Sounders FC to Play for Fifth in La Manga Cup
Countering its first loss of the preseason, Sounders FC found its legs in a Group A consolation on Sunday against Norway’s Stabaek IF, with a 2-0 shutout victory at the La Manga Cup II in La Manga, Spain. Goals from Fredy Montero and Roger Levesque, both set up by Freddie Ljungberg, were the difference.
The tournament concludes with crossover matches to determine final placement on February 25 and 26. Seattle will contend for 5th place against SK Brann Thursday, February 25 at 6 a.m. PT with live blogging available at SoundersFC.com. FC Nordsjaelland will play Molde FK for the Cup title on Friday, February 26.
Seattle had faced off last Thursday against its first opponent, Norwegian champion Rosenborg BK, in the opening Group A match. In blistering winds and rains, Sounders FC fell 3-0 to the defending tournament champion.
Seattle opened preseason competition by coming from behind to defeat the Vancouver Whitecaps FC, 3-2, on February 11 in Casa Grande, Ariz.
La Manga marks the club’s second overseas excursion. Prior to the inaugural 2009 season, Sounders FC played and trained in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
The MLS regular season begins March 25 with Sounders FC hosting Philadelphia Union in the MLS First Kick 2010. The game will be televised live on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes. Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m.
Upcoming Training Schedule, February 22-24 (times are local & subject to change):
Monday, February 22 – No Training
Tuesday, February 23 – Training at La Manga, 10:30 a.m.
Wednesday, February 24 – 60 minute Training Game vs. FC Midtjylland at La Manga, 10:30 a.m.
Upcoming Competition Schedule (All times Pacific)
Thursday, February 25, 6 a.m.- SK Brann, La Manga, Spain (La Manga Cup II)
Saturday, March 6, 4 p.m. – at Vancouver Whitecaps FC, Swangard Stadium, Burnaby, B.C.
Thursday, March 11, 6 p.m. – Portland Timbers, Xbox Pitch at Qwest Field, Seattle
Friday, March 19, 6 p.m. – at Colorado Rapids, Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, Commerce City, Colo.
The Three Roster Players Not in Spain
Midfielder Brad Evans is with the U.S. National Team, which plays El Salvador on Wednesday, February 24 in Tampa. Forward Nate Jaqua (lower abdominal pain) and goalkeeper Terry Boss (ankle) are recovering from injuries and remain in Seattle. Among the non-roster invitees traveling are Derby Carillo (GK), Michael Fucito (MF), Patrick Lane (GK), Lamar Neagle (MF), Jeff Parke (DF) and Tye Perdido (FW).
La Manga Cup Breakdown
The eight-team field for the La Manga Cup II is split into two groups. Joining the Sounders FC in Group A is first-round opponent Rosenborg BK, FC Nordsjaelland and Stabaek IF. Group B consists of Molde FK (Norway), FC Krylia Sovetov (Russia), FC Midtjylland (Denmark) and SK Brann (Norway).
A Scandinavian power, Rosenborg is the winner of a record 21 Norwegian league titles and nine domestic cups. Rosenborg won 13 straight championships from 1992 to 2004. It begins defense of its 2009 title on March 13. The Norwegian season, similar to MLS, runs through November. Rosenborg gained notoriety in 2004 by reaching the group stage of the UEFA Champions League and has played in Europe four of the last five seasons.
FC Nordsjaelland, located in Farum, Denmark, is preparing to resume its Danish Superliga schedule. Nordsjaelland was eighth in the table going into the winter break, which began on December 1. The second half of the season opens March 7. U.S. international defender Michael Parkhurst, 26, plays for Nordsjaelland after spending four seasons (2004-2008) in MLS with New England.
Stabaek IF, the other potential second round game for Seattle, placed third in Norway last season after winning the title in 2008 and taking second in 2007. Midfielder Mikkel Diskerud, 19, has represented by Norway and the USA at the U-20 international level. Diskerud’s mother is from Arizona.
Stabaek IF 0-1 FC Nordsjaelland
Rosenbork BK 3-0 Seattle Sounders FC
SK Brann 1-1 FC Midtjylland (5-6 penalties)
FC Krylia Sovetov 0-2 Molde FK
Seattle Sounders FC 2-0 Stabaek IF
SK Brann 3-1 FC Krylia Sovetov
5th place – Seattle Sounders FC vs. SK Brann – Thursday, February 25, 6 a.m. PT (3 p.m. local) kickoff
7th place – Stabaek IF vs. Krylia Sovetov – Thursday, February 25
Rosenborg BK 3-3 FC Nordsjaelland (6-8 penalties)
Molde FK 2-0 FC Midtjylland
1st place – FC Nordsjaelland vs. Molde FK – Friday, February 26
3rd place – Rosenborg BK vs. FC Midtjylland – Friday, February 26
Sounders FC to Visit Vancouver
Sounders FC will visit the Vancouver Whitecaps FC for a preseason match on Saturday, March 6, at Swangard Stadium in Burnaby, B.C. First kick is at 4 p.m. PT.
All tickets for the match will cost $15, plus applicable service charges. Tickets will be available to the public on Wednesday, February 17, at 10 a.m. PT. Tickets will be available online at ticketmaster.ca or by calling 604.280.4400.
Sounders FC Host Timbers in Preseason Community Shield Match
The Sounders FC will host the Portland Timbers in the club’s inaugural “Community Shield” match on Thursday, March 11. Kick-off is at 6 p.m. on the Xbox Pitch at Qwest Field.
General Admission tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for youth (6-17). Children under the age of six are free. Tickets are available at www.SoundersFC.com, by calling 800-745-3000, all Ticketmaster outlets and the Qwest Field Box office.
Proceeds from the match will benefit the team’s four community partners: Boys and Girls Club of Washington State, Save the Children, Seattle SCORES and Washington Youth Soccer. Following the match the teams will sign autographs from the field.
Preseason Training List
The following players are currently training with Sounders FC in Spain: Goalkeepers (4): Derby Carillo*; Chris Eylander, Kasey Keller, Patrick Lane*; Defenders (11): Taylor Graham, Leo Gonzalez, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Patrick Ianni, Tyrone Marshall, Jeff Parke*,James Riley, Zach Scott, Nathan Sturgis, Tyson Wahl, Jamel Wallace#; Midfielders (7): Osvaldo Alonso, Michael Fucito*, Stephen King, Freddie Ljungberg, Sanna Nyassi, Lamar Neagle*, Peter Vagenas; Forwards (5): David Estrada#, Roger Levesque, Fredy Montero, Tye Perdido*, Steve Zakuani.
Tyson Wahl will turn 26 on February 23…Ivory Coast midfielder Felix Ettien will not be able to train or play with Sounders FC after taking ill on Saturday…Brazilian trialist midfielder Rayner Michael, who joined the tean in La Manga, is no longer training with the team…Sunday marked the first appearance of Steve Zakuani, who was cleared to play with a brace on his surgically repaired right shoulder. Central defender Jeff Parke saw his first action, playing the second half…Seattle will play a 60-minute training game with Danish club FC Midtjylland on Wednesday morning.