The first sixty minutes saw Seattle's second team grit out a performance against a B+ squad from New York. The Red Bulls placed heavy pressure, but tenacious moments from the Seattle Sounders saw Alex Caskey capitalize and knock in a rebound for the first goal. That lineup of reservists and rotational players struggled to link up at times, but managed to disrupt most of the action once it got into their defensive third.
It was the second half when things really broke out. At about minute 64 the Sounders made a full switch playing their past First Team with only Josh Ford, DeAndre Yedlin and Mario Martinez inserted. Mario again used a left footed volley to announce to the world that while he has not been in the First Team much he deserves more than consideration. In this match he was nominally on the right, but with only Estrada as a classic forward there were many moments when Martinez and Rosales would interchange.
Today's lessons were simple;
- Seattle's second team can gut out a result.
- Caskey, Rose, Neagle and Remick look to get more time than a depth chart would indicate.
- Mario Martinez deserves regular play and about 2000 all competitions minutes (that would be top 10 last year) or more.
- Yedlin's speed and ball control in poor conditions show strong potential.
- Sigi has more than XI to start right now.
- A move to a winter schedule would be wrong.
The Desert Diamond Cup Final is on NBC Sports with Arlo White on the call Saturday at 6:00 PM against Real Salt Lake