After a rough pair of road games, and frankly a rough start to the season, Seattle Sounders FC 2 came out strong against their Cascadia rivals. In the match's first half the Rave Green controlled much of the possession, preventing the Whitecaps from building through the center of the park, and instead forcing them into long-distance shots and play on the wings. S2 managed to create a few chances from the run of play in the half, but ended up scoring their first goal in the 40th minute thanks to a soft penalty called on Whitecaps 2 defender Brett Levis. Andy Craven converted from the spot; only five minutes before WFC2 received and converted a penalty of their own.
S2 didn't come out subdued into the second half though; they scored within the first minute of play. A through ball sent by Zach Mathers and finished by Victor Mansaray set the tone for the half: quick play, runs from end to end, and a lot of hard tackles. The Sounders' third goal was a golazo scored by U18 player Lorenzo Ramos from just outside the box. The Whitecaps managed to convert a second goal a few minutes later, but were unable to tie the game up, despite having a shot bounce off the crossbar in the 90th minute.
Control the pace
S2's midfield did a good job to keep the game calm and quick in the first half, but the second half definitely got away from them. It would have been good to see Andy Craven and Carlos Patino stay back a bit more after the team went up 3-1, but they (and the rest of the team) continued pushing the game into a haphazard, rushed tempo. And the Whitecaps capitalized. S2 is lucky the Caps didn't manage to tie the game up.
Communication is key
Many of Vancouver's chances in this match came when Seattle centerbacks Michael Nelson and Brandon John were a step out of touch with each other. It's hard to have a great centerback partnership when your roster is as inconsistent as S2's is, but more work is definitely needed.
This was fun!
It was good to see some life in S2! Even if things did get a good frantic, I think we all enjoyed seeing the team engaging with the game. Hopefully there's more to come next Tuesday when S2 take on Timbers 2 in Portland.