Jordan Morris scores twice, including in the second minute, over the United Soccer League team in Sacramento.
Jordan Morris got things started early and finished late as the Sounders posted a 3-1 win over United Soccer League squad Sacramento Republic FC in their final preseason match Thursday night in California.
Morris caught a break in just the second minute when a loose ball bounded straight to him inside the box after a poor clearance by Sacramento defenders. He shifted it from his left foot to his right and buried a shot top shelf behind the goalkeeper.
It would also be Morris starting off a second Sounders goal in the 28th minute, moving the ball nicely up along the left flank with Nicolas Lodeiro. From there, Lodeiro sent a long, high cross into the box that Shoreline product Henry Wingo hammered home with a right-footed, midair strike to the near post.
Then, with the Sounders leading 2-1 late in the second half, Seattle product Seyi Adekoya fed Morris a nifty pass that he drilled into the back of the net from 12 yards out for his second goal of the night.
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Sacramento had halved the 2-0 halftime deficit fewer than two minutes into the second half as Christian Eissele headed a ball in behind Stefan Frei. An initial cross to the box ricocheted off Sounders defender Tony Alfaro and then struck Eissele’s head before finding the back of the net. Sacramento pressed from there and nearly notched the equalizer before Morris scored his insurance marker.
Morris was featured up high as the team’s lone striker in the team’s favored 4-2-3-1 formation. The Sounders have also deployed two strikers in a 4-4-2 diamond formation for much of the preseason, but forwards Will Bruin and Clint Dempsey both played earlier in a Thursday morning scrimmage and were not available for the Sacramento game.
The Sounders also started newcomer Jordan McCrary, signed this week from Toronto FC II, at the right back position. McCrary is officially the team’s backup at that spot, but it remains to be seen how much playing time he actually gets there with starter Kelvin Leerdam likely to miss a few weeks with an ankle sprain.
The team also has veteran Waylon Francis capable of filling in at right back, though he’s left-footed and mainly a left back. Gustav Svensson can also play right back, but might be needed at center back next week with veteran Roman Torres slated to miss the team’s CONCACAF Champions League game in El Salvador against Santa Tecla.
Torres has been dealing with a leg issue since the start of the preseason and the team is brining him along slowly given the short offseason.
The Sounders arrive in El Salvador next Tuesday ahead of Thursday’s first Champions League clash. They return to face Santa Tecla on March 1 at CenturyLink Field before opening the MLS regular season there three days later against the new Los Angeles FC expansion franchise.