Nearly set Sounders' lineup nets 2-0 victory
Brad Evans and Eddie Johnson, recent returnees from the U.S. men's national team, scored goals for the Sounders in a 2-0 exhibition victory over New England.
Seattle Times staff reporter
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Sounders FC fielded what appeared close to a first-team lineup in a 2-0 preseason victory Wednesday against the New England Revolution in its opening game of the Desert Diamond Cup in Tucson, Ariz.
Returning U.S. men's national team players Brad Evans and Eddie Johnson provided the goals. Many of Seattle's starters played at least 60 minutes with the start of the MLS season just a little more than two weeks away.
Evans opened the scoring with a penalty kick in the 27th minute after a free kick by teammate Mauro Rosales was blocked by a hand in the penalty box.
Johnson added insurance in the 45th minute, cutting in from the right side after receiving a pass from Adam Johansson and firing a left-footed shot that curled inside the far post.
Other starters for the Sounders were goalkeeper Michael Gspurning; defenders Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Djimi Traore (non-contract invitee) and Leo Gonzalez; midfielders Osvaldo Alonso and Steve Zakuani; and forward David Estrada.
Seattle recently has been without midfielder Mario Martinez, another potential starter, due to a personal matter. Traore, who has played for English club Liverpool, started his second consecutive game as a central defender and appears to be one of the leading candidates among trialists in camp to earn a contract.
Veteran Mikael Silvestre, who has played for Manchester United and Arsenal, joined camp this week and replaced Traore at halftime.
The Sounders improved to 1-1 in exhibition play after being unable to field most of their starters in the defeat last week against Portland due to international duty and widespread illness. Seattle's next game in the four-team tournament is Saturday against Real Salt Lake.
The game Wednesday was feisty as there were 25 fouls, six yellow cards (five by the Sounders) and a red card apiece.
There could have been more ejections as Alonso appeared to avoid punishment for a rash tackle that resulted in a sprained ankle for New England's Chris Tierney.
The Revolution outshot Seattle 15-4. Gspurning and Marcus Hahnemann combined for five saves in the shutout.
• Reign FC will hold a two-week training camp in Japan next month that includes three exhibition games.
• Game tickets for the Sounders Women went on sale Wednesday.
Joshua Mayers: 206-464-3184 or firstname.lastname@example.org