Photos by Nick Danielson Captions by Toby Dunkelberg
In just their second home match of the year the Seattle Sounders welcomed Club Necaxa from Liga MX to CenturyLink Field. Both elected to field reserve heavy lineups in the friendly. Cristian Roldan in just his third year as a Sounder wore the captain’s armband for the first time.
The Sounders saw a lot of the ball early on. They controlled the majority of the possession, having the luxury to poke and prod around the Necaxa defense.
Friendlies like these are a golden opportunity for younger players. Henry Wingo made the most of it early on. He was constantly on the ball trying to make passes that there wasn’t quite room for. The vision was there but he often tried to force balls through.
Sounders left back Nouhou Tolo started to make his presence known as the first half labored on. He used his speed and his size to chase down balls and launch them into the box. Ultimately nothing came of it but it was a good showing for a player who was a fairly unknown commodity.
HALFTIME: Seattle Sounders 0 – 0 Club Necaxa
Necaxa started the second half better. In the first they struggled to gain meaningful possession in the Sounders half. But in the second they were able to slide balls in behind the midfielders to the open space on the wings.
That strategy nearly paid it’s dividends in the 56th minute. Nicolas Maturana fired off a shot from the right corner of the penalty box that bounced off the inside of the crossbar and back into play. A couple inches and Necaxa would’ve been up 1-0.
Things settled down after that both coaches elected to make substitutes. Shea Adekoya came on for the Sounders. He immediately put his speed to use, earning a corner and getting around the defense twice in his first ten minutes.
GOAL SEATTLE! Flaco taps it by Barovero for the go-ahead goal
The Sounders got their goal in the 84th minute. Harry Shipp intercepted a loose pass from Necaxa 40 yards out from goal. He dribbled the ball forward before laying it off to Flaco Fernandez. The veteran sqaured it up slotted it by Necaxa keeper Marcelo Barovero with a cheeky side footed finish to put the Sounders 1-0 up with seven minutes remaining in the match.
GOAL CLUB NECAXA! Alejandro Diaz equalizes late on
Right before the full time whistle Necaxa drew level. Isijara found the ball in space on the wing. He slide it by Nouhou on the right before putting in a low cross to Alejandro Diaz. The 67th minute substitute made no mistake as he headed it past Miller for the 90th minute equalizer. One minute later referee Tim Ford blew the whistle for full time.
FULLTIME: Seattle Sounders 1 – 1 Club Necaxa