February 21, 2013 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - Seattle Sounders FC
TUCSON, Ariz. - Alex Caskey and Mario Martinez each scored goals as Sounders FC (3-0-0, 9 points), defeated the New York Red Bulls (0-2-1, 1 point), 2-0, in the Desert Diamond Cup. Seattle will play Real Salt Lake in the tournament's final on Saturday night at 5 p.m. PT on NBC Sports Network.
In the 36th minute, Travis Bowen's shot was saved by New York keeper Luis Robles, but Caskey picked up the rebound and converted from a tough angle to put Seattle up, 1-0.
Martinez doubled the lead in the 78th minute when he converted a 20-yard volley from the top of the box. Mauro Rosales' cross was deflected into the air and fell right to Martinez, who netted his second goal in just two games this preseason.
Sounders FC started a reserve lineup, with the staring unit coming on in the 63th minute. The starters are expected to start in Friday's preseason friendly against Veracruz.
The Rave Green were able to create chances with both lineups. In the 29th minute, Lamar Neagle took the ball into the box on the left side, but his shot was saved point blank by Robles. In the 41st minute, Bowen sent a cross to Sammy Ochoa at the top of the box, but the striker's volley was saved. In the 75th minute, Steve Zakuani blew by his defender on the left side and sent a cross to the far post, but Rosales' header went wide.
Marcus Hahnemann, who played the first 62 minutes of the game, was strong between the posts for Sounders FC. In the 28th minute, he intercepted a dangerous New York cross and made crucial saves in the 31st, 35th, and 45th minutes.
Seattle finishes the Desert Diamond Cup group stage as the only unbeaten team. Real Salt Lake clinched a spot in the final with a 3-2 win over New England earlier Wednesday.
Before Saturday's final, Sounders FC will face Mexican side Veracruz on Friday night at 6 p.m. PT to prepare for the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal matchup with Tigres UANL.