SEATTLE (AP) — Osvaldo Alonso understood it was an exhibition. It was also a match the Seattle Sounders wanted to win.
Alonso beat former U.S. national team goalkeeper Brad Friedel from 30 yards early in the second half as the Sounders tied Tottenham 3-3 in an exhibition Saturday, the first match for new Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino.
"Every friendly is different," Alonso said. "This year we tried to win the game. ... We tried to win this game like it was the MLS regular season. I'm very happy for the team."
Through half the season, Seattle's been the class of Major League Soccer. And the Sounders held their own against a Tottenham side making its debut under Ponchettino, who left Southampton in May to replace the fired Tim Sherwood. Sherwood had taken over on Dec. 23 after Andre Villas-Boas was fired.
Tottenham began its preseason North America tour facing former striker Clint Dempsey and his new club. Dempsey left Tottenham to sign with the Sounders last August. Tottenham has two more stops on its tour against Toronto and Chicago before returning to Europe to complete its preseason. Spurs open its Premier League season on Aug. 16 at West Ham.
"I want to congratulate our players because the conditions to play were very difficult — 1 p.m. and warm and a different field," Ponchettino said. "And we play a very good team."
Alonso's goal off a loose ball zipped past Friedel and hit the underside of the crossbar before bouncing in the net. The goal gave Seattle a 2-1 lead, but Roberto Soldado converted a penalty kick in the 55th after he was fouled in the penalty area.
Tristan Bowen put the Sounders ahead 3-2 in the 79th minute when he tapped in a cross from Sean Okoli, but U.S. national team defender DeAndre Yedlin was called for a handball in the penalty area moments later and Yago Falque converted the penalty kick.
The match, played before 55,349, was easily Seattle's most even exhibition against Premier League opposition. Seattle lost 2-0 and 4-2 to Chelsea in 2009 and 2012 and was routed 7-0 by Manchester United in 2011.