The Sounders improved to 4-0-1 in preseason Saturday after a late penalty kick by Brad Evans gave Seattle a 2-1 win in the Carolina Challenge Cup against the tournament host Charleston Battery.

The winning goal was set up in the 88th minute when homegrown product Sean Okoli, a second-half substitute from Federal Way, was fouled on a nice run into the penalty box. Evans, who is 7 for 7 in PKs for Seattle in regular-season games, calmly finished the spot kick to the right.

The Sounders had opened the scoring in the 25th minute when midfielder Osvaldo Alonso brought the ball down off his chest and fired a tremendous 24-yard volley into the top corner of the net. Alonso, who starred for the Battery in 2008, did not celebrate the highlight-reel goal out of respect to his former team.

The blast marked the second Seattle goal this preseason from outside the penalty box after the team scored only one such goal the entire 2013 regular season.

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Charleston equalized in the 28th minute when defender Colin Falvey got on the end of a loose ball in the Sounders penalty box and fired a shot past goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann.

The Sounders, whose four preseason wins have been by the same score, play an exhibition Sunday against the College of Charleston. Seattle’s next game in the tournament is Wednesday against the Houston Dynamo.

Many of the Sounders’ starters played a full 90 minutes for the first time Saturday.

Charleston started a few notable players in midfielder Michael Azira, who has been in preseason camp with Seattle, ex-Sounder Amadou Sanyang and defender Taylor Mueller, a Sammamish native and University of Washington product.

D.C. United beat the Dynamo 2-0 in the other Carolina Challenge Cup game.


Clint Dempsey has been unavailable for three straight games in his loan with Fulham of the English Premier League. He has one game remaining, March 1 against Chelsea, plus a potential March 5 exhibition with the U.S. national team in the Ukraine, before returning to the Sounders.

• Veteran midfielder Shalrie Joseph, who is under contract with Seattle but not in the team’s plans, has joined the training camp of New England. The Sounders are expected to either work out a trade or buy out Joseph’s contract before the start of the season.

Joshua Mayers: 206-464-3184


On Twitter @joshuamayers