Seattle Sounders 1, Club Necaxa 1
Seattle Starting XI: Tyler Miller; Jordy Delem, Gustav Svensson, Tony Alfaro, Nouhou Tolo; Cristian Roldan, Zach Mathers; Henry Wingo, Harry Shipp, Alvaro Fernandez; and Will Bruin.
Substitutes: Seyi Adekoya for Mathers in the 67th minute and Brian Nana-Sinkam for Delem in the 78th.
While Saturday's draw didn't count towards the Sounders' MLS record, the friendly against Club Necaxa provided valuable playing time to many young players who hit the pitch.
"I wanted to get a little bit of experience out of them," said Head Coach Brian Schmetzer, who specifically mentioned Zach Mathers, Henry Wingo, Jordy Delem and Nouhou Tolo after the match. "It's just getting them to express themselves and try and make an impact in the game."
Wingo, a midfielder from the University of Washington (UW) who the Sounders signed as a Homegrown Player in the off-season, played all 90 minutes in his fourth appearance of 2017. The rookie came off the bench in the club's first three MLS matches before the opportunity to play the entire game against Necaxa.
"Henry is so fast, sometimes I don't think he sees the opportunity to use his speed," Schmetzer said. "He needs a little bit of experience at this level...Just being able to identify opportunities when he can be dangerous...So it's a work in progress."
Schmetzer named Cristian Roldan, another UW product, Captain in the starting Sounders lineup. The decision surprised Roldan, who called wearing the Captain arm-band "a huge honor" and an added leadership role.
"Sometimes you make decisions to test people, sometimes you make decisions to reward people and sometimes you make decisions to see how people react in certain situations," Schmetzer said. "I think Cristian has the ability to be a leader on the team...I just wanted to see how he would react...and let him grow a little bit."
Midfielder Harry Shipp, who joined Jackson Felts on the first episode of Radio Cascadia Live earlier this week, talked about the value in creating chances over simply scoring goals. On Saturday night against Necaxa, Shipp made the extra pass to set up Seattle's lone goal by Alvaro Fernandez.
"We knew a few times in the game they were going to turn it over and hopefully we could create a chance off of it," Shipp said. "I was actually about to shoot and I saw [Fernandez] out of the corner out of my eye, coming around to my left, so I figured he was in a better spot...he put it away nicely."
Club Necaxa's Alejandro Diaz equalized the match with a goal in the 90th minute, however, the draw does not hurt the Sounders in any standings. If anything, Diaz's late goal can act as a lesson for the club with MLS matches resuming next Friday night as Atlanta United travels to Seattle. Kick-off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.
In Schmetzer's post-match press conference, which you can watch below, the Head Coach confirmed that Jordan Morris will return to the Sounders tomorrow after not appearing for the United States Men's National Team in Friday's 6-0 win over Honduras due to an ankle injury.
Brian Schmetzer's post-match press conference NOW! https://t.co/3kwVOMNjHR— Jackson Felts (@JacksonKJR) March 26, 2017