When S2 walked into the locker room at the half, things were not looking hopeful. They were down 1-0 against a team that loves to bunker, and despite a rather sturdy performance from their defense, they were misplacing the ball frequently. Their prior results on the year did not inspire confidence.
Despite that, the team managed to turn the game into a 2-1 victory, thanks to a red card to Colorado defender Joe Greenspan in the 70th minute and a dynamic second half from midfielder Zach Mathers.
S2 defended well throughout the game. They managed to hold the majority of the Switchbacks’ shots to outside the box. Jordan Schweitzer, in particular, did well to stymie Colorado’s forward runs; the whole team did a good job of defending 1-on-1.
The Switchbacks’ goal came in the 27th minute on a long throw. Nouhou Tolo left his mark, Mike Seth, wide open as he received a perfect set up pass, and Seth put his shot on target.
Zach Mathers’s entry into the game in the 58th minute spurred what had up until then been a rather nondescript offense. He distributed well throughout the offensive half, transitioning quickly and managing not to lose the ball to Colorado’s high-pressure defense.
The whole team looked more energized after Mathers’s substitution; and even more so after his assist on Darwin Jones’s goal in the 60th minute. S2 applied full pressure after the Switchbacks went down a man ten minutes later, and Victor Mansaray eventually capitalized in the 86th minute. Mansaray was in line with Colorado’s backline when he received a pass from Myron Samuel at the top of the box, and his first touch put him face to face with Colorado goalkeeper Billy Thompson. Mansaray fired the ball past Thompson and into the top left corner.
Overall, S2 played a fairly good game. Their defense looked capable during the run of play. Willy Kapaw and Jordan Schweitzer combined well to protect the backline. But of course defenses need to stay sharp for a full 90 minutes plus extra time: Games only need a single second to change for the worse.
Hopefully S2 will manage to keep up their defensive efforts in the next few games, while also doing better to generate chances.
Despite earning his first goal for S2 this season, Jones didn’t have a great game. He was pushed off the ball or stripped of it often. Jones’s dribbling does not seem to be good enough for him to play on the wing, and while he does okay as a center forward with S2, his size and strength are not likely to transition well to a more physical league. It’s hard to see where he would fit into the Sounders’s MLS side.
Schweitzer had a fantastic game. He positioned himself well and won a lot of tackles, but most exciting to see was probably his skill in distribution. He had a lot of pinpoint long passes through the game. If he wants to be a true Osvaldo Alonso-lite though, he’ll need to work on his dribbling.