It was another match that started with too many fouls, but ended well on that front. Unlike the first game of the Desert Diamond Cup, Saturday's victory was due to opportunism from rotational and reserve players. Seattle Sounders FC saw the impact of right place, right time with Mario Martinez' brilliant goal.
Later it would be Philip Lund that took advantage of a deflection. Even Real Salt Lake's goal was from a deflection. That should hammer home the idea that players can not rest once a shot is taken. Lund spoke to FC Tucson and explained that his slow start in camp is due to prolonged illness.
I have been sick a few days before so in the beginning it was very hard for me, I was very low on energy, so in the beginning it was very tough for me but hopefully I can get around it.
The Sounders were down in the shot battle again (five to 14) with the difference coming in the second half when RSL surpassed Seattle 11 to 3. Seattle's keepers saved three of the four on target. The only other stat that stands out is Offside. So far the Sounders seem to be pushing that edge more this season with another game where they surpass the opponent by this measure.
SEA - Mario Martinez 66'
SEA - Philip Lund 69'
RSL - Jordan Sterzer 86'
Seattle Sounders FC - Michael Gspurning (Josh Ford 60), Adam Johansson (DeAndre Yedlin 38), Zach Scott (Eriq Zavaleta 71), Jhon Kennedy Hurtado (Ashani Fairclough 46), Leo Gonzalez (Dylan Remick 46), Mauro Rosales (Mario Martinez 46), Osvaldo Alonso (Servando Carrasco 71), Brad Evans (Andy Rose 46), Steve Zakuani (Alex Caskey 46), David Estrada (Philip Lund 46, Babayele Sodade 71), Eddie Johnson (Sammy Ochoa 46).
TOTAL SHOTS: 5; FOULS: 7; OFFSIDE: 4; CORNER KICKS: 3; SAVES: 3.
Real Salt Lake - Nick Rimando (Eduardo Fernandez 73), Tony Beltran (Lovel Palmer 73), Chris Schuler (Aaron Maund 73), Kwame Watson-Siriboe (Carlos Salcedo 73), Chris Mansally (Nickardo Blake 73), Kyle Beckerman (Enzo Martinez 73), Jordany Alvarez (Khari Stephenson 46), Sebastian Velasquez (Cole Grossman 73), Ned Grabavoy (Jordan Sterzer 73), Alvaro Saborio (Devon Sandoval 73), Joao Plata (David Viana 58).
TOTAL SHOTS: 14; FOULS: 11; OFFSIDE: 1; CORNER KICKS: 5; SAVES: 1.
RSL - Chris Schuler (caution) 20'
RSL - Kenny Mansally (caution) 34'
Referee: Allen Chapman
Weather: Sunny and 75 degrees
All statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial
Sigi Schmid – Sounders FC Coach
(On the game…) “It was good. It was good to give our first group another run out and see the reserve guys come in and score two goals. It was very good. It was good to have Mario Martinez back—he scored a fantastic goal, very reminiscent of the goal he scored in Salt Lake. Winning game is always better than not winning games and I’m pleased with how the team is going.”
(On the play of the defense…) “The defense has played well, for sure. They’ve done a good job of limiting the opportunities for the opponents, so I think that’s helped us get those shutouts. Michael Gspurning I think has played well in goal. I think [RSL] was close once in the first half and they had a close-in free kick opportunity, as well. For the most part I think we limited the chances of the opponent and that was good.”
(On the play of Mario Martinez…) “The reason Mario was with the second group today was because he had only gotten in yesterday, so for him we didn’t want to push him too much too early or put pressure on him—get his legs with our team. He’s a quality player. He offers something to our team. He was able to play-make. He was out there with a couple of our first team guys, as well, with [Osvaldo] Alonso and that. I thought there was some good combination play—not just his goal, but some good passing sequences. He’s a guy who’s going to play a lot of minutes for us this year.”
(On the second team group…) “When you look at that second group, I think DeAndre Yedlin continues to play well. I think Dylan Remick played very well today. I think those are outside backs who I think have a very bright future for us. Ashani Fairclough did very well for us in the back—he showed his athleticism. [Eriq] Zavaleta did alright, as well, back there. Philip Lund obviously got a goal, but he was very active with his running. I thought Alex Caskey had some very good moments also. There were a number of guys who stepped up and had good moments.”
(On making the Desert Diamond Cup final…) “Any time you can play in big games it’s a good opportunity. The way our schedule turns out, it’s probably going to be a lot of the reserve guys playing in that game, so for them it’s a good opportunity. The more exposure they get makes us deeper, makes us stronger. It means if you have an injury, you have people that can step up and play. From that standpoint it’s good. You want to get in the habit of winning, you want to have that pride within your team, and that’s something I think we’ve had in the years past and continue to show what he have.”