Seattle dominates Vancouver in closed warmup game
By Ian Walker
The Seattle Sounders had nothing to worry about after all.
The expansion Major League Soccer side defeated the Vancouver Whitecaps 4-0 in a closed-door friendly on Xbox Pitch at Qwest Field on Sunday afternoon.
The defending United Soccer Leagues First Division champions trailed 2-0 at the half, in what was their first true test since training camp opened one month ago. Seattle, which is set to make its debut in North America's premiere soccer loop on March 19, carried the play from start to finish and improved to 4-1 on the pre-season.
Whitecaps head coach Teitur Thordarson said he and his staff went into the match looking for a positive result, but were more intent on using the opportunity to assess where the team sat after a busy off-season, which included a bevy of new signings.
"Seattle played today with a very good level, it was a good measuring stick for us," said the second-year coach. "Many of our new younger players may have been surprised by the level, it's a new step for them to take. All in all, I feel for us it was a good thing. We now know what we have to work towards."
Jay Nolly played the full 90 minutes in the Vancouver goal, but the score wasn't indicative of his effort. The second-year Whitecap made numerous key saves to keep his team in the contest heading into the second half. Nate Jaqua and Fredy Montero both had two-goal games to pace the Sounders.
"We were playing a very good team -- they looked very sharp and are a very different team from last year," said Thordarson, of the Whitecaps long-time USL-1 rivals. "I was impressed, but having said that I feel we had a decent first half but started losing our positions a bit in the second half. We just were not good enough."
Vancouver returned to the city following the game and will resume training this week in preparation for the start of the USL-1 season on April 11 against the Charleston Battery at Swangard Stadium.
Seattle closed the game to the public in order to build excitement and avoid embarrassment, should it have lost, as it readies for its foray into MLS.
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