Sounders and Tottenham play to entertaining draw



Friendlies between MLS and English Premier League teams are always judged by whether they entertain and whether the American side holds its own against an inherently more prestigious opponent.

By those and most any standards, Saturday’s 3-3 draw between the Seattle Sounders and Tottenham Hotspur in front of 55,349 at CenturyLink Field certainly succeeded.

Iago Falque capped the scoring in the 82nd minute, equalizing for Tottenham after referee Ted Unkel whistled DeAndre Yedlin for a handball in the penalty area. It was the third penalty Unkel awarded on the afternoon.

Second-half substitute Djimi Traore earned a great look on a stoppage-time side volley, but slapped his shot off the FieldTurf and over goalkeeper Brad Friedel’s crossbar.

Seattle dominated most of the first half, but Lewis Holtby opened the scoring in just the 10th minute, splitting Seattle’s central defenders and easily beating goalkeeper Stefan Frei for the 1-0 lead.

Unkel awarded the Sounders the first penalty of the match after defender Michael Dawson climbed over Chad Marshall on a 33rd-minute corner kick. Gonzalo Pineda equalized with a so-called Panenka, chipping Friedel down the center of goal to tie the match 1-1.

Tottenham coach Mauricio Pochettino made seven halftime substitutions, but Osvaldo Alsonso restored the Sounders lead in the 49th-minute with a 30-yard wonder strike that scraped the underside of the crossbar and ricocheted past a helpless Friedel.

Seattle’s lead was once again short-lived, however. Just six minutes later Roberto Soldado converted a penalty kick after picking up a foul on Marshall in the area.

Late substitute Tristan Bowen briefly put the Sounders back up in the 79th minute, tapping home a low cross from Homegrown Player Sean Okoli for the 3-2 lead.

Eighteen-year-old Xander Bailey, signed to a one-day contract on Friday, kicked off the game for the Sounders and quickly forced Friedel into his first save of the match.

Looking forward, Seattle is off until hosting the LA Galaxy on July 28. Tottenham visits Toronto FC on Wednesday and the Chicago Fire next weekend.

Here are the match highlights:

This entry was posted in European Soccer, Major League Soccer, MLS- Seattle Sounders. Bookmark the permalink.

42 Responses to Sounders and Tottenham play to entertaining draw

  1. Shawn says:

    Dempsey was a beast. Although its spurs first gam e this season this shows MLS’s improvement

    • quozzel says:

      Spurs were outplayed pretty much throughout. Got 2 PK’s, second one especially was kind of soft.

      It was interesting, though, when Seattle went to the bench, the subs kept on keeping on, not the usual off-the-cliff dropoff you usually see when MLS teams do this kind of friendly. Young guys look good for the Sounders.

      • Troy in his apartment says:

        Yeah Bowen can barely see the pitch unless its the reserves and he would be a regular in the 18 for most clubs and start for a couple. Okoli is one to keep an eye on. Its hard for him to break through with Seattle’s front line of great players and then solid veteran depth. He could be a gem. The very few minutes he has gotten, he has impressed.

        Seattle has four young guys I would say to watch out for in the coming years….Okoli, Remick, Kovar, and when he signs Jordan Morris (National U-18 POTY two years ago now)….plus Darwin Jones. Chris Henderson and Adrian Hanauer deserve a lot of credit with their eye for talent and roster development

  2. Ivan says:

    Did they play on the abomination of a turf or did they put real grass?

    Sounders need to sort the playing surface asap.

    Football is not mean to be played on fake turf!

    • DB says:

      Gonna be tough to do as long as they share a facility with the Seahawks.

    • James says:

      Yawn. This argument is so stale. First of all, football is called soccer here. Ironically, football, in the American sense, IS apparently meant to be played on fake turf, therein lies the problem at CenturyLink. It’s also no coincidence that all of the PNW teams have turf.

      It’s funny that some people are so fixated on this when you don’t hear the players complain about it. I’d argue that Seattle, Portland and Vancouver play some of the most attractive soccer in the league. But as they say, haters gonna hate.

      • Nico C. says:

        No. Seattle, Portland, and Vancouver play attractive soccer because they have outstanding coaches. Imagine how amazing they can play if they could play on real grass.

        And we shouldn’t stop arguing about the turf war. If, according to Garber, MLS wants to be one of the best leagues in the world along with Premier League and La Liga, turf is embarrassing. He needs to put a sanction on these clubs and give them a timeline to either stop playing in a football stadium and/or get a stadium with grass. And you know why he hasn’t? Because Cascadia and Arthur Blank (Atlanta) have political clout, and Cascadia makes money for the league. That’s the only reason why. Realistically, thanks to Century Link, Dempsey’s expiration date as a player is probably going to be reduced by a couple of years. Sports medicine shows study after study that turf damages the human body over time.

        Does Bundesliga, Ligue 1, etc play on turf? No. That’s where we want to strive, right? Hell, I don’t even think J-League plays on turf.

        • bigpeepee says:

          didn’t you hear Blatter or some other FIFA official say that the turf technology that is in development right now will likely lead to the spread of turf throughout other leagues, and may even be used at the world cup one day. That new turf technology is leap years ahead of whats currently being used

          • THomas says:

            ‘Leap years’ made me Lol

          • Adi in Oregon says:

            Your comment about FIFA, Blatter & turf gives me an opportunity to add a somewhat unrelated opinion which I already stated on SBI. If FIFA really wants to have a significant affect on world peace and justice (besides their many efforts to reduce racial hatred), then it should change the 2018 WC location. It should MOVE the 2018 WC from Russia to the US (it would have the most impact) as a world wide protest to the gunning down of the Malaysian civilian airliner (a war crime)! If FIFA objects, we can then take the further step of boycotting the 2018 WC in Russia with our USNMT.

            • Twomilerule says:

              Adi, I completely agree! However, do not make it a government decision but a player and futbol federation decision organize the federations and players for a boycott of FIFA. Then pressure the sponsors and massively inform the ticket buying public. Prior to the Malaysian Airline being shot down my thoughts were more towards boycotting the WC in Qatar. On the obvious grounds of corruption, bribes, human rights, and something not discussed much is the amount of third party funding of terrorist through Qatar banks.

              • Adi in Oregon says:

                2mile, glad to see that you agree with my main point about moving the 2018 WC from Russia! I believe the WC can’t solve all the evils in the world. However, governments, FIFA, sports organizations, sponsors, players, sports fans, etc. should stand together to meaningfully protest war crimes committed on civilians and children.

          • USAEVERTON1 says:

            Yes, but I thought that after Blatter said it the “this is a paid endorsement” language followed. Sure that if FIFA, or some within the organization, get $$$ turf will be mandatory for all clubs. Just imagine WC games in Qatar on turf!!!!!

        • Me says:

          Your claim that “sports medicine” shows turf damages the body is a fallacy. Lets see these so called studies.

          Also, Portland had real grass; their ownership installed field turf during the remodel that led to their joining the league.

          I highly doubt that Vancouver or Seattle will switch surfaces any time soon. At least in Seattle’s case, the field doesn’t see enough direct sunlight to dry out the field and make the grass grow with the Sounders and Seahawks playing on the surface. Perhaps time will develop the technology to make it work, but don’t expect changes anytime soon.

          • Nico C. says:

            “Nordic Football Injury Report” study by British Journal of Medicine – Aug 2013 states that clubs with artificial turf at their home venue had higher injury rates than clubs with grass. Look it up.

            “Incidence and risk factor for Injuries to the Anterior Cruciate Ligament in NCAA” from American Journal of Sports Medicine from May 2012 – links turf to ACL injuries in football.

            Just stop denying the fact that turf = higher injuries is a fallacy. It’s not. Let’s see what happens to Dempsey at Russia 2018 and you’ll see.

            • KingGoogleyEye says:

              Nico C.,

              You might also be interested in a review by Williams JH, et al. “A Meta-Analysis of Soccer Injuries on Artificial Turf and Natural Grass.” Journal of Sports Medicine, 2013. The authors essentially conclude that there isn’t enough data yet to reach any broad conclusions. (Kinda dissatisfying results, but them’s the breaks.)

              While it is true that the study you mentioned, “Nordic Football Injury Report,” concluded that, “clubs with [artificial turf] at their home venue had higher rates of…injuries compared to clubs that play home matches on [natural grass],” the authors also note that, “[a]t the individual player level, no significant differences were found.”

              How do you make sense of that? The authors suggested possible differences in climate and/or club finances as contributing factors—factors they did not control for in their study. They also didn’t control for shoe types, which play a huge role in surface frictional forces.

              It’s also interesting that “this increased injury rate for AT clubs was evident on both playing surfaces, and it is thus unlikely that
              this can be attributed to high AT exposure per se.” To make sense of this, the authors suggest that, “Since there were fewer AT clubs than NG clubs in this cohort, players from AT clubs had to alternate between surfaces more often…. It is possible that such frequent shifts between surfaces could lead to a greater load.”

              In other words: artificial turf is not the culprit. Or, in yet other words: if everyone switched to AT, then everyone would be okay.

              Well, at least that’s one reasonable takeaway from the article you cited.

              But one totally unreasonable takeaway is what you concluded: “Just stop denying the fact that turf = higher injuries is a fallacy. It’s not.” The study doesn’t support you.

              • Nico C. says:

                Very good points. Most studies general do conclude the following though: more research needs to be done. You’re right, there needs to be more data and more long term research to see whether or not there are actual effects. But I was trying to make a point to the commenter previously: Cascadia region plays attractive soccer because they have great coaches who know how to deal with turf.

                And turf is beyond injuries as well: ball movement and bounce, aesthetic of the field, giving all MLS teams an equal footing. Wouldn’t you rather have all clubs use grass? Or is there something that I’m not getting that we should invest in turf technology? (It’s an honest question I’m asking.)

              • Increase0 says:

                If yall want, you can look at injury rates on Tennis court surfaces. If i remember correctly grass is the lowest and clay was strangely okay too.

              • KingGoogleyEye says:

                Nico C.

                “Wouldn’t you rather have all clubs use grass?”

                Fair question. The simple answer is: YES!

                The reality, however, is that not every team manages their grass surfaces well. If every grass field matched Camp Nou’s then that’d be great. Few grass surfaces accomplish that. They range from excellent, to good, to bad, to horrible. Just saying, “Grass is better,” is too simplistic.

                Take for example the MLS final last year. They played on “grass” that, due to severe cold, was more a frozen tundra. Players sliding all over, sloppy play, etc. It was horrible to watch—had they played on artificial turf, they wouldn’t have had that problem.

                So the real answer to your question is: Yes, I would like for all teams to play on nice grass, but for those who have terrible grass fields (and there are a lot of them) I’d rather they upgrade to artificial turf.

          • Twomilerule says:

            The last time Portland had real grass it was laid over turf in 1999.
            However, a majority of the WC fields where played on grass seed from the state of Oregon.

            • RAMONE says:

              Was going to reply the same thing. The stadium once had sod which was redone with regularity due to the roof not allowing enough light (the grass died), the poor drainage of a field sitting essentially on the water table (it is dug in 2+ stories below ground level) and the constant moisture falling October through June.

              Yes, temporary grass was brought in for the women’s WC (summer / early fall in 1999 and 2003) and a USMNT qualifier against Costa Rica in 1997. Modern turf (field turf) was put in during the remodel in 2001. Prior to that it was old style “Astro-turf” which is the surface most people who complain about “turf” related injuries these days are referring to … something an entire generation of players know absolutely nothing about (essentially 1/4-1/2 inch thick Scotch Brite pad over concrete with no rubber / sand fill).

              I get the aesthetic complaint, I really do (no, it does not play exactly like real grass – but it is much, much closer than the artificial surfaces of the 50s-early 90s. Multiple studies have shown no injury difference on modern fields because they do give and you can slide (unlike the old surfaces which literally gripped rubber on shoe soles so when you planted if there was any lateral force on the knee or ankle it was all borne by the joint rather than what happens on newer surfaces and grass which gives so the foot slides (sure, you can still blow out a knee or ankle on grass).

              For me, the only thing that makes any of these stadiums truly ugly is obvious NFL/CFB/CFL markings and the reality of every one of these team’s situation is they are years, probably decades away from having the wherewithal to build their own stadiums (to get away from grass field – particularly when wet and muddy – destroying American Football) and to have the probable couple hundred million to invest in grow lights and drainage systems or retrofit of the stadium to allow a tray system like the stadium in Phoenix.

              You can all complain as much as you like, but let me assure you that a waterlogged, dead, muddy grass field is certainly not a better option than Field Turf or Tartan Turf.

              • Troy in his apartment says:

                Exactly it isnt that it rains a bunch in measurable amounts compared to places like New York and other places that arent known for rain (that actually get more than Seattle/Portland) it taht it rains consecutively for a long time…Just a drizzle mind you but its the long term saturation that is the problem. Essentially there is two months of free time on Clink field in Feb. and March. After that its soccer and football being played.

                We have seen how overused grass fields can turn to much in this country. Its just isnt feasible.

                Portlands turf is actually pretty well thought of. Our turf in Seattle is crap but the Seahawks dont want to change it every year like they should to help soccer matches play better.

        • KingGoogleyEye says:

          “Does Bundesliga, Ligue 1, etc play on turf? No.”

          Actually, yes.

          FC Lorient (Ligue 1) and AS Nancy (Ligue 1 until just recently) both play on artificial turf. A few other teams in other (lower) Euro leagues also play on artificial turf.

          • Andy in Atlanta says:

            Well done KGE. I like you wish all the games were played on natural grass but it is not realistic in some places. Also the turf technologies have advanced a long way from even 5 years ago. Truer bounces, rolls and softer under the feet…in some cases better to run on than hard pan stuff in Houston…

            • beachbum says:

              all true on the new fields, but even Sigi has ripped on Century Link’s lousy soccer turf

              • KingGoogleyEye says:

                Century Link’s turf is atrocious. But the Seahawks like it that way.

                The solution is for the Sounders to get a roll-away artificial turf that can be switched out for football or soccer: the Seahawks would have their short, crushed stuff, and the Sounders would have their long, soft stuff.

          • frank from santiago says:

            KingGoogleyEye…..”Century Link’s turf is atrocious. But the Seahawks like it that way”.
            just wondering, is it the mgnt., or did the the actual players and coaches come out and say they like it that way?

            • OwnGoal says:

              Yes. Pointy ball players prefer a turf designed for running. Ball bounces are irrelevant. Seattle turf sucks @$$, because NFL makes more money, and they pick the turf.
              Portland turf is one of the best in the world for soccer. The only football played their is Portland State division III. So it is a soccer turf and many players love it. Theirry Henri says he loves it.

            • RAMONE says:

              There is even a baseball version where the turf lays down (and a different texture for the “brown turf” infield built for running and sliding). The local A team plays on the stuff (the only real dirt is the pitcher’s mound and around home plate. Back when Providence Park had field turf and AAA baseball, it was all matted down with the blades pointed toward the outfield (this makes the baseball bounce straighter and carry further toward the fence if it hits the ground). It was pretty awful for soccer (but still better than the unfilled, unbladed, hard carpet that was the first generations of artificial turf (something that anyone currently under 25 probably never played on unless they were a really little kid).

        • quozzel says:

          Whole lotta J-league teams play in what amounts to indoor stadiums – all turf. Land is at a premium in Japan; they wedge their stadiums in wherever they can.

  3. Also tonight, NASL’s Minnesota United beat Swansea 2-0.

  4. Billy says:

    Didnt see any mention that it was media star Yedlin’s hand ball that cost Seattle the win. He also played a more down to earth game full of being beat and stripped. Not terrible but definitely not a WC quality game. Just saying, the kid is fast but also has a long way to go as a player. He did deliver a few quality crosses

    • Brian says:

      What game were you watching?? There was nothing he could do about that handball, and I’ve seen that exact play let go many times. Also, he had a pretty good game, if that’s a bad game for him then he is definitely top European league ready.

    • reignman says:

      Hard to blame Yedlin for that penalty, those types of things happen to defenders from time to time, he just needs to tuck his hands in better. He had a strong game overall though

    • Shawn says:

      troll much? billy you need to watch more soccer

    • Troy in his apartment says:

      If that is a bad game for Yedlin then teams should be lining up because he did fine. The handball or ball to hand whatever you will call it was just one of those things that happen. He actually made Fryers his B!tch a couple times and had a sublime cross that very few could make especially in America from deep on the wing right to Neagle’s head who didnt put it away. That was between two Premier league defenders as well . Kaboul and I forgot the other one

  5. beachbum says:

    Xander Bailey…thanks for mentioning that Jason. awesome moment

  6. Mike says:

    Just once, it would be nice if English teams came over here and didn’t complain about one thing or the other. It’s a friendly, we understand you’re in your preseason. Just shut up already about field conditions, weather, and fitness. I remember Terry complaining about the grass being too long. Bunch of whiners.

    • Roberto says:

      Agreed . Plus they come here cause they need too as a club ($$) and make good money so really ….shut up and play your best and most professional….Like Mr. Friedel the formidable keeper and legend and “the different one” Clint Clint …

  7. FRANK says:


    • Troy in his apartment says:

      Roma is out according to No Short Corners. They wanted to pay 4.2 million and we want 7 million. I have a feeling teams are taking care of major needs. Im talking high level clubs by the way and they will call once they do most their spending,

      Im calling Liverpool for 9 million once the bidding gets going