Of all the interesting things, this one came out of the blue — The Seattle Sounders announced today that they have formed a world-class beach soccer team to take part in the inaugural Beach Soccer Club World Cup.
And you guessed it: the event will take place in Sao Paulo, Brazil, from March 20 to March 27.
There will be no Fredy Montero, Osvaldo Alonso or Steve Zakuani prancing or dancing in the white sands on sun-kissed Brazilian beaches. This is a funky venture that is really about promoting the Sounders brand to a potential global audience and scout Brazilian players.
The Sounders are the sole U.S. representative for the tournament. Seattle will be joining teams from FC Barcelona (Spain), AC Milan (Italy), Sporting (Portugal), Boca Juniors (Argentina), Lokimotiv Moscow (Russia) and Brazilian clubs Corinthians, Flamengo and Vasco de Gama.
“This represents an opportunity for Sounders FC in a globally recognized championship competition supported by other world renowned club brands such as AC Milan, FC Barcelona and Boca Juniors, among others,” said Adrian Hanauer, Seattle owner and general manager. “It gives us an unique opportunity to present ourselves to the international soccer community.”
Chris Henderson, former U.S. international midfielder and now the Sounders technical director, will serve as the team delegate for Seattle. Henderson participated in the 1995 Beach World Cup.
Henderson said he will be meeting with several key Brazilian player agencies (Traffic Sports and Golden Goal Sports) in continuing efforts to develop relationships that could lead to buying some Brazilian players.
“Its a great opportunity to look at players for the Sounders,” Henderson said. “Its also great for our team and the brand there.”
In a special draft held in Sao Paulo, Sounders FC built its roster by selecting the following players: Zak Ibsen (USA), Yuri Morales (USA), Francisco Cati (Mexico), Morgan Plata (Mexico), Francisco Henriquez (El Salvador), Nico Jung (Switzerland), Ali Karimi (United Arab Emirates) and Francis Farberhoff (USA). Coaching the squad will be Marcelo Mendes of Brazil.
Seattle v Houston
The Seattle Sounders came from behind to secure a 2-2 draw with the Houston Dynamo in their second training game in Orlando Tuesday.
Sounders FC, 2-2-2 in preseason, got help from Montero and rookie defender Michael Tetteh. Both scored second-half goals to lead the Sounders to a respectable outcome. The teams played two 45-minute halves with numerous lineup changes to continue to build players’ match fitness.
After falling behind 2-0 in the first half, Montero converted a penalty kick and Tetteh added a second goal in the final 45 minutes. Montero got Seattle on the board in the 62nd minute, according to Sounders’ reports. OBrian White earned the penalty after he was taken down in the box and Montero stepped up and buried the penalty kick.
Montero nearly scored in the 41st minute but his volley bounced off the bottom of the crossbar and spun off the goal line.
Tetteh, Seattles top pick in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft, scored the equalizer in the 70th minute, according to reports. Tetteh raced up the middle of the field and, after exchanging passes with Roger Levesque, put the ball past Dynamo goalkeeper Tyler Deric. Tetteh, playing at left back, scored his first goal as a Sounder and Levesque, playing at right midfielder, was credited with the assist.
Former USL Sounder Cam Weaver put Houston ahead with a goal in the 11th minute when Geoff Cameron found him at the back post, according to reports. Houston extended its lead in the 57th minute when a Francisco Navas Cobo corner kick was headed by Brian Ching, another former USL Sounder, and the ball deflected off a Seattle defender and into the net.
Rookie goalkeeper Josh Ford jumped off his line to stop a Jason Garey shot in the 81st minute and made a handful of other saves in the second half.
Its good that we came back from 2-0 down but I thought in the first half we actually played some pretty good soccer,” coach Sigi Schmid said. “I thought we created some good opportunities.
“Theres always a point in every game where youre not going to dominate the game, where the other team is going to get it and right now what were doing is we are giving up goals in those periods of time,” Schmid said. “Weve just got to be able to eliminate that and weve got to work on defending set pieces.”
- Sounders FC returns to Bradenton, Fla. Tuesday night and will train at IMG Soccer Academy at 7 a.m. Wednesday.
- The Sounders will face the University of Central Florida Thursday at 1 p.m. in their next training game.