Sounders draw 3-3 as Dempsey and co. make “magic” against a Tottenham Hotspur squad that came to town
The league-leading Seattle Sounders welcomed a new 18-year old phenom to the squad as they drew 3-3 against the touring Tottenham Hotspur squad, on their preseason-friendly tour of the United States. Full video racap of the match can be found here.
Eighteen-year old Xander Bailey, through the Make-A-Wish foundation, got his dream of playing for the Sounders in this afternoons friendly, starting alongside Clint Dempsey, Obafemi Martins and DeAndre Yedlin in front of almost 60,000 screaming fans in Century Link Field.
Bailey, who suffers from cystic fibrosis, signed a two-day contract with the club, allowing him to play today. He kicked off the match and instantly cut through the defense, taking a shot in a one-on-one situation against Hotspur keeper Brad Friedel. He then came off to an even louder Century Link crowd, cheers from across all of the stadium.
Marco Pappa threatened very early, but Tottenham struck first in the friendly, with a header from a streaking Lewis Holtby popping over Sounder keeper Stefan Frei in the 11th minute.
The game continued on, very back and forth until Seattle locked the game at a 1-1 draw in the 33rd minute.
With a Seattle corner, Hotspur defender Michael Dawson put a little too much pressure on Seattle defender Chad Marshall, who was in to try and convert. The referee instantly award Seattle the chance to tie it up, awarding them the penalty kick. Gonzalo Pineda was given the shot, and converted past Friedel with a Panenka-esque shot that fooled the Tottenham keeper.
Both teams would enter the half locked at one goal apiece.
On a wave of momentum, Seattle kept constant pressure and scored only four minutes into the second half on an absolute rocket of a shot.
in the 49th minute, Oswaldo Alonso carried the ball around three Hotspur players and exploded a shot from about 30 feet and under the crossbar into the net to give the Sounders the lead early into the second half.
However, the Hotspur were relentless in pressure, taking the match right back with a penalty shot in favor of the Premier League team.
Roberto Soldado won his own penalty, taking the ball towards the net caused Marshall to overstep himself a bit, colliding with Soldado and giving the spanish striker a chance to even the match in the 54th minute.
“Seattle showed us why they’re
the top of the league.” -Brad Friedel
Soldado managed to put the ball away and even the match with a waist-high shot down the middle over a fading Frei, who dropped down and to his right, just out of reach from the shot.
Locked at two, Seattle worked to gain the lead once more.
In the 79th minute, substitute Sean Okoli carried the ball down the left side of the pitch and cut towards the net, firing a low streaking pass across the six, he met Tristan Bowen, who easily tapped the ball into the net to regain the lead once more.
In the 80th minute, Seattle found themselves on the wrong side of another penalty call, with Yedlin called for a handball inside the box, giving the Hotspur a late chance to even the game. A shot from just inside the the 18 rose up and caught an unsuspecting Ydelin in the underpart of his upper arm.
The Hotspur capitalized on the foul when another spanish Hotspur, Yago Falque, buried a low penalty strike to left of backup keeper Josh Ford, who called the placement perfectly but managed to get fingertips on the ball that ended up in the back of the net.
At the final whistle, the two teams remained at a 3-3 draw, impressing the Hotspur keeper Friedel who was quoted in saying, “Seattle showed us why they’re the top of the league.”
Seattle continues to grind on the season, taking on the LA Galaxy next week Monday in an ESPN 2 matchup.