By CALEB SONNELAND
In the second match of its preseason tour of the States, Manchester United made its dominance on the world soccer scene known with a demolition of the hosting Seattle Sounders ending at 7-0 in front of 67,052 attendees.
Despite only being on the field for 45 minutes, Wayne Rooney showed just why he is considered one of the premier strikers in the world, notching a hat trick and giving the Sounders back line a torrid night.
Rooney came on at the halftime break and it only took him six minutes to get off the mark. The Red Devil was found 10 yards out by Nani before taking a touch and smashing the ball into the roof of the net. He fizzed a left-footed shot into the far post 18 minutes later, before wrapping up the hat trick in the 72nd to put an exclamation point on his 45-minute shift.
"It was nice to score. It was a good workout, so I liked the result," said Rooney. "It's always a big thing to get your preseason under your belt, so that's the main thing."
Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid started a near identical lineup to the Starting XI that topped Colorado the week prior, a side which stood toe-to-toe with United up to halftime, earning a 0-1 difference. However, at the break, Schmid altered his squad almost completely, putting in fringe players to contest with the likes of Rooney and Park Ji-Sung. The difference between the two Sounders lineups was starkly clear as United cruised to a 6-0 second-half performance.
"You ever heard the cliché 'a game of two halves'? Hopefully, it's a learning experience, because we put some young guys out on the field in the second half.
"Everybody thinks they can play in the Premier League. They think that if they got the break, or if this had worked out or if that had worked out, I could have made it. Actually, no, you can't. You need to learn to figure it out."
The Premier League champions opened scoring early in the 15th minute when Michael nodded home an Ashley Young cross for his second goal of the preseason. Young was thrown a heavy shoulder from James Riley inside the area but the winger got his cross off, and Owen was left unmarked at the back post for a free header to make it 1-0.
Owen's replacement, Mame Biram Diouf, made it 2-0 shortly after the break after a beautiful through ball from Nani allowed the striker in behind the Sounders back line. Diouf controlled, rounded Terry Boss and cooly converted into the far side-netting in the 49th minute.
Other halftime substitutes Mame Biram Diouf, Park Ji-Sung and Gabriel Obertan registered goals in the steam rolling, with Nani and Obertan each notching two assists on the night.
"They're one of the best counter-attacking teams in the world, and we gave them all the space they needed to do what they're best at," said Keller after the game.
It wasn't all bad for Seattle, as it was able to welcome back long-time absentee O'Brian White back to action late in the game. The striker came on late but got a few touches on the ball having been out since April with a serious blood clot injury.
Lamar Neagle, James Riley, Pat Noonann and trialist Mrisho Alfani Ngassa all had good efforts on goal, but none were able to convert as Seattle was condemned to a thumping at home.
Keller has been at the center of some controversy in the build up to the MLS All Star game on July 27th. After initially getting voted onto the Starting XI, Keller then found out he was omitted from the 22-man squad by the league. However, everything has been settled and you can expect to see the shot stopper accounted for at the match.
""I'll be there," said Keller. "It worked out in the end, let's just put it that way."
What did you make of the game? Who was your Man of the Match? Is 7-0 an accurate reflection of the game?
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