Even the Sounders reserves kept the run of good form going this Sunday, winning 1-0 over Orange County Blues and doing so just before a thunderstorm rolled over. With all the chances created, the scoreline could have been more lopsided than suggested by the scoreline. Some of the notable performances:
Just as against Colorado at the end of April, Kovar started at left back. And just as in that game, the part of his game that stood out was his set piece. He also demonstrated a long throw-in. OC’s offense didn’t find much in the way of success along his side, mostly thanks to strong positioning. Both fullbacks found themselves in the attacking third frequently, and Kovar definitely contributed from the wide position. In the 80th minute, smart placement saved what would have been an easy equalizer for the Blues. He seems worthy of his spot at Stanford.
The last two years, Estrada has been seeing more and more time at right back. Games like today made it easy to see why. As I said in the gamethread, he is looking more and more like Seattle’s best like-for-like replacement for DeAndre Yedlin. He defended well, was smart when he got up field, and made some terrific passes and touches into dangerous areas.
This was one of the few non-MLS games that Barrett hasn't scored in since he joined the organization. He certainly contributed to the attack, but some of the frustrations with his recent first-team outings were there today as well. He just lacks the precision that could put him or a teammate in a real chance to score. That said, he did have a wonderful header that the keeper had to stretch out to save. This outing makes me concerned with the prospect of him starting our Open Cup games, but we've seen him get on the scoresheet more often than not.
Okoli’s first half was quiet, tasked with playing a possession game in the midfield. When Chad Barrett went off, Okoli filled into his space. Almost immediately, he got the ball at his feet and was able to create a solo look at goal for Cam Weaver, who put it away clinically. Not long after, he got the ball in space from Estrada, and took a long shot that wasn’t far from ending up in the elbow. His agility in the box had him breaking the crossbar even later. If I were doing grades, he would get the top marks in the attack. He used his strength and momentum to hold off defenders.
He didn’t see much of the ball, but nearly every touch Bowen took was quality. He and Estrada worked well together to create opportunities for the forwards. Bowen barely ever lost the ball and wasn’t overly concerned about pressure. He took a few shots, one of which took a sprawling save to keep out. I’m not sure why he seemed to go long stretches of the game without playing a role. If he could play that short-term role all game, he’d be getting first team minutes.
SEA - Cam Weaver (Sean Okoli) 73'
Seattle Sounders FC - Marcus Hahnemann (Josh Ford 46), David Estrada, Andy Rose, Dylan Remick, Aaron Kovar, Sean Okoli, Fabio Pereira, Micheal Azira, Tristan Bowen, Chad Barrett (Victor Rojes 67), Cam Weaver.
Substitutes Not Used: Seyi Adekoya, Yoshi Chaffin, Matt Reinikka, Justin Critchlow.
TOTAL SHOTS: 24; SHOTS ON GOAL: 7; FOULS: 7; OFFSIDE: 1; CORNER KICKS: 10; SAVES: 2.
Orange County Blues - Pat McLain, Jimmy Turner, Taylor Peay, Fabrice Gautrat (Joe Sofia 45), Joshua Suggs, Enrique Cardenas (Mehrshad Momeni 65), Stephen Okai (Chris Cortez 77), Jiovanni Santana (Gabriel Gonzalez 52), Seung Ju Kim (Christopher Santana 77), Allan Russell, Andrew Hoxie.
Substitutes Not Used: Mohammad Mohamadi.
TOTAL SHOTS: 8; SHOTS ON GOAL: 2; FOULS: 15; OFFSIDE: 4; CORNER KICKS: 2; SAVES: 6.
OC - Enrique Cardenas (caution) 57'
SEA - Sean Okoli (caution) 61'
OC - Andrew Hoxie (caution) 72'
OC - Mehrshad Momeni (caution) 86'
Referee: Levi Rippy
Referee's Assistants: Jason Hutchinson and Joshua Haimes
4th Official: Jeff Arthurholtz
All statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial