It wasn't the prettiest performance of the preseason, but the Seattle Sounders still managed to beat the Charleston Battery 2-1 in their Carolina Challenge Cup opener on Saturday. Osvaldo Alonso scored the Sounders' first goal with a beautiful 25th minute strike and Brad Evans sealed the victory with a 89th minute penalty.
The game-winning penalty was drawn by Sean Okoli, who had entered the match as a substitute. The Homegrown Player used some fancy footwork to get into the penalty area where he was taken down. Evans then converted the chance with a shot in the lower-right corner.
Until Evans' goal, the match was very much in question. Although the Sounders dominated large portions of it, the only thing they had to show for their efforts was Alonso's goal which came after he controlled the ball off his chest and struck a half-volley from about 22 yards.
The Battery didn't need long to equalize, though. Just three minutes later, a free kick from about 35 yards out fell to the feet of Colin Falvy inside the penalty area and he blasted it past Marcus Hahnemann.
Hahnemann, who has struggled at times during the preseason, looked much better in this one. In the 67th minute, he came off his line to make a tackle just outside the penalty area to break up a potential one-on-one opportunity. He also made a nice kick save in the 77th minute.
Offensively, the Sounders' best player was Marco Pappa, who had several passes that created scoring chances. His pass to a streak Alonso helped set up the sequence of events that ultimately led to the first goal. He also put in Lamar Neagle and Kenny Cooper for good chances.
The Sounders (4-0-1 in the preseason) will play their next match on Wednesday against D.C. United before closing out the Carolina Challenge Cup with a match against the Houston Dynamo next Saturday. They also have a game scheduled against the College of Charleston on Sunday.
SEA - Osvaldo Alonso 25'
CHS - Colin Falvy 28'
SEA - Brad Evans (penalty) 89'
Seattle Sounders FC: Marcus Hahnemann, Brad Evans, Jalil Anibaba, Chad Marshall, Dylan Remick, Marco Pappa (Sean Okoli 72'), Osvaldo Alonso, Andy Rose, Lamar Neagle (Cam Weaver 80'), Kenny Cooper, Obafemi Martins.
Charleston Battery: Andy Ramos, Taylor Mueller, Colin Falvey, Shawn Ferguson (Nurdin Hrustic 46'), John Wilson (Drew Ruggles 61'), Amadou Sanyang (Justin Portillo 61'), Quinton Griffith, Michael Azira, Jorad Van Schaik, Zach Prince (Dante Marini 66'), Dane Kelly (Austin Savage 73').
CHS - Taylor Mueller (caution) 51'
CHS - Dane Kelly (caution) 71'
CHS - Colin Falvy (caution) 73'
SEA - Osvaldo Alonso (caution) 77'
CHS - Michael Azira (caution) 79'