February 23, 2013 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - Seattle Sounders FC
TUCSON, Ariz. - Seattle Sounders FC won the 2013 FC Tucson Desert Diamond Cup with a 1-0 win over Real Salt Lake in the final at Kino Veterans Memorial Stadium on Saturday night. Alex Caskey scored the second-half game-winner as Seattle finished the tournament undefeated with four wins.
After a scoreless first half, Caskey put Seattle up in the 51st minute. After a nice long pass out of the back from Marc Burch, Sammy Ochoa poked a David Estrada pass to Caskey on the right side of the box with space. Caskey cut inside, juked a defender and hammered a left-footed shot inside the near post.
It was Caskey's second goal of the Desert Diamond Cup after scoring in a 2-0 win over New York on Wednesday. Caskey and Mario Martinez both scored two goals for Sounders FC in the tournament.
Goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann kept the clean sheet for Seattle and finished the tournament without allowing a goal in 198 minutes of play. He finished with seven saves, including five in the first half.
Hahnemann made a spectacular leaping save on an Alvaro Saborio header in the 17th minute. In the 42nd minute, he dove to his left to block a shot from Sebastian Velasquez, then scrambled to swat the rebound away from Alvaro Saborio's feet. A minute later the 40-year-old keeper made a diving save on a low shot from Kyle Beckerman.
Lamar Neagle had a several dangerous opportunities around the hour mark. First, Estrada left a ball off for him at the top of the box, but Neagle's shot was saved. A minute later, Neagle hit a swerving ball from 20 yards, forcing Nick Rimando into a tricky save.
Salt Lake nearly scored in the 82nd minute when Ned Grabavoy's shot was deflected into the crossbar before being cleared away.
The game marked the last of the preseason for Sounders FC. The Rave Green allowed just one goal in four games in the Desert Diamond Cup and finished with a plus-six goal differential (seven goals scored and one goal allowed). In six total preseason games, Seattle finished 4-1-1 and allowed just two goals.
Sounders FC opens its fifth MLS season against the Montreal Impact on Saturday, March 2. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. PT on the Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field.