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Quick Recap: Seattle Sounders End Preseason On Winning Note

Not quite sure how to feel about this one. There were some obviously positive signs, namely Fredy Montero absolutely dominating the middle stretch of the game. Our newest Designated Player got the scoring started by assisting on a Jhon Kennedy Hurtado goal and the scored two of his own. It was exactly the kind of game we were hoping to see after a relatively lackluster preseason. That paced the Seattle Sounders to a 3-1 win over the Colorado Rapids.

But this was a preseason game, after all, and what's the one thing we don't want to see in preseason? Injuries. Unfortunately, we had a couple of those and at least one of the is the kind of thing that could ruin a season.

The extent of Steve Zakuani's injury is still unknown, but the reports out of Qwest are that it was a "right hip injury." That could one of those things he just walks off and plays through, or it could be something that hampers him the rest of the season. 

The other injury was to Brad Evans, who apparently strained his hamstring and will be out 1-3 weeks. That likely means we'll get to see Erik Friberg start in the midfield for at least the first couple of games. Some people will undoubtedly be just fine with this news, and Friberg did look solid in his Qwest Field debut, but I'm still of the mind that this team is better with a fully fit Evans than without him. Time will tell, obviously, but missing a few weeks shouldn't be the end of the world either way.

We also learned that Josh Ford has won the third goalkeeper job, and that Bryan Meredith is apparently looking for work elsewhere Definitely hoping Meredith finds somewhere solid to land and hopefully we'll be seeing him again.

I'd also be remiss if I didn't at least mention the new kits. I really want to like them, I really do. Upon closer look, I like some of the details, really like the neckline and they seem to fit well. Unfortunately, those silver strips really are awful. They are so bad that I have a hard time imagining myself ever wanting to buy one of those. But maybe they'll grow on me. A boy can hope anyway. 

Some stats and quotes after the jump.

Colorado Rapids - Matt Pickens (Steward Ceus 46), Kosuke Kimura, Drew Moor, Marvell Wynne, Anthony Wallace, Pablo Mastroeni (Joseph Nane 61), Jeff Larentowicz (Ross LaBauex 68), Jamie Smith (Quincy Amarikwa 71), Brian Mullan (Sanna Nyassi 71), Omar Cummings (Wells Thompson 71), Conor Casey (Andre Akpan 61)
Substitutes Not Used: 
TOTAL SHOTS: 12 (3 tied with 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 5 (Jeff Larentowicz 2); FOULS: 10 (Conor Casey 2); OFFSIDES: 1 (Omar Cummings 1): CORNER KICKS: 5 (Jamie Smith 4); SAVES: 3 (Steward Ceus 2)
Seattle Sounders FC - Kasey Keller, James Riley, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado (Patrick Ianni 85), Jeff Parke, Leo Gonzalez, Alvaro Fernandez (Pat Noonan 76), Osvaldo Alonso, Brad Evans (Erik Friberg 52), Steve Zakuani (Michael Tetteh 81), Fredy Montero (Lamar Neagle 81), Blaise Nkufo (O'Brian White 65) 
Substitutes Not Used: Servando Carrasco, David Estrada, Taylor Graham, Roger Levesque, Miguel Montano, Zach Scott, Tyson Wahl, Terry Boss, Josh Ford
TOTAL SHOTS: 12 (Osvaldo Alonso 3, Fredy Montero 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 6 (Osvaldo Alonso 2, Fredy Montero 2); FOULS: 17 (Jhon Kennedy Hurtado 3); OFFSIDES: 5 (Alvaro Fernandez 2, Steve Zakuani 2); CORNER KICKS: 2 (Osvaldo Alonso 2); SAVES: 4 (Kasey Keller 4)

Sigi Schmid - Sounders FC Head Coach

(On his team's overall performance...) "Obviously it's still preseason.  Just like [Colorado Rapids head coach] Gary Smith said to me before the game, he said 'you've played a lot of good competition.'  So I think to a certain extent, in comparison to some other teams, we haven't played a lot of college games.  You know, played the Under-23s or the Under-20s or the Under-17s and things like that. We've tested ourselves in every game.  Obviously there was a stretch there when we didn't score goals and everyone said it was almost the end of the world.  Now, tonight, we scored three goals and it's not like the new dawn has approached either.  You can't get too low with the lows or too high with the highs.  I was pleased tonight to see us score some goals.  I thought we were more aggressive in our style.  We tried to get forward, we tried to look behind the defense.  Hopefully the win wasn't costly in regards to a couple of injury possiblities, but that's why you have a squad and that's why you have depth.  But I was pleased with our attitude tonight in the game."


(On the performance of his forwards...) "The forwards did a good job tonight of staying high.  It's maybe sometimes frustrating when you stay high because you feel you don't see enough of the ball. But by staying high, that opens up some space underneath, and what we said at halftime is that's a space that Zakuani could come into and that [Fernandez] could come into as well.  And that would open up space for Riley on the right to get forward.  So that started to happen for us a little bit. Fernandez started to find the ball more by doing that.  The forwards, Blaise [Nkufo] and Montero, did a good job of staying high and keeping the two central defenders occupied."


(On Fredy Montero...) "I thought [Montero's] energy and effort were good.  Obviously pleased with the two goals that he scored, especially the one from the pass from Friberg, where it was just one touch and the second touch, he hit it.  I thought he had another one he could have hit earlier.  We talked about that.  There's still some times where I'd like to see him just play it a little bit sooner.  But, overall, I thought his effort and desire - like in the first half when he came back and stole the ball from Larentowicz and started to counter the other way - that was a combination with him and Blaise [Nkufo], where Blaise was almost in and Pickens had to come up with a save.  So, if we get that kind of endeavor, that's tremendous.  I don't want him back in front of our own 18, like he was before he got subbed out.  I'd rather keep him up higher on the field."


(On Montero's first goal and the penalty...) "Obviously, I'll tell you about the header first.  I thought he made a great run and scored a good goal on the header. On the PK, the ball should have probably been in about row 35.  He should have not tried to maybe bring that ball down.  If he had just cleared the ball out, you live and fight for another day.  He didn't do that, and the ball comes inside a little bit.  You've got players in this league that have size and pace, and if they get a half a step on you in the box, you're in trouble."


Fredy Montero - Sounders FC Forward

(On his thoughts after scoring two goals and getting the win...)  "I feel very happy more than anything for the result than necessarily my goals - the result for the team.  And it gives us confidence going into the opening game."


(On if the team is still working towards the level that they need to be in all the aspects of play on the pitch...)  "Sure, and that's what we all expect.  We know that we are not at 100 percent of our level but we are getting prepared and if it requires that we run, we'll run.  If long passes are required, then we'll go with long passes, and if the first search is not working, then we'll find (another option)."


(On what this game means going forward into the regular season...)  "We are all very happy. Obviously, it was a good stance for the preseason, especially being here in front of the fans.  This gives us motivation to start the season."

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