The Argentina trip is off to a winning start after SSFC rallied to defeat Estudiantes de La Plata earlier today. Here’s the recap from the team:
Seattle Sounders FC 3, Estudiantes de La Plata 1
Fredy Montero ignited the attack in the second half, scoring two goals within a 4-minute span as Sounders FC came from behind to open its preseason Argentina tour with a 3-1 win over Estudiantes de La Plata on Friday morning at the Estudiantes training center outside Buenos Aires.
All of the Seattle goals occurred over a 12-minute stretch in the second half of the 70-minute match.
Nate Jaqua pulled the visitors level in the 46th minute, then found Montero open on the right for a 2-1 lead in the 54th minute.
Montero, who came on as substitute at the break, took two touches before slamming a 24-yard shot off the keeper’s outstretched hand and in the upper left corner of the net.
Shortly after Estudiantes put a shot off Kasey Keller’s crossbar, Montero all but sealed the result with his second goal in the 58th minute. Osvaldo Alonso won the ball deep in the offensive third and fed Montero, who rounded the keeper and scored easily from 12 yards for a 3-1 advantage.
“The first goal was nice,” said Montero, through a translator. “I kicked it from far away, and the second one was the result of a very good play by Alonso.”
The first half was a territorial standoff interrupted by a Sounders FC defensive mishap in the 20th minute. An attempted clearance by Tyrone Marshall landed errantly in the Sounders FC net for an own goal and 1-0 Estudiantes advantage.
Seattle pressed forward as the interval approached. Sanna Nyassi broke into the box but was then bundled over without a call by the onrushing Estudiantes keeper. The collision stopped the clock and when play resumed Roger Levesque flashed a header over the bar just before the whistle.
The equalizer by Jaqua followed a crisp series of one- and two-touch passes in midfield. Brad Evans spotted Nyassi at the top of the box, and the winger held strong with a defender draped on him, laying the ball off to a charging Jaqua, who cleanly finished near-post from 10 yards.
Jaqua said the insertion of Montero into the lineup made an instant impact.
“It helps quite a bit because defenders respect him and he’s able to get by 1-2 guys,” said Jaqua, “and when you’re able to put people out of the game, the more things open up. His ability to beat people opens up a lot of stuff for us.”
Said Head coach Sigi Schmid, his team “created a number of chances. We could’ve had more than three (goals) at the end of the day. So I was well-pleased.”
Montero arrived at the field a few minutes after the opening kickoff, along with Jhon Kennedy Hurtado and Steve Zakuani, who had visited the U.S. Embassy to complete the necessary paperwork for the team’s return to the U.S. next week.
Sounders FC faces CED, a collection of local free agents on Saturday, February 28 at 4 P.M. local (10 A.M. PT) in the second of five training games during the tour, which concludes on March 5.
EST-Own goal 20′
SEA-Jaqua (Nyassi, Evans) 46′
SEA-Montero (Jaqua) 54′
SEA-Montero (Alonso) 58′
Seattle Sounders FC Lineup (4-4-2): Kasey Keller; Nathan Sturgis, Tyrone Marshall, Patrick Ianni, James Riley; Sebastien Le Toux, Brad Evans, Osvaldo Alonso, Sanna Nyassi; Nate Jaqua, Roger Levesque (Fredy Montero 36).