The U.S. national team members made their mark tonight in leading the newly star-studded Sounders Women to a 5-0 win over Seattle Pacific University before a standing-room crowd at Starfire Sports Stadium.
Alex Morgan had a goal and an assist, Sydney Leroux had an assist, and Hope Solo made it all stand up by keeping the Falcons off of the scoreboard.
The friendly marked the public debut of the Sounders Women with national team members Solo, Morgan. Leroux and Stephanie Cox of Gig Harbor. A fifth national team player – midfielder Megan Rapinoe – has signed and will join the others later.
The Sounders Women struck first in the sixth minute, as Morgan headed down a corner kick and teammate Lyndsey Patterson of Kent knocked it home.
Two of the national team members combined on the next goal just before halftime as Leroux stole a pass at midfield, raced to the attacking end, and passed to Morgan, who turned and fired it in.
Veronica Perez of the University of Washington, Kara Kuttler of Seattle University and Victoria Frederick of Alabama capped the scoring with late goals.
SPU was playing out of its competitive season, which ended in November, and was playing without seniors or incoming freshmen.
The Sounders Women preseason will continue at 7:30 p.m. Friday with a game against Seattle University at Starfire. Their W-League season begins May 27 at Vancouver. Their W-League home opener is May 31 vs. Colorado.
83rd minute: Hope Solo was just subbed off, getting a nice hand from the crowd, which is pretty much streaming toward the exits now. Still 4-0.
It's up to 4-0: Veronica Perez of the University of Washington, and Kara Kuttler of Seattle University have added late goals, making it 4-0 now, with about 10 minutes left.
61st minute: Alex Morgan subs off. She got a goal and an assist, and the rest of her night was dotted with near misses.
Through 60 minutes: Still 2-0, Sounders. Really impressive performance by SPU, and this half especially goalkeeper Natalie Harold of Vancouver, Wa.
Second half: Is under way. National team members still in the lineup. Hope Solo gives a nice wave to the fans on her new end.
Halftime: Sounders Women 2, SPU 0. Goal and assist for Alex Morgan.
43rd minute: The national team strikes. Sydney Leroux intercepts a pass at midfield, streaks to her attacking end, and passes to Alex Morgan, who turns and fires in. Sounders, 2-0.
First 30 minutes: Still Sounders, 1-0. Very impressed with SPU, which is defending almost constantly, but keeps dodging bullets. And, at least three times, they have gathered themselves for nice dangerous-looking counters. Unofficially two Solo saves, I'd say.
The crowd: Looks like it could be a sellout, depending on how they're measuring. There don't seem to be many/any open seats, except in a couple of small bleachers set up on one end. But there isn't near the number of folks ringing the pitch on the berm or in the end zones as we have regularly seen at U.S. Open Cup matches.
Sixth minute: Sounders dominated for the first five minutes and just broke through in the sixth. It started with a corner kick headed on by Alex Morgan, and Lyndsey Patterson credited with the goal. Sounders, 1-0.
Kickoff: We're under way.
Introductions: Both teams take the pitch and receive a standing ovation from the crowd. Lots of camera phones clicking away.
Sounders Women in typical Sounders FC rave/blue. SPU in maroon/maroon. Hope Solo in goalkeeper white/white.
Pregame: Sounders Women -- complete with four of their five U.S. women's national team members will made their public debut at 7:30 tonight in a friendly against Seattle Pacific at (nearly sold out) Starfire Sports Stadium in Tukwila. The game will stream live on SoundersWomen.com.
National team members here tonight are Hope Solo, Stephanie Cox, Alex Morgan and Sydney Leroux. Megan Rapinoe's arrival date hasn't been determined.
We're also cautioned that Seattle Pacific is out of season, with the women's team playing in the fall. They are here with a shortened roster, lacking both their seniors and the in-coming freshmen class.
I'll keep updates coming all night on this blog post.