Another game in Arizona and another loss for the Rave Green. Sounders fell 2-1 to Mexican Side Celaya after giving up two goals in the first 16 minutes. Nelson Valdez stole one back in the 54th but the Sounders could not find the net again.
The "home" side started off the first half very lazily, not pressing nor being compact on defense seemingly uninterested in what was going on. A throw-in near the top of the box was handled poorly as it was dummyed from one Celaya attacker to another before Gordillo easily beat Frei 1v1. While Marshall may have had a play as he slid over to get to the goal scorer, it was too late.
Things did not get any better after the 3rd minute goal when the Mexican side came down the left hand side and cut back in to the top of the box. Jimmy Ockford, who got the start over the still nursing an injury Brad Evans, got too agressive chasing the pass leaving a giant hole that the rest of the backline had to adjust to. No one was able to close out on the shooter and Manon hit a laser into the top corner. Stefan Frei got a hand to it but not enough to push it over.
Down 2-0, the Sounders started to play a little more compact and Joevin Jones bombed forward to give wide support to an ever dangerous Andreas Ivanschitz. Crosses and corners piled up but for all the aerial skill in this lineup, no one could get a header on goal.
Sigi made second half adjustments that led to an exciting attacking trio between Valdez, Dempsey, and Ivanschitz which included some beautiful dribbling moves and touch passes but no goals. It wasn't until the 54th minute when Joevin Jones was fouled trying to get to the baseline from the top left corner of the box. Ivanschitz delivered his best ball of the night and found Valdez near the PK spot, who drilled home a header.
The rest of the second half saw full scale subs with Oalex Anderson, Jordan Morris, and Andy Craven taking over the attack and Cristian Roldan running the midfield. As the game pressed on, the Sounders started to take over but could not convert, not even new shiny signing, Jordan Morris.
Overall it was slow play in the midfield from Osvaldo Alonso who seemed very unsure of his fitness and passing and was not gelling with the new 4-3-3 for most of the half. Eric Friberg seemed to fill his role decently and his hesitation to come back for distribution is fine with Brad Evans in the backline but not with Ockford. This loss is painful and the Sounders looked far from ready for an in-season Club America but they have time to get their fitness up for it and to improve the confidence of the midfield trio before the CCL.