When a team is constructed almost entirely of first-year professionals and amateurs, there are going to be a few games each season where nothing is good or right. Seattle Sounders FC 2’s 3-0 loss in Vancouver was their first such match this year. Perhaps it should have been expected; it was their first road game of the year and it was played on a bad field in bad weather. It would probably be best to just put this game out of mind and move on, but here is a recap.
S2 actually started the game out pretty well. For the first ten minutes they allowed Whitecaps FC 2 the majority of possession but prevented them from moving the ball into dangerous positions. Unfortunately, that ended in the 12’. Brian Nana-Sinkam pinched in and up to challenge for a ball in the air that he shouldn’t have. The move left WFC2 a ton of space in behind Nana-Sinkam and his poor challenge also took Fransisco Narbón and Irvin Parra out of the play. WFC2 quickly took the space and delivered in a cross that was poorly cleared by Riley Grant. WFC2’s Deklan Wynne latched onto the poor clearance and put it past Tyler Miller.
After that first goal the game fell apart. The next 77’ were ugly from both sides. There was nothing to like from either team.
In the end, as S2 pressed for the equalizer, WFC2 were able to add two more goals late in the game. S2 just needs to pack up and move on from this one, though there were a few player performances that are worth a look.
Tyler Miller; Brian Nana-Sinkam (Milo Barton 85'), Riley Grant, Sam Rogers, Nouhou; Ray Saari, Francisco Narbon; Zach Mathers, David Olsen (Felix Chenkam 75'), Irvin Parra (Shandon Hopeau 66'); Seyi Adekoya
David Olsen (AM)
The Sounders Academy product has been growing into his new role in the band of three for S2 and this was his best performance of the year. In the first half he was the only thing going for S2 and did an impressive job of taking on multiple roles for the faltering attack. He was the only player who made dangerous runs into the box throughout the game, and was the lone player who was able to move the ball from the middle to the attacking third. Olsen showed impressive close control and dribbling throughout the game. He started out the second half incredibly, with spectacular individual work in 47’, 51’, 56’ and 59’. His removal in the 75’ pretty much ended S2’s offensive chances. He left the game with a team high 82% pass completion rate and also put in good defensive work, ending the game with 2 tackles, 2 clearances and an interception.
Francisco Narbón (DM)
Narbón put in an excellent destroyer’s performance against Vancouver. His successful duels rate remains impressive as he won 6 of 8 on Saturday. He also finished the game with 3 tackles and 5 interceptions. He did look to get involved more offensively in this one, but unfortunately poor positioning by Zach Mathers and an invisible performance from Seyi Adekoya left him with very limited passing options when he did win the ball. Both Narbón and Saari continue to look like they will be a great stabilizing force in midfield for S2 this year.
Best performance by an Academy player
Sam Rogers was the only Academy player to appear in this game, and while it was his least-flashy performance it may have actually been his best of the year. Flanked by two defenders, Brian Nana-Sinkam and Riley Grant, who both had horrendous games, the young CB managed to remain steady throughout the game. The ability to screen out the chaos and just do his job was unbelievably impressive. More and more it seems his time may be sooner rather than later.
First Team call up power rankings
- Sam Rogers (-)
- David Olsen (↑2)
- Irvin Parra (↓1)
- Francisco Narbón (New)
- Shandon Hopeau (↓2)