The Seattle Sounders began their 2015 preseason on January 24th at Starfire Complex in Tukwila, WA. Five days later, they headed south to the warm confines of California to truly begin their preseason training. They were at Mt. San Antonio College from January 29th until Friday, February 6th.
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The Sounders first preseason match had them facing head coach Sigi Schmid‘s former college team, UCLA. Schmid fielded two separate teams on either side of halftime. For the first half he used Stefan Frei; Tyrone Mears, Brad Evans, Chad Marshall, Leo Gonzalez; Marco Pappa, Gonzalo Pineda, Andy Rose, Darwin Jones; Lamar Neagle and Obafemi Martin. That lineup got the team two goals in the first half, with Martins scoring his first of the preseason in the 39th minute. Just five minutes later, Neagle would get in on the action scoring in the 44th minute.
For the second half, Schmid brought out an entire new starting XI. He used Troy Perkins; Oniel Fisher, Zach Scott, Guest Player, Guest Player; Guest Player, Micheal Azira, Guest Player, Aaron Kovar; Chad Barrett, Kenny Cooper. As you can see, there are a few guest players. The names were not available on the Sounders website, so I left it as such. The final 13 minutes saw the Sounders score three goals. Barrett got his first of the preseason in the 77th minute and Kenny Cooper followed him in the 86th minute. Azira rounded out the scoring in the 90th minute.
Nothing to write home about as they did what they needed to do. A team full of professionals beat team with college kids on it. I know that on any given day, a lesser team can beat a better team. It would have been rather embarrassing to have the 2014 Supporters Shield winner to lose to a college team.
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The second preseason match had the Sounders facing off against their arch-enemy, the Los Angeles Galaxy. Schmid brought out a lineup similar to the first preseason game when he had Frei; Mears, Evans, Marshall, Guest Player; Pappa, Azira, Pineda, Neagle; Martins come out in what looks like Martins as the lone forward on the pitch. Neagle is flexible and rotates back and forth from a winger to a forward.
The Galaxy would get on the board first in the 18th minute when Baggio Husidic found the back of the net. The lead would only last nine minutes as Neagle found the back of the net for the first in the 27th minute. That would be all the scoring in the first half as the teams headed to the locker room for the halftime break.
Second half saw a much different lineup, just like last time. The Sounders put Perkins; Fisher, Damion Lowe, Scott, Gonzalez; Cristian Roldan, Guest Player, Aaron Long, Kovar; Jones, Kenny Cooper out on the pitch. I like the flexibility that Jones brings to the team. He can play either forward or winger just like Neagle. It’s nice to have players that can adjust on your roster. Which one will he excel at? We will have to wait and see.
There would only be one goal scored in the second half and it was for the Galaxy. Nacho Magnato wrapped up the scoring in the 54th minute to send the Galaxy home with a 2-1 preseason win.
Luckily, it is preseason and it doesn’t count. The players have been in training for only two weeks and are still getting their legs under them. The Sounders have finished their preseason training in California. They will now head home after the match and train in Seattle for a week until they head down to Arizona for the Desert Diamond Cup.