Sounders FC’s preseason officially came to an end Saturday with a 2-2 tie against D.C. United in the Carolina Challenge Cup.
Both teams finished 1-0-2 in the tournament, but D.C. held the better goal differential, which served as the decisive tiebreaker. United had only won the CCC in 2010, 2011 and 2012.
Seattle has gone 6-0-3 in preseason leading into the March 8 opener against defending MLS champion Sporting Kansas City. In some leaders, Obafemi Martins and Kevin Parsemain had three goals. Dylan Remick finished with a team-high three assists, two on game-winners.
The Sounders had to come back twice Saturday to earn the tie.
D.C. opened the scoring on a Fabian Espindola penalty kick in the eighth minute. The chance came when Chad Marshall was called for a handball in the penalty box, which happened just moments after Marshall was denied a PK on the other end of the field when he was taken down on a corner kick.
Seattle answered in the 24th minute when a header by Kenny Cooper just sneaked into the goal after a misplay by D.C. goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra.
United took the lead again in the 53rd minute when Perry Kitchen was left unmarked on a corner kick and slammed a volley past goalkeeper Stefan Frei. (Potential concern: the Sounders allowed three preseason goals on set pieces)
The Sounders equalized in the 63rd minute when a nice string of passes in the attacking third culminated with Brad Evans finding Marco Pappa in front of goal, where he made no mistake. For Pappa, like Cooper, it was his first goal of preseason.
Seattle went up a man in the 76th minute when D.C.’s Cristian Fernandez was sent off for a wild tackle on DeAndre Yedlin (who tweeted he’ll be OK despite having to leave the game).
The Sounders’ best chance for a winner came in the 87th minute. It looked like Lamar Neagle‘s header rippled the back of the net, but it was just the side netting as it went just wide.
Seattle started what looked close to an opening-day lineup, which provided an indication that Frei will be the team’s starting goalkeeper in Week 1. One key player missing, of course, was Clint Dempsey, but he should be on his way back soon following Wednesday’s friendly against Ukraine in Cyprus.
D.C. was without one ex-Sounder, as Eddie Johnson sat out with a sore hamstring, but another old friend was in action, defender Jeff Parke.
Here is at interview with coach Sigi Schmid:
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Feb. 5 — San Jose Earthquakes (W, 2-1)
Feb. 6 — Vancouver Whitecaps FC (W, 2-1)
Feb. 8 — Portland Timbers FC (T, 0-0)
Feb. 9 — Vancouver Whitecaps FC (W, 2-1)
Feb. 22 — Charleston Battery (W, 2-1)
Feb. 23 — College of Charleston (W, 5-0)
Feb. 26 — Houston Dynamo, (T, 1-1)
Mar. 1 — Coastal Carolina University (W, 2-1)
Mar. 1 — D.C. United (T, 2-2)
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SOUNDERS FC 2, D.C. UNITED 2
D.C. – Fabian Espindola (penalty) 8′
SEA – Kenny Cooper (Dylan Remick) 24′
D.C. – Perry Kitchen (Fabian Espindola) 53′
SEA – Marco Pappa (Brad Evans) 63′
Seattle Sounders FC: Stefan Frei, DeAndre Yedlin (Andy Rose 78′), Chad Marshall (Zach Scott 66′), Jalil Anibaba, Dylan Remick, Lamar Neagle, Osvaldo Alonso, Brad Evans, Marco Pappa (Aaron Kovar 77′), Kenny Cooper (Kevin Parsemain 77′), Obafemi Martins.
Substitutes Not Used: Josh Ford, Damion Lowe, Sean Okoli, John Arroyo, David Estrada.
D.C. United: Andrew Dykstra, Sean Franklin, Jeff Parke, Bobby Boswell, Christian Fernandez, Davy Arnaud, Perry Kitchen, Luis Silva (Lewis Neal 84′), Nick DeLeon (Kyle Porter 79′), Fabian Espindola (Victor Munoz 84′), Conor Doyle.
D.C. – Bobby Boswell (caution) 65′
D.C. – Christian Fernandez (ejection) 76′