Sounders FC plays to scoreless draw vs. Mexican squad
The Sounders played to a 0-0 tie Friday against Mexico's Veracruz, a preseason exhibition designed to help prepare Seattle for the CONCACAF Champions League.
Seattle Times staff reporter
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Sounders FC trotted out its starters for the final time in the exhibition season Friday, and they played to a 0-0 tie with Veracruz of the Mexican second division.
The match in Tucson, Ariz., was designed to help Seattle prepare for the style of play of Tigres UANL, the leaders of the Mexican first division, in advance of an upcoming CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal series March 6 and 12.
The Sounders, who allowed Veracruz to replace a player after a red card, earned their third shutout in five preseason games but were also held without a goal for the second time.
Forward Eddie Johnson had a great scoring chance in the seventh minute, but his shot bounced off the post, tiptoed on the goal line and didn't cross in, according to the referees.
Midfielder Steve Zakuani had an opportunity in the 19th minute saved by goalkeeper Yoin Urbina.
Veracruz, nicknamed the Red Sharks, had two great chances late in the game, but both were stopped spectacularly by Seattle goalkeeper Michael Gspurning in the 78th and 84th minutes.
The Sounders featured a lineup that could be their starting unit to start the season — barring one injury absence. Regular right back Adam Johansson was out with a slight knee strain (he should OK next week) and was replaced by 19-year-old homegrown product DeAndre Yedlin.
The other defenders in front of Gspurning were veterans Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Zach Scott and Leo Gonzalez.
Starting midfielders alongside Zakuani were Osvaldo Alonso, Brad Evans and Mario Martinez. Mauro Rosales started at forward with Johnson.
Seattle concludes preseason action against Real Salt Lake in the championship game of the Desert Diamond Cup at 5 p.m. Saturday. The final of the preseason tournament will be broadcast on the NBC Sports Network and should feature mainly reserves for the Sounders.
• Sounders FC coach Sigi Schmid referred to rookie defender Dylan Remick last week as someone the team "definitely" wanted to keep. Seattle signed the second-round pick Friday. Terms were not disclosed.
• Limited tickets are available for the Sounders' March 2 home opener versus Montreal.
• Reign FC will hold open tryouts March 8-10 from 1-3 p.m. at the Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila. Details are available on the team website.
Joshua Mayers: 206-464-3184 or firstname.lastname@example.org