The Seattle Sounders played a preseason match this morning against the College of Charleston, featuring the players who didn't play last night against the Charleston Battery. It was another chance for the trialists and draftees to make their case in a game setting and it provided a chance for the Sounders bench to get some meaningful minutes and develop their preseason fitness and cohesion. The game was not streamed nor was it covered by the College of Charleston website, so consequently the only live coverage was from the Sounders Live Twitter feed.
Seattle's lineup for the game consisted of Josh Ford, Jimmy Ockford (RB), Damion Lowe, Zach Scott, Leo Gonzalez (Aaron Kovar 45'), Gonzalo Pineda (Fabio Pereira 63'), Alex Caskey, Sean Okoli (RMF) (David Estrada 68'), Tristan Bowen (LMF) (John Arroyo 68'), Chad Barrett (Eriq Zavaleta 68') and Kevin Parsemain (Cam Weaver 68'). The College of Charleston lineup was not listed.
Zach Scott opened the Sounders scoring in the 11th minute when he headed a Alex Caskey corner kick past the CoC keeper. Alex evidently had a good game and distinguished himself with his service both from the run of play and from dead-ball situations.
Chad Barrett and Gonzalo Pineda both were mentioned often throughout their time in the game. Barrett got on the end of a number of passes though he wasn't able to tally a goal. Pineda impressed with his calm demeanor and distribution of the ball.
Sean Okoli picked up where he left off last night and notched the team's second goal off a combination of passes from Aaron Kovar and Alex Caskey. Kovar lit the game up when he came on in the second half and created havoc down the left side of the pitch. From the look of it, he was a game changer and his ability to play at LB has meant that he's seeing more minutes and getting to show off his left footed service.
Tristan Bowen tallied the team's third goal off a feed from Kevin Parsemain. Bowen was mentioned fairly regularly in the feed. He took some of the dead ball kicks but apparently didn't do as well as Caskey or Kovar. His field play sounded respectable. Parsemain was only mentioned twice, but both times on dangerous plays. First he made a good run off Barrett and took a shot off a pass in traffic from his strike partner. Then he set up Bowen for the goal right before both players were subbed out.
The Sounder's fourth goal was created by an arching pass from Kovar to the back post which David Estrada put home. The fifth goal came from a header by Fabio Pereira in second half stoppage time.
The College of Charleston had very few opportunities throughout the game. The weren't able to sustain pressure for any long periods and the Sounders were able to control the tempo, neither of which is surprising as they are in their offseason. They did earn a PK in the 78', but the shot was stopped by Ford. It was basically the only time all day that Ford was tested and he preserved the shutout.
Today's game was less about a result than it was about getting the Reserves an opportunity to play. It was an opportunity for Leo Gonzalez to get 45 minutes of playing time and work on his fitness. The game furthered the team's assessment of who will make the final roster and how the team's depth will shape itself going into the regular season. At the end of the day, the team took care of business and got a result against a team they should beat.
Special Note: Sounder@Heart community member sounderfanafar was at the game and may write a Fan Post about their observations once they complete the 5 hour trip back to Atlanta.