SEATTLE — Will Bruin made sure the Seattle Sounders closed out their preseason on a positive note, scoring the lone goal in a 1-0 win over USL Championship side San Diego Loyal on Saturday.
Despite the lack of scoring, the Sounders looked reasonably sharp and dominated from start to finish. In addition to his goal, Bruin had another 1-v-1 chance and set up Fredy Montero for a glorious opportunity early on. In the second half, Raúl Ruidíaz replaced Bruin and managed to squeeze off 10 shots, hitting the post once and forcing Trey Muse to come up with big saves on several occasions. Montero was not particularly sharp in front of goal, but he helped set up several very good chances with his passing that including putting Cristian Roldan through on goal for a 1v1 opportunity.
“There were some thing we could have done better defensively early, but the attacking movements were very, very good,” Sounders head coach Brian Schmetzer said. “We created a lot of chances. We got the ball into the prime-assist zone more than I thought we would. Overall I was very, very, very pleased with our attacking movements.”
While the Sounders looked reasonably strong in all their preseason matches, the one frustration was that they were only able to play two opponents outside the organization after Phoenix Rising had to cancel last week’s match.
“It’s been a different year for sure,” Bruin said. “I’m sure it’s tougher to get more games. I think we’ve done as well as we can given the circumstances. We have a really veteran squad but our mentality will be ready for Friday.”
- The Sounders once again used a 3-5-2 formation. Roldan appeared to be the most advanced of the three central midfielders, with João Paulo often joining the attack and Josh Atencio mostly sitting deep. Notably, the three centerbacks were Nouhou, Xavier Arreaga and Shane O’Neill.
- Alex Roldan seems to be only growing in confidence as a right wingback. He never looked troubled defensively and picked his spots well on the offensive side. He also worked some nice interchanges and put in a few quality crosses.
- Atencio looks to be making a strong bid to become a regular part of the rotation. The 19-year-old rarely played in his rookie season but has now started the last two games and doesn’t look at all out of place.
- The Sounders reserves beat the Loyal reserves 1-0 in the earlier match with 17-year-old Juan Alvarez scoring the game’s only goal.