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Observations and photos from Sounders' 11v11 scrimmage

Sounder at Heart photographer MikeRussellFoto was busy on Saturday, first taking in the Sounders' training and then checking out Steve Zakuani's book signing at the ProShop at CenturyLink Field.

It was a good day to be out at Seattle Sounders' training on Saturday as the handful of onlookers were treated to a lively 11v11 scrimmage.

Now before I get too far, I do have to say that while I am shooting, I am not great at analyzing the play in front of me. But since I was the only Sounder at Heart representative present, I will do my best to give you some details from the scrimmage.

The two teams were divided up among what I am assuming is first team vs. second team (more or less). The lineups at the start, as best as I could tell, were as follows:

  • 1st Team: Stefan Frei, Leo Gonzalez, Brad Evans, Chad Marshall, Tyrone Mears, Lamar Neagle, Andy Rose, Gonzalo Pineda, Marco Pappa, Chad Barrett, Obafemi Martins. (Although I may have Neagle and Barrett reversed.)
  • 2nd Team: Troy Perkins, Andres Correa, Damion Lowe, Zach Scott, Jimmy Ockford, Aaron Kovar, Cristian Roldan, Micheal Azira, Benji Joya, Kenny Cooper, Kevin Parsemain.

It didn't take too long for the 2nd team to get on the board. Unfortunately, my recollection of how it happened is a bit sketchy. Suffice it to say, there were some defensive missteps and Kevin Parsemain may have beaten out Brad Evans for the goal. (Although, I'm still not convinced that the ball hadn't already crossed the line by the time Parsemain touched it.) Regardless, 2nd Team, 1. 1st Team, 0.

(Important note here, if you happened to see some of my tweets during the session, I had completely forgotten about this goal by the time I started tweeting. Sorry about that!)

Some other bits that I recall from the first half, in no particular order:

  • Parsemain got in a few times on goal, once missing just left of goal. On another occasion, was one-on-one with Frei, hit it hard and low, but Frei came up with a fantastic foot save.
  • Aaron Kovar whipped in some nice crosses, one which Parsemain took down well, but couldn't quite get on frame.
  • Benji Joya got in behind the defense and attempted to deftly loft one over the 'keeper, similar to Oba's Goal of the Year (although not quite as tight of an angle), but he didn't quite pull it off and Frei was having none of it.
  • Ozzie's hair is indeed getting (relatively) long! (No he didn't play, just walked/jogged around the outside.)
  • I didn't see what happened, but right at the end of the half Pineda seemed to be favoring his wrist (or maybe his thumb).

They switched sides for the second half (which made me happy, as I could only shoot one end). The following subs were made:

  • Perkins switched to the 1st team
  • Charlie Lyon came on for the 2nd team.
  • Azira switched from the 2nd team to the 1st team to take over for Pineda.
  • Darwin Jones came in for Azira on the 2nd team. (Though I admit, I did not notice how/if the 2nd team changed tactically as a result of this sub since they were attacking the other end.)

Second half highlights:

  • It seemed against the run of play when Cooper blasted a shot which Perkins parried, but then Jones was there to clean up the scraps. 2nd team up 2-0.
  • Oba got in behind the defense a few times, but couldn't capitalize. Then on one such play, Oba was one-on-one with Lyon, and the young 'keeper came out diving for the ball, but only got Oba legs. Ref Brian Schmetzer had an easy decision, and awarded the PK. Neagle converted. 1st team down 2-1.
  • It looked like the 1st team scored again off a Neagle goal from an Oba assist, but it was called back for a foul earlier in the play. (At least, I think it was called back. They might have allowed it. That was hard to tell.) 1st team still trailing 2-1. (Or maybe tied it 2-2?)
  • I missed the final goal completely. But based on what I could hear, it was a goal by Parsemain off an assist by Jones. Coaches and players were yelling things like "Good finish Kevin." "Nice pass Dar!" And both were getting congratulations from the rest of the 2nd team. So I assume that's what happened.

Final score, 2nd team won, either by a score of 3-1 or 3-2.

After the scrimmage was over, I headed down to the ProShop at CenturyLink Field to get a few shots of Steve Zakuani signing his new book, 500 Days. And yes, that's me in the final photo. It doesn't happen often, but I got to be just a fan for a minute.