When you field an especially young team, particularly one with a backline that has a median age of 18, there is always going to be a chance that a game or two go sideways on you. That is what happened to Seattle Sounders FC 2 against Reno 1868 FC on Saturday night. When a team loses a game 6-0 it’s usually shocking, and there is often a temptation to start stocking up the old doomsday shelter.
But relax! There’s no need for canned foods, water filters or improvised projectiles. This was a bad result for S2 but it was not indicative of a horrible team, or a collection of unskilled players. They simply lost control of this match, and in a sport devoid of timeouts, it can be a struggle for youth to wrestle it back under control regardless of skill level. This result does not portend some great demise. There will be a next match. Chances are it will be competitive, S2 will be fine, and this game will be a blip soon forgotten.
Things actually started off pretty well for S2, and even though Reno got off some early shots the first chance with any venom fell to Zach Mathers. He found himself open at the top of the box in the 8’ with a wealth of time and space, but his low screamer went just outside of the left post.
Mathers has an impressively powerful snap shot, but he really needed to get this one on target. The game may have been a lot different if Mathers’ shot had gone in or if former Sounder Jimmy Ockford’s forearm shove to the back of Irvin Parra’s head just minutes later had been appropriately punished.
Neither event went S2’s way, and from there things went a bit wet paper baggy.
S2 were first undone in the 28’ by an absolutely brilliant pass that found the USL’s all time leading scorer, Dane Kelly, in on goal. Kelly finished off the chance well and there really wasn’t much S2 could do about the play. It was just very good offense.
Unfortunately, the blame for the next two goals falls squarely on S2. In the 31’ Brian Meredith took down Antoine Hoppenot in the box and the ref pointed to the spot. Less than a minute later Hoppenot was again taken down in the box, this time by Rodrigue Ele and Reno got their second penalty in as many minutes. Dane Kelly was able to put both kicks past Meredith to earn himself a hat trick in just the 35’. Ele’s foul on Hoppenot also earned him a second yellow so Seattle were down a man for the final 55 minutes.
In the 44’, after about three failed clearances, Reno added another goal to make it 4-0.
Things looked like they might get truly, historically ugly when Reno added another goal just a couple minutes into the second half. Fortunately, whatever Ezra Hendrickson said to them at half time kicked in after that goal and S2 were solid defensively for the remainder of the second half. That is the one bright spot from this game, that such a young team could gather themselves enough when down 5-0 to put in a respectable and organized 2nd half.
The game ended with a final little knife twist when Ockford scored a goal against his old club with the final touch of the game.
Bryan Meredith; Denso Ulysse, Rodrigue Ele, Sam Rogers, Brian Nana-Sinkam; Francisco Narbón, Ray Saari; Zach Mathers (Javorn Stevens 55'), Lorenzo Ramos (Riley Grant HT), Irvin Parra; David Olsen (Milo Barton 50')
I think it is best to write these individual performances off and judge the players by how they recover in the next match.
First Team call up power rankings
- Ray Saari (-)
- David Olsen (-)
- Sam Rogers (-)
- Francisco Narbón (-)
- Irvin Parra (New)