5. Sounders beat Sacramento Republic FC 6-2
The Seattle Sounders’ 6-2 win over Sacramento Republic FC on Wednesday afternoon was no surprise, given that their opponent plays in the second level of the USL Championship. However, there were still some key points to take away from the 120-minute, closed-door scrimmage at CenturyLink Field.
The first thing that jumped out was how smoothly recent signing Joao Paulo slotted into his central midfield role, with his exquisite range of passing all over the field. This was best highlighted by the 40-yard pinpoint ball he played down the right-wing to Kelvin Leerdam, who squared the ball for Jordan Morris to slot home at the far post and make it 3-0.
Sticking on the subject of the right-wing, this is where Cristian Roldan is projected to play this season after the addition of Paulo. It will be interesting to see how Roldan performs in his new role after being so successful last season in the center, but he appeared comfortable enough thanks to his ability and experience, as he linked well with Leerdam down the right.
The final point to note was the center-back pairing of Xavier Arreaga with the recently acquired Shane O’Neill. The partnership continues to develop, although it will be interesting to see how much the duo play together, especially when considering our next takeaway…