2013 Feb 22

Sounders and Veracruz scoreless in a CCL tune-up

Seattle Sounders FC  0 - 0  Veracruz
Kino Veterans Memorial Stadium, Tucson, AZ


Seattle: Michael Gspurning; DeAndre Yedlin, Zach Scott, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Leo Gonzalez; Mario Martinez (David Estrada 62'), Osvaldo Alonso, Brad Evans, Steve Zakuani; Mauro Rosales, Eddie Johnson.
Substitutes not used: Josh Ford, Dylan Remick, Eriq Zavaleta, Ashani Fairclough, Marc Burch, Servando Carrasco, Andy Rose, Lamar Neagle, Alex Caskey, Sammy Ochoa.

Veracruz: Yoin Urbina; Raul Rico (Juan Arellano 20'), Omar Dominguez, Guillermo Chavez, Orlando Pineda; Jose Luis Lopez, Jorge Manrique, Braulio Luna, Rafael Medina; Pablo Torres, Alvaro Estrada.
Reserves: Alejandro Vela, Cristian Ocona, Jorge Reyes, Jaime Toledo, Pablo Metlich.

Match report from Sounders FC:

Seattle Sounders FC and Veracruz played to a scoreless draw Friday night in a preseason friendly at Kino Sports Complex in Tucson. Seattle took on the Mexican side as a tune-up for their CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal matchup with Tigres UANL.

Eddie Johnson and Mario Martinez each created a number of chances for Sounders FC. In the 7th minute, Johnson got behind the defense and shot past the keeper, but it hit the post and was cleared off the line.

In the 15th minute, Martinez was taken from behind on a scoring chance, resulting in a red card for Veracruz's Raul Rico. Mauro Rosales took the free kick and put it on frame, but the keeper parried it over the crossbar.

Johnson had another opportunity in the 24th minute when he got into the box on the left side, but his shot to the far post was saved by the leaping keeper.

In the 55th minute, Martinez missed wide of the far post on a left-footed shot from the top of the box. Four minutes later, they both got shots off in the box, but the second was cleared away for a corner.

Goalkeeper Michael Gspurning earned his first 90-minute clean sheet of the preseason. In the 78th minute, he made a diving save to his right and pawed away a dangerous shot, then made another big save in the 84th minute to keep the game scoreless.

15' VER: Raul Rico sent off for taking out Martinez from behind
80' SEA: Zach Scott cautioned

Postmatch Quotes

Seattle Sounders FC

Sigi Schmid - Coach

On the game: "It was good from a number of standpoints. For one, for us to get 90 minutes. Also from the way they play - the style - that's what we were looking for more than anything else. It gives us some good talking points as to what we can expect when we play Tigres - now that we're not telling them 'Just watch the video and see it,' they actually have played against it...We had opportunities to score three-four goals in the first half. We didn't finish well. The goalkeeper came up big on one or two, as well. If we we finish those chances then the game would have been a little bit different for us. Overall, I'm pleased that we got 90 minutes in."

On Mauro Rosales and Eddie Johnson playing up top together: "That was fine. I thought they were good in terms of finding each other. I thought Mario Martinez did a good job of slipping Eddie in on two-three occasions so we're in behind - that's how they got the red card, as well. For us, it was important to play 11 vs. 11 so we let them replace that player. It takes time, it takes repetition to get it done, but I was pleased that we created chances. I wasn't pleased with the finishing, but if we didn't create chances I'd be more displeased."

On guys getting into the box: "People got into the box, I thought we were around there. Steve turned a corner, especially in the first half, even his second half he got in there. He's got to work on his finishing touch when he comes inside with his right foot. There were a couple of crosses we ended up swinging and missing on. Again, it's that fine-tuning of finishing under pressure that practice can't quite replicate. Only games can replicate it so it was good to have a game today to do that."

On Sounders FC keeping possession: "I thought it was okay. I thought our possession was pretty good. Early on in the game, they had possession very deep in their end of the field and knocked it around a little bit, so it was good for us to deal with that, be patient, and shift and slide. I thought for the most part we did pretty good job with that. Early on, we lost the ball a little bit quickly when we got it, and sometimes when you don't see the ball for a while you get impatient and want to go forward too quickly. After we settled into a rhythm, we had good sequences of holding onto the ball, and up till about 65 or 70 minutes our sequences were more productive at the end of the day than theirs were. In the last 20 minutes of the game, it definitely changed a little bit and our fatigue showed. As we got tired we decided we weren't going to try and press more, and that was the wrong time to press."

On the play of rookie DeAndre Yedlin among veterans: "I thought DeAndre did well, and I think you can see he is a good player and he's going to become an even better player. I thought he played with confidence. His speed and quickness are his assets. He's got to use those. He made a couple of good runs forward. His passing ability is pretty good. I was happy with him. He should be happy with what he did."

On what he still wants to see out his starting group before the first game: "We've got to work on our set pieces. We didn't take advantage of our corners. We had a number of corners and we were off on that service and runs. We've got to work on set pieces this week, for sure. We have to work on our finishing, as well. We just have to work on basically dotting the i's and crossing the t's when we put together good combinations so we finish them and make a tally on the scoreboard. We also have to look at our timing of playing balls through to people. Sometimes it's got to be a little bit earlier."

On the team's defensive effort: "The defensive effort was alright until the last 10-15 minutes. We got opened up a bit and Gspurning had to make a big save on that double header off the corner, but it was okay."

On what playing Rosales up front does for the team: "We've played Mauro as a second forward oftentimes, especially in his first year with us. Fredy missed some games with a wrist injury and such. He can play there. Right now with Martinez playing as well as he is, he needs to be on the field. Zakuani I thought did a good job, and fitness-wise he's way ahead of where he's ever been at this stage in preseason. Mauro can play that position underneath, he's someone that will get into the box, as well, and we think that's a good combination."