As the start of the MLS season nears, Sounders FC’s reserves and training camp hopefuls had one of their last chances to make an influential impression in Sunday’s exhibition against the College of Charleston.
Many made the most of it against an overmatched opponent, cruising to a 5-0 win behind four second-half goals as Seattle improved to 5-0-1 in preseason.
Veteran defender Zach Scott opened the scoring in the first half with a header off a corner kick, followed by tallies from homegrown player Sean Okoli, midfielder Tristan Bowen, forward David Estrada and unsigned rookie Fabio Pereira, a fourth-round draft pick.
Okoli, a 21-year-old Federal Way native, had also set up the winning goal Saturday by drawing a late penalty kick against the Charleston Battery in the Carolina Challenge Cup. He has played at least a part in four goals in Seattle’s last three preseason games. Pereira, a University of Michigan product, has two goals this preseason, tied for the team lead with forward Obafemi Martins and unsigned camp invitee Kevin Parsemain.
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Midfielder Alex Caskey helped set up two goals Sunday and homegrown player Aaron Kovar, a 20-year-old Seattle native, also played a vital playmaking role as a second-half substitute for defender Leo Gonzalez.
Gonzalez, the team’s Defender of the Year from 2013, played 45 minutes, his first action of preseason after offseason groin surgery. Two fellow defenders weren’t able to play due to injury: DeAndre Yedlin has a mild ankle sprain (though coach Sigi Schmid told the team website he would have been able to play in a meaningful game) and Djimi Traore was out with an unspecified ailment.
Goalkeeper Josh Ford saved a penalty kick en route to the shutout.
Seattle’s next game is in the Carolina Challenge Cup against the Houston Dynamo at 2 p.m. Wednesday.
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