Sounders draw, but lose out on Carolina trophy

Staff writerMarch 2, 2014 

D.C. United forward Fabian Espindola (9) controls the ball Saturday in Charleston, S.C., while being defended by Seattle Sounders FC midfielder Osvaldo Alonso (6) during the second half at Blackbaud Stadium. Seattle Sounders FC and D.C. United tied 2-2.

JOSHUA S. KELLY — USA Today Sports

— Seattle Sounders FC ended its exhibition season without a loss, but also without a cup.

That seemed to suit coach Sigi Schmid after his team played to a 2-2 draw with D.C. United on Saturday at Blackbaud Stadium. The result gave the Carolina Challenge Cup to United, which matched the Sounders’ 1-0-2 record in the tournament but won on goal differential.

Seattle ended exhibition play at 6-0-3.

“We don’t want to lose games, so that’s something there,” Schmid said. “But I’m not happy with the fact that we took two goals tonight. That’s something that we want to make sure we work on next week.”

United scored in the eighth minute on a Fabian Espindola penalty kick after Chad Marshall was whistled for a hand ball.

Seattle equalized in the 24th minute, when Kenny Cooper headed home his first goal as a Sounder.

“(Dylan Remick) put in a great ball,” Cooper said. “He’s been having a great preseason, and I’ve been really impressed with him. He got forward and put a great ball in, and fortunately it ended up in the back of the net.”

D.C. jumped ahead again in the 53rd minute when Espindola’s cross was volleyed in by Perry Kitchen.

Seattle tied it again when Marco Pappa scored on Brad Evans’ pass in the 63rd.

“I thought our midfield did all right,” Schmid said. “I thought Evans and (Osvaldo) Alonso did well together in the middle of midfield today. And I thought Pappa found good times to come off the line and add to that midfield, and that opened up space for Dylan to get forward.”

Earlier in the week, Schmid said this lineup probably would be “a close approximation” of the 11 he might start in next weekend’s Major League Soccer opener against Sporting Kansas City at CenturyLink Field.

His lineup was: Stefan Frei in goal; defenders DeAndre Yedlin, Jalil Anibaba, Marshall and Remick; midfielders Lamar Neagle, Alonso, Evans and Pappa; and forwards Cooper and Obafemi Martins.

Yedlin left the game with an ankle injury, but Schmid said it wasn’t believed to be serious.

D.C. United gave former Sounder Eddie Johnson the night off as a precaution for a hamstring issue.

In Saturday morning’s 2-1 friendly win against Coastal Carolina University, Schmid started goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann; defenders Leo Gonzalez, Damion Lowe, Djimi Traore and Michael Azira; midfielders Tristan Bowen, Fabio Pereira, Gonzalo Pineda and Sean Okoli; and forwards Chad Barrett and Kevin Parsemain. Seattle’s goals came from trialist Parsemain and rookie Aaron Kovar out of Seattle’s Garfield High School.

In the exhibition season, Martins and Parsemain led the club with three goals each. Remick had three assists, including two game-winners. Remick and Anibaba had a team-high seven appearances for a total of 390 minutes.

The Sounders fly home Sunday and will begin game-week preparations Monday.

“I think we can all feel good about the work that we’ve put in,” Cooper said. “I think the quality looks good, and we’ve really put in an honest effort over the last month, and we’ve all gotten to know each other. I think we’re in a good way now headed into this season. It’s right around the corner.”

Don Ruiz: 253-597-8808
don.ruiz@thenewstribune.com
blog.thenewstribune.com/soccer
@donruiztnt

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