It's gone final at 0-0. Credit Michael Gspurning, who had a couple of dazzling game-savers down the stretch.
"It was good from a number of standpoints," coach Sigi Schmid said. "We got 90 minutes and (Veracruz’s style of play) gives us some good talking points. When we play Tigres now we’re not telling them, ‘Hey, watch the video and see it.’ You actually played against it, so that makes a good thing.
"We had opportunities to score three or four goals in the first half. We didn’t finish well. Their goalkeeper came up big on one or two as well. If we finished those chances then the game would have been a little bit different for us. But overall I’m pleased we got 90 minutes in."
I'll be back with more reaction, probably in new posts above.
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78' Absolute dazzling diving save by Gspurning keeps things scoreless. Ab out as nice as he'll make all season.
Second half: ... is under way. No lineup changes.
Halftime: Nil-nil. Sounders had better chances. Eddie Johnson and Jhon Kennedy Hurtado had very solid halves. Johnson playing well beside Mauro Rosales. Nothing difficult for Gspurning yet.
First 30 minutes: Scoreless. Best chances to Sounders, including best as Eddie Johnson hit a pole in the seventh minute but it bounced away.
First kick: The game has begun. Sounders in rave/rave; Veracruz in red/black.
Sounders starters: G Gspurning'; D Yedlin, Scott, Hurtado, Gonzalez; M Martinez, Alonso, Evans, Zakuani; F Rosales, Johnson.
One of the interesting named on there is DeAndre Yedlin, starting in place of Adam Johansson (knee). I asked coach Sigi Schmid about Yedlin's progress yesterday.
"He’s doing all right," Schmid said. "We’ve talked about a lot of things early on that I wanted him to get better at, and he’s put some of those things into his game. He’s got to use his quickness and his speed, because he has quickness and great speed, and that has to be the hallmark of his defending. When he does that and he does that consistently – he did that a couple of times last night – then I think he’ll make his way."
Pregame: Sounders will meet Veracruz tonight on a field that was the former Cactus League home of the Arizona Diamondbacks.[/caption]
It is a cold but clear day in Tucson as the Sounders prepare for a Desert Friendly against Veracruz of the Mexican second division.
First kick is scheduled for 6 p.m. (PT). There is no streaming, radio or TV. I will provide updates here and through tweets @donruiztnt.
The Sounders are expected to go with something like a first-11 lineup. And if you're wondering why they're doing that tonight, rather than tomorrow when the Desert Diamond Cup is at stake, here's what Coach Sigi Schmid had to say today:
“It’s always nice to win something and to win some silverware. We actually debated about that as a coaching staff. We were asking ourselves, ‘Do we maybe play our first team on Saturday to try and win this thing? Or do we stay with the team of playing our first team tonight against Veracruz?’ We decided to stay with our plan that we’re not trying to win a battle here and lose the war. We want to make sure that we prepare properly for our season opener but that we also prepare properly for Tigres. So if we win the trophy Saturday night that’ll be great and that’ll be a tribute to our depth and our reserves guys, because they’re going to bear the brunt of the load in that game. But if we don’t, it’s not going to shatter us.”