Coming off their second victory of the season, Sounders FC 2 needed to show that good results wouldn't just come in fluke matches. They made a strong case for that in today's 2-1 victory against Timbers 2, scoring two goals and managing to hold the Timbers offense to one shot in the first 45 minutes, but unfortunately letting play get a little wild in the second half.
For much of the first half, S2 did a good job of holding the Timbers' attack to the midfield third. Lorenzo Ramos and Jordy Delem positioned themselves well to to guard Seattle's backline, allowing little room for the Timbers to break in. The Sounders' midfield managed to hold on to the ball, but didn't manage to create any strong scoring opportunities until the 35th minute when Sounders Academy player John Magnus crossed the ball across the box, just over the heads of the Timbers' defense, to an open Myron Samuel. Timbers goalkeeper Kendall McIntosh got a hand to Samuels's shot, but wasn't able to stop it from getting to the back of the net. Magnus scored the Sounders' second goal of the match about ten minutes later, deflecting a clearance from Timbers defender Michael Gallagher.
The second half was much more open. Seattle's fullbacks allowed play on the wings for much of the half, but Portland's goal ended up coming as a longball in from the halfway line, which Portland forward Blake Bodily headed right over Charlie Lyon, who had come off his line. S2 conceded a few other good opportunities to T2 in the match, but were lucky to see none of those those opportunities finished.
Much of why S2's attack seemed to function in this match was the good communication between their midfield three, Jordy Delem, Lorenzo Ramos, and John Magnus. Things seem to work for the Sounders' midfield when the attacking midfielder, in this case Magnus, stays high, and that's only possible through good communication.
Find room on counterattacks
S2 found a few counterattacks in this game, but many of those sizzled out. A lot of Sounders were getting forward on the counter, but their runs needed to be better in order to create any semblance of a real threat.
Good work, academy
Academy players John Magnus and Lorenzo Ramos both played strong games today. With Andy Craven and Zach Mathers away with the first team, it was good to see some academy players step up.