The Sounders concluded another phase of training this afternoon with a 4-0 win over Vancouver Whitecaps in a game at Qwest Field that was closed to the public.
(A full game report is available at the SoundersFC.com Web site. But here's the unit that started: Kasey Keller, Nathan Sturgis, Tyrone Marshall, Taylor Graham, James Riley, Sebastien Le Toux, Osvaldo Alonso, Brad Evans, Sanna Nyassi, Nate Jaqua, Fredy Montero.)
The win gives the Sounders a 5-1 record in training friendlies: going 3-1 in California, and adding the win over the Whitecaps to their 4-1 win Friday at the University of Portland.
Next, the Sounders leave Tuesday for four training games over 10 days in Argentina.
"Games are the most important thing," coach Sigi Schmid said last week. "The reason you travel overseas in the preseason is to get competition. If you're going to play games here to get the level of competition you need, in most cases you will end up playing teams you play in the regular season. It is nice to get different faces your playing against and it's nice to get a different style of play."
Schmid believes the Argentinian style of play will be useful to his team at this point in their training.
"It will be great for us because in Argentina, they are a possession-oriented country," Schmid said. "When you play down there, they keep the ball and you have to keep your shape defensively. It will be good training for us. We expect to be a much better team defensively when we get back."
The Sounders are scheduled to return to the Puget Sound area March 6 for their final wave of preseason work.
They will play another closed friendly against the Colorado Rapids at Qwest Field on March 12 before heading into final preparations for their regular-season opener March 19 against the Red Bulls.