Where Timbers 2 tried to play along their speedy flanks, even nabbing a goal from their young winger Victor Arboleda that drew the game level. Sounders 2 was generally more effective through the middle with Jordan Schweitzer sitting deep behind both Mark O’ojong and Zach Mathers. S2’s win gives them faint hope at the USL playoffs as they are four points out of eighth with multiple teams between them and the USL red line.
Mathers scored from the spot for the first goal of the game. Just inside the area O’ojong was brought down preventing the entry pass. There was no argument from former Sounders Academy product Micheal Gallagher, who was assessed with the foul.
Villyan Bijev earned his seventh assist for T2 slipping a ball that forced recent signing Parra to misplay it. Alfaro missed a tackle that could have saved the goal. Arboleda scored giving Portland hope.
Schweitzer’s goal is what keeps the team’s playoff hopes alive.
The 2-1 win could keep S2 in the playoff hunt, if they basically win out. Friday night they play the Thundercaps (Whitecaps 2) at Starfire to end the home season.
Jordan’s game was strong on that play. He and the other central midfielders showed that Seattle has some prospects that could take the step up to MLS. Schweitzer’s long balls fed deep runs past Mansaray with Mathers using quick passes and O’ojong taking a couple shots. Mark had a shot that went through Portland’s keeper’s hands but then hit the crossbar and bounced back to McIntosh. It’s a midfield that when it works can dominate. Tonight they came close to dominance.
Victor Mansaray played a combination as a hold-up man and a false nine. His ball control when dropping deeper helped S2 generate attacks through Mathers/O’ojong or slip the ball wide, usually to Oniel Fisher.
The Nouhou Tolo v Arboleda matchup was a lesson in speed, with each gaining advantage at times. Both look to have strong futures. At this time they can use their physique to dominate most of their opposition. If Tolo can add a bit of touch or a cross onto that speed he can be special.
Darwin Jones did not play due to injury. Instead he spent the match watching with Obafemi Martins and Tyrone Mears.