Sounders Insider

Sounders back vs. MLS opposition tonight

The first four games of this Seattle Sounders FC preseason has spanned a wide swath of the United States soccer scene.

The club has routed college team UCLA and FC Tucson of the Premier Development League, tied Minnesota United of the second-division North American Soccer League, and lost to the Los Angeles Galaxy, champions of Major League Soccer.

Now the Sounders will settle in against MLS opponents for at least the next two matches, starting at 7 p.m. Saturday when they face Sporting Kansas City in the second game of the Desert Diamond Cup in Tucson, Arizona.

Seattle opened its four-game tournament run with a 6-0 win over host FC Tucson on Wednesday.

“We gave up maybe a few too many chances I thought in the first half when we were a little bit open,” coach Sigi Schmid said. “But I was pleased offensively with some of the things we did, the goals we scored: Lamar Neagle, I think the first goal was a really good goal. The second goal (by Clint Dempsey) was like a 10-pass sequence, so I was happy with that. The second group that came in could have scored more than two as well, but they scored two good goals.”

The Sounders got two first-half goals from both Neagle and Dempsey before forward Kevin Parsemain added two in what was his first appearance since suffering an anterior cruciate ligament injury last preseason.

“It’s really special to be back after a long journey like this,” he said. “Sometimes it’s really hard, but everybody is great, so I feel really confident.

So, just work hard, and I hope the season is going to be a great season without any injury or issue.”

The next day, the Sounders played to a 1-1 draw with Minnesota in a match arranged mostly to get minutes for those who played little or not at all against Tucson. Kenny Cooper scored Seattle’s lone goal.

Now Seattle returns to Cup play with SKC, followed by New England on Wednesday, and capped by a final match Feb. 28 against an opponent to be determined by results.

Sporting opened its Desert Diamond Cup with a 2-2 draw against Colorado on Wednesday; while New England lost to Real Salt Lake, 1-0.

“We want to win every single game,” Seattle midfielder Gonzalo Pineda said. “There are two more games before the final. You need to win every single game to get that confidence that we need for the first game.”

Seattle opens its seventh MLS season March 8 when the Revolution visits CenturyLink Field.

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