Sounders Insider

SSFC leaves Zona with win over Whitecaps

Sounders FC wrapped up its Arizona training today with a 3-2 win over the Vancouver Whitecaps FC in their first preseason training game.

Here's their report:

Sanna Nyassi scored twice and Lamar Neagle added a third goal as the Sounders bounced back from a 2-0 first-half deficit.

Cornelius Stewart got the Whitecaps on the board first in the 36th minute, knocking in a rebound to give Vancouver a 1-0 lead. Then they doubled that lead in the 39th minute when Ansu Toure blasted a shot from the left side of the box.

That score held until halftime, but the Sounders FC came out with a new lineup to start the second half and the fresh legs paid off.

Neagle knocked in a Josh Gardner corner kick in the 49th minute and Nyassi charged the net and knocked one past Vancouver keeper Jay Nolly in the 50th minute to quickly pull the game even.

Then in the 88th minute, Nyassi took a pass from Nathan Sturgis and blasted it into the net for his second goal of the game and a 3-2 Sounders lead. That score held in the waning moments and Seattle got the victory.

The two sides will face off again on March 6 at Swangard Stadium in Burnaby, BC. The pre-season match will kick off at 4 p.m. PT.

All tickets for the match will cost $15, plus applicable service charges. Whitecaps season ticket holders will receive priority purchase rights and the remaining tickets will be available to the public on Wednesday, February 17, at 10 a.m. PT. Tickets will be available online at or by calling 604.280.4400.

The following week, Sounders FC will play another preseason match, this time against the USL Portland Timbers in the club’s inaugural “Community Shield” match on Thursday, March 11 at 6 p.m. on the Xbox Pitch at Qwest Field.

General Admission tickets for the event went on sale Wednesday and over 5,000 seats were sold within the first 24 hours. Tickets remain and are $10 for adults and $5 for youth (6-17). Children under the age of six are free. Tickets will be available at, by calling 800-745-3000, all Ticketmaster outlets and the Qwest Field Box office.

Proceeds from the match will benefit the team’s four community partners: Boys and Girls Club of Washington State, Save the Children, Seattle SCORES and Washington Youth Soccer. Following the match the teams will sign autographs from the field.

Sounder FC first half starting lineup: Chris Eylander, Zach Scott, Patrick Ianni, Tyrone Marshall, Eric Winblad, Gao Leilei, Peter Vagenas, Osvaldo Alonso, Jacob Lousky, Roger Levesque, David Estrada.

Sounders FC second half starters: Derby Carillo, Tyson Wahl, Jamel Wallace, Taylor Graham, Brad Evans, Josh Gardner, Nathan Sturgis, Stephen King, Lamar Neagle, Jarrod Smith, Sanna Nyassi.

Vancouver Whitecaps starting lineup: Jay Nolly, Taka Hirano (Phillipe Davies, 75), Wes Charles (Nelson Akwari, 68), Greg Janicki (Zourab, 75)), Chris Williams (Luca Bellisomo, 70), Ansu Toure, Martin Nash (Ethan Gage, 68), Ricardo Sanchez (Nazar Khalfan, 68), Justin Moose (Russell Tiebert, 75), Randy Edwini-Bonsu (Cornelius Stewart, 26), Marlon James (Alex Sements, 68).

Scoring Summary:Vancouver Whitecaps: Stewart, 36; Toure, 39.Seattle Sounders FC: Neagle (Gardner), 49; Nyassi, 50; Nyassi (Sturgis), 88.

Sigi Schmid Quotes:On the game) “I thought we made a couple of defensive mistakes in the first half that gave them goals. I thought we were unlucky at the other end of the field a couple of times, Estrada and so forth trying to get in and bad final passes. We tried to give the trialists a really good look as well. But then I think in the second half we showed a lot of character. The guys came out, we made them aware of they were playing high. Balls over the top were on. Sanna’s (Nyassi) speed made a difference. A good finish on the corner kick, good service by (Josh) Gardner, good header by (Lamar) Neagle. It always feels good to win games even if they’re training games.”

On Sanna Nyassi’s performance) “It was good. Sometimes with Sanna playing up top is easier for him because it gives him a lot more tactical freedom to run around and do his thing. From that standpoint he was free today to do that and because of the way they played really gave him a chance to expose his speed. With a little bit more he could’ve probably had four today, four or five. A couple of breakaways there as well. But he came up with a big goal with his second goal. It was also a great play by Nate Sturgis.”

On Tyrone Marshall coming back in after Taylor Graham injury) “With Taylor (Graham) going down, and Taylor’s hamstring, luckily it’s not a pull he just felt it really tighten up on him. So that’s the good news. He’s smart enough, experienced enough to say ‘if I keep going now it will pull,’ so he pulled himself out of the game. Tyrone jumped in. We had already put the other guys through some fitness work, so it wasn’t going to be good to put them in, and Tyrone was smart enough to get through it. With about ten minutes to go I knew that we were either going to take a goal because Tyrone was going to be smart enough to not chase the guy, or he was going to say ‘no, I can’t let them score.’ Tyrone’s a team guy, and he came in to help the team in the second half.”

On the Casa Grande leg of training camp) “It was good. Anytime you win games, it always helps the team and helps the spirit of the squad. We got a lot of good fitness work in. The guys are looking forward to three days off and getting away from each other for a little bit, and we go into the game phase now in La Manga. But I think we accomplished what we wanted to accomplish here. We were able to see some trialists as well. We were able to get them into good game situations. And I think we can make some decisions for guys who’ve had the opportunity to show.”