Disappointment all over for Sounders despite scoring an easy 5-2 victory
Despite some unanticipated aggravations, the Sounders beat Mexico's Atlante FC 5-2 in a preseason training game Wednesday
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CANCUN, Mexico — Decisive victories rarely result in so much frustration.
Behind two goals from forward Fredy Montero, Sounders FC beat Atlante FC 5-2 in a training game Wednesday to remain unbeaten in preseason, but the day went nothing like Seattle had planned.
Just hours before kickoff, the location of the match unexpectedly changed from the 20,000-seat Estadio Andres Quintana Roo to a training field. Atlante also fielded a much weaker team than had been arranged, according to Sounders FC coach Sigi Schmid.
The lack of competition did little to help the Sounders prepare for their upcoming CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal against Mexico's Santos Laguna.
"We're disappointed," said Schmid, "because the agreement or understanding between ourselves and Atlante was one thing, and today everything sort of changed."
Seattle's final preseason tuneup before the opening series against Santos Laguna is at home Feb. 29 against another Mexican opponent, Jaguares de Chiapas. Kickoff at CenturyLink Field is at 7 p.m. and admission is free.
"Our expectation is certainly that Jaguares de Chiapas is not going to do that — (that) they're going to be professional, which we know they are," said Schmid.
Despite the aggravating day, the Sounders put in a fine performance to improve to 4-0-2 in preseason. Forward David Estrada, who's been a training camp revelation, scored the opening goal in the 12th minute off a cross from midfielder Mauro Rosales.
Montero followed that in the 16th minute with a headed goal and Seattle was up 2-0 at the half.
Atlante pulled a goal back in the 47th minute, but Montero responded by scoring on a curling 25-yard free kick in the 54th minute to make it 3-1.
Seattle increased its lead with goals by midfielder Christian Sivebaek in the 67th minute (off assists by Rosales and Estrada) and defender Leo Gonzalez' solo effort in the 71st minute.
"I thought we did a good job — it's just tough when you know you're better than the opposition," said Schmid, who said his team didn't concentrate fully in having to play a weaker-than-expected team.
Newly acquired forward Eddie Johnson traveled with the team, but did not play Wednesday having tweaking his hamstring Sunday. Estrada started instead and is the team's co-leading scorer in preseason, tied with Montero, with three goals.
"David's made big strides and I was very pleased with what he did today," said Schmid, who also commended Sivebaek, forward Sammy Ochoa and defender Adam Johansson.
As the Sounders get closer to game shape, five players played all 85 minutes (the game was called early due to darkness): goalkeeper Michael Gspurning, defender Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, midfielder Brad Evans, Rosales and Montero.
• MLS commissioner Don Garber held a "State of the League" Wednesday in Columbus. He said he thinks the league will someday have to align more with FIFA's international calendar, which plays through the winter and takes the summer off. Garber will be in Orlando next week for meetings on possible expansion and said MLS needs "to be in Florida at some point."
• Registration is open for Sounders FC summer camps, for ages 4 to 15, on the team website.