[MLS] Seattle got its first goals and first shutout of its preseason visit to Spain in a 2-0 victory over Norwegian club Stabaek Sunday in the La Manga Cup.
Freddie Ljungberg assisted on goals by Fredy Montero and Roger Levesque 12 minutes apart in the first half and despite nine player changes, including the entire back line, after halftime the Sounders held off Stabaek.
Coach Sigi Schmid believed the Sounders hadn’t been crisp enough nor aggressive enough in their La Manga opener, a 3-0 loss to Rosenborg BK, and his players responded in those areas. “That was something we talked about,” said Schmid to the team’s Web site. “We didn’t think our movement off the ball was very good in the first game. We didn’t think our endeavor was always very good either. We wanted to address those two things and I thought it was much better.”
Ljungberg sparked numerous opportunities in his 60 minutes of play. To set up the first goal in the 30th minute, he found space on the right wing and ran onto a pass from Oswaldo Alonso to play a ball across goal that Montero tapped into the net.
“It demonstrated our patience as well,” Ljungberg said. “He could’ve shot it if he wanted to but he passed it and soon it was scored in the net. I think that’s the way it should be played, but for me it showed we were patient in the team on that specific goal.”
Seattle nearly scored again four minutes later when Ljungberg ran onto another ball from Alonso but his shot missed the target. The second goal came in the 43rd minute when Levesque darted to the near post to head home Ljungberg’s inswinging corner kick.
“I got in right place at the right time and Freddie whipped a great ball, as he usually does and I found the back of the net,” said Levesque, who along with goalie Kasey Keller were the only Sounders to play the full game even though a leg injury forced him off the field for a few minutes.
“He’s a pretty tough customer,” Schmid said of Levesque. “He gets out there and takes care of business, and he’s always one who will do whatever he can to help the team. I tried to explain to him to stay up front, but it’s sort of tough to tell Roger not to work. He just gets on the field and starts working.”
The Sounders play a training game on Wednesday before they finish La Manga Cup play with a placement match on Thursday.
Feb. 21 in Murcia, Spain
Seattle 2, Stabaek IF 0. Goals: Montero (Ljungberg, Alonso) 31, Levesque (Ljungberg) 43.
Seattle -- Keller, Riley (Scott 60), Hurtado (Wallace 60), Marshall (Parke 46), Gonzalez (Wahl 46), Estrada (Neagle 60), Alonso (King 60), Sturgis (Vagenas 46), Levesque, Ljungberg (Zakuani 60), Montero (Tye Perdido 60).
Stabaek IF -- Knudsen, Hedenstad, Skjonsberg, Onsted (Nannskog 46), Eriksson, Diskerud (Marius Gromstad 46), Palmason, Hauger (Diogo 46), Farnerud, Hoff (Skjrlvik 68), Gunnarson (Tomerness 68).
Seattle Sounders-Stabaek Highlights: