednesday.

Before Saturday's final, Sounders FC will face Mexican side Veracruz on Friday night at 6 p.m. PT to prepare for the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal matchup with Tigres UANL.

          SEA    NY
Shots:      6    12
Saves:      4     3
Corners:    1     6
Fouls:      3    10
Offside:    0     2

4' SEA: Eriq Zavaleta cautioned

Postmatch Quotes

Seattle Sounders FC

Sigi Schmid - Coach

On going undefeated in the Desert Diamond Cup round robin: "Obviously we're pleased. Every time you play you want to win, but wins in preseason don't matter much. It's the real season that counts, but I'm pleased with the work of the reserve guys today...Also we've got to make some decisions at the bottom end of our roster. I'm pleased with guys getting an opportunity to show that they can either play with us or not. And I'm pleased with what happened in the last 30 minutes. I thought the quality of soccer was very good."

On if that was the best the starting group had played: "It was good. Obviously New York had their reserves in, but I thought we were very dominant in that period of time. I thought the passing sequences were very good. I thought the goal — not just the strike, but the whole sequence that led up to the goal — was very good."

On the play of the reserve unit in the first 60 minutes of the game: "I think New York had more possession in the first half. Some of the possession was far away from our goal, so it wasn't really possession that hurt us. It meant that they were out and we had opportunities to attack a little quicker. We didn't do a good enough job early on when we won the ball, holding on to the ball. We need to do a little better with that, but outside of that I thought the guys caught the rhythm of the game. I thought they played a little better, they put some pressure on New York, and when you look at actual chances created, I think we were as dangerous as they were."

On the weather conditions: "Snow in Tucson? Next thing you're going to tell me it's going to snow in Monterrey when we go there. It's definitely been strange. When I was the LA Galaxy coach, we went to the south of France by Saint-Tropez to train in preseason. It was like the end of February and we got snow there, as well. So I'm starting to think it's me."

On Stephen Okai: "He got drafted by Philly. He was a guy that we liked at our combine. We figured we still had some days here, we're going to need some numbers to make our game work on Saturday, so we wanted to bring him in and take a look at him and see whether what we saw at our combine is still something that he has as he steps up and plays against MLS competition."

On only giving up one goal in three games: "I think we've played well defensively. We gave away some chances, like the chance there at the end of the game, that other teams should have done better with. I think the goalkeeping has been solid. Marcus has been good. Josh Ford has been good, as well, as has Michael Gspurning. I think the defense has been steady. I think they've not exposed themselves. They've worked together, but they've also gotten good help. Our outside midfielders have done a good job. Even that second group today — Steve Zakuani helping out in the corner defensively, Mario Martinez covering when DeAndre Yedlin went forward. There was some good, responsible play from the outside players, as well."

Mario Martinez

On scoring spectacular goals: "(laughs) ... The truth is I've been very fortunate to score these great goals. The important thing for me is for the team to win. That's the vital thing."

On his goal today: "The goal really came out of nothing. It was kind of a triangle play between Mauro Rosales, Steve Zakuani, and me. The ball was in the air and I was contemplating whether or not to hit it. At the last second I decided to hit it, and fortunately it went in."

On playing with this group of players: "It feels great being here. The decision to come here was a smart one. It's a very united group and I'm looking forward to continuing to gel."

On if he’s ever played in snow like that: "I had played in Norway and Belgium in the snow, but it was still fun."

On if he expected it in Arizona: "There was no other choice but to play, so I was ready to play regardless of the conditions."

On balancing club and international duties: "Personally, it's a great honor whenever I go down and play for the national team. I take great pride in putting that jersey on, but I also know that I have a responsibility here. Whenever the opportunity presents itself and the coach calls my number, I'll be ready."