CARSON, CALIF. – Sounders FC midfielder Alex Caskey stepped onto the pitch in the 61st minute Saturday with Seattle trailing by a goal.
Seconds later, he did something about that, assisting David Estrada for a goal that pulled the Sounders even on their way to a 1-1 draw with Chivas USA at Home Depot Center.
The Goats had moved ahead in the 58th minute, when former Sounders defender James Riley launched a diagonal pass about 7 yards in front of the Seattle goal. Just before goalkeeper Bryan Meredith could get there, Chivas’ Juan Agudelo got his head to the ball and snapped it into the net.
About three minutes later, Sounders coach Sigi Schmid sent Caskey on as a substitute for Alvaro Fernandez. And Caskey instantly made his presence known, taking a pass from Fredy Montero just outside the corner of the penalty area and sending it on to Estrada, who one-touched the ball past Chivas goalkeeper Dan Kennedy.
“It was a great time coming on,” Caskey said in a television interview after the game. “I was just hoping to come on and be dynamic and make a difference. Being down a goal, just doing whatever I can to help us tie the game.”
The goal moved Estrada into the Sounders’ goals lead with five and moved Caskey into the club assists lead with three.
The result also extended Seattle’s road unbeaten streak to 10 games – two short of the MLS record.
The club now takes a break from MLS play until June 16, when it visits Montreal.
However, the Sounders return to action Wednesday when they begin defense of their U.S. Open Cup title against the Atlanta Silverbacks at Starfire Sports Stadium in Tukwila.
The original tournament draw had assigned that match to be played in Georgia, and if that had remained the case, the Sounders would have flown from Los Angeles to Atlanta today.
However, Sounders FC purchased the right to host that game, and therefore the team will fly home today instead.
““I like Atlanta,” Schmid said. “It’s probably a nice city. My brother used to live there. But we weren’t looking forward to having to go there on Sunday. It’s a lot of miles. It’s nice to be able to come home and settle in, be able to get home on Sunday.”
SOUNDERS WOMEN TO OPEN SEASON
Sounders Women open their W-League schedule at 4 p.m. today at the Vancouver Whitecaps.
It will be the first league game for each team.
Sounders Women – including U.S. national team members Hope Solo, Alex Morgan, Stephanie Cox, Sydney Leroux and Megan Rapinoe – tore through the preseason, defeating three college teams by a combined 13-1.
The club will play its first home league game at 7 p.m. Thursday, meeting the Colorado Rush at Starfire Sports Stadium in Tukwila.
Players also will appear at Cheney Stadium starting at 5 p.m. Wednesday to sign autographs and meet fans an hour before the Sounders U-23 match against the Vancouver Whitecaps Reserves.
Staff writer Don Ruiz contributed to this report.