Once again, Seattle Sounders 2 were unable to convert their improved home form into a good performance on the road. In what is a pretty solidified pattern, they were again dominated by both Sacramento Republic FC (S2 falls to 0-7-0 in Sacramento) and Villyan Bijev. The former T2 man tallied two assists as he, Cameron Iwasa and Christian Eissele passed circles around a porous S2 midfield.
Antonee Burke-Gilroy and David Olsen both had costly turnovers near their own 18 and Tony Alfaro continued his struggles with S2 as he conceded a penalty and received two yellow cards. To top it all off the usually solid PK taker David Estrada had his spot kick easily stopped by Josh Cohen. The final 3-0 scoreline was likely kind to the Sounders’ USL side who will look to quickly forget this one as they return to the friendly confines of Cheney Stadium next weekend.
Sacramento had the game’s first chance after a poor turnover deep in the defensive half from Olsen put Hayden Partain in a ton of space with plenty of time but he rushes his shot and hits it directly to Calle Brown who makes an easy save.
S2 countered immediately with their own chance as Nouhou got down the field with the ball quickly and put in a seeing-eye cross that found Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez who got solid contact with his head but hit it right at the Republic ‘keeper.
After the opening chances from both sides, Republic started to dominate possession and chances. Some last ditch defending from Rodrigue Ele kept them out for a few minutes but at 20’ Antonee Burke-Gilroy tried to dribble around Bijev at the top of the S2 18-yard-box. Bijev dispossessed him and made a simple pass to Iwasa who slid it past Brown to give Republic the 1-0 lead.
After their opening goal Republic dominated the rest of the half, passing circles around the S2 midfield and forcing them into multiple sloppy turnovers deep in the S2 defensive third. S2 were extremely lucky not to let in more goals but they managed to get into half down just one.
At the half S2 made all three of their substitutions, removing Ele, Jordan McCrary and Handwalla Bwana for debutants Jalen Markey and Enrique Montana as well as Azriel Gonzalez. The second half started the same way the first ended, with Republic mostly dominating but S2 showing that they just might have a chance to catch Republic out on the counter.
Republic’s dominance paid off first though. In 59’ Bejiv easily dribbled past Montana and put in a pinpoint cross to a wide open Christian Eissele who tapped the ball in from 6 yards out to give Republic the 2-0 lead.
Things quickly got worse for S2 as Eissele got in behind the S2 backline in the 64’ and Tony Alfaro brought him down from behind in the box. The ref pointed to the spot and gave Alfaro his second yellow card. Eissele stepped up to the spot and pounded the ball into the now 10 man S2 side’s net to give Republic the 3-0 lead.
S2 got a little window of hope in the 76’ when Gonzalez dribbled past Emrah Klimenta and was shoved down from behind in the box to earn a penalty. The hope was short lived though as Estrada hit a poor penalty and Cohen easily saved it to keep S2 scoreless.
Estrada’s penalty was the last chance of any danger for S2 and while they had a couple chances to score, it was ultimately a game they were lucky to lose by only 3.