With only seven Reserve League matches on the season Seattle Sounders FC added some scrimmages against local college sides. Tonight's friendly with the University of Washington Men's Soccer team also served as a fundraiser for the Huskies.
The four-three result could be seen as worrisome, but expecting 100% effort from players with World Cup and Gold Cup experience against a college side made up of about 50% potential professionals may be a bit much. Still, that's also true in preseason when Seattle typically pounds the teams they face.
UW got off to a fast start scoring twice early to go up two-nil only twelve minutes into the match. Sounders FC responded quickly when a Gonzalo Pineda free kick led to a loose ball getting knocked about the area. Jalil Anibab pounced on it to get a goal back. Chad Barrett leveled it at two all a few minutes later. Darwin Jones (already with an assist and a goal) broke free after a Christian Roldan tackle, run and pass to split Seattle's CBs. In on goal with only Marcus Hahnemann to beat the Seattle HGP prospect netted his second in the 35th minute.
The second half had less goal scoring. Each side netted one more. Trialist Cam Weaver drew Seattle even and Jones finished off his show with a game winner in the dying moments.
Darwin Jones - The HGP eligible player was in 2013 training camp. He's gotten at least one offer and maybe twice. He returns to the UW for his senior year after showing the parent club of his Academy exactly what he can do. His crossing was impressive from both sides. Still has the speed and strength to succeed at the MLS level, the only question is how high is his peak. Three goals and an assist are a statement that he's ready now. [Dave updates depth chart]
Christian Roldan - Quite apparent why Sigi Schmid reportedly recommended him for a GA deal for the 2014 draft. He dribbles quite well in tight spaces. Can finish. Great vision. Athletic enough. An upper first round talent capable of an attacking mid or withdrawn forward role.
Ian Lange + Michael Gallagher - Lange was the CDM and Gallagher a CB. These two both project as MLS CBs. Gallagher is a tough defender, good aerial winner. Goes to ground to win balls not look good. Lange is better with the ball at his feet. Can enter the attack, particularly on set-plays. Both are likely pros. Different stylistically in ways that continue to make it difficult to rate one above the other.
Ryan Herman - He's quieter, but still commanding. Herman is huge. Won a 50/50 corner ball over Zach Scott that had Scott looking up to the heavens wondering just how tall the man was. Tested more than Hahnemann. Parried rather than caught shots. If he wins the starting gig over Richey this Fall is a clear pro.
Odd shaped midfield - Seattle lacked width. Starting Rose, Pineda and Azira meant that each tried to be a wide player at times. None were great at it. When Sounders weren't getting width on the left Okoli shifted over. Then they weren't getting width on the right. This isn't going to be an issue in competitive matches, but it was tonight. Pineda also seemed to be one of the least interested in the match. Azira had a fuel to him that was reminiscent of young Alonso. Rose did decent work dribbling through trouble.
Kevin Parsemain - Looked to shoot first. Second Kevin looked to dribble to create for himself. Third he looked to shoot. Overlooked the easy pass. Seemed to press too much while trying to prove a point.
John Arroyo - A dynamic youngster that worked well as a conduit between Scott and Weaver late in the second half. Dribbled well, but looked to touch pass first. Good knowledge of sequences. Slight of build, but willing to use his body. At just 20 is the same age as the opposition. Played within himself.
Cam Weaver - Prototypical American target performance, but did work 1-2s with Azira, Estrada and Arroyo at various points. Strong leader. Forced a couple shots from distance. Could have finished with two. The only one that didn't look tiny next to Herman; he just looked small.