Seattle Sounders 2 needed to wait until their fourth match to score a goal. In that game they finally score twice and earn their first points of the season. Rio Grande Valley FC regularly challenged up their left side through Honduran Jose Escalante, but their goals came from S2's defensive errors.
S2's last match of the five-game home stand is Sunday at 7 PM hosting Colorado Springs Switchbacks.
Zach Mathers aggressive high pressure, good passing
Mathers was a six and an eight in college, but on the night he was S2's creative force. By placing someone with defensive experience that high it increased the amount of high pressure Sounders 2 could use. It also seemed to energize Mansaray, Craven and Bwana. All were involved in pressuring in their attacking third after turnovers.
Even better was that Mathers passing was good enough. He notched an assist on Vic's goal and was regularly threatening with short and long passes. He outplayed Sturgis and could be earning first team time by the end of the year.
Victor Mansaray showed a left foot
He scored a goal with his left. It wasn't the most powerful shot, but as a player who needed to get enough of a second foot that defenders respected it he finally showed his left.
Mansaray put in more effort on defense than is typical. Vic's hold up play was generally good as well. It was his strongest night on the year, even if he had not scored.
Nkongho O'Ojong is too wild
With no Amadou Sanyang or Jordan Schweitzer Ezra is deploying O'Ojong as a defensive midfielder. He's earning a deserved yellow card every match. Too often he goes in hard. Even after tonight's yellow he kept going to the ground. Nkongho needs to adjust, or the defense will be pressured too often when S2 goes down a man.
Inexperience and unfamiliarity in defense
With two MLS players on the backline (Oniel Fisher, Tony Alfaro) and two 18-year-olds there was little surprise at their inability to organize was not a surprise. The surprise was that Fisher might have been the weakest player. He had to defend Rio Grande's best man, and was lacking. Jnohope and Alfaro failed to stop the second RGVFC goal, and may have scored an own goal.
New signing Nouhou Tolo is dynamic with ball at feet
Getting forward Tolo is a game changer. He's a carbon copy of Joevin Jones, basically. Strong with the ball at his feet he showed some great flair dribbling past Rio Grande on several occasions. His passing was generally effective. Unfortunately his defense was rough. His play helped the Toros score their first goal.