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Sounders FC 2 backline wilts against Real Monarchs

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Saari continues to improve, but not much else went right.

Seattle Sounders FC 2 appear to have mired themselves into a rut of inconsistency. Coming into last Saturday’s match their record in the last 4 matches was LWLW, an emerging pattern not changed by the 3-1 loss against Real Monarchs.

The first 25 or so minutes of the match were cagey at best. Both sides committed fouls and turnovers with abandon. The first real chance of the game came to Sam Rogers when he beat Real Monarchs SLC’s keeper to a floating ball in the box. His effort was on target, but Nick Besler was able to clear the looping header off of the goal line.

A few minutes later in the 34’, the Monarchs scored the game’s first goal on a PK. The Monarchs’ José Hernandez was able to turn Rogers inside out and get a cross into the box. It was a dangerous ball and Rodrigue Ele brought down Jordan Allen while attempting a clearance. Chandler Hoffman sent Tyler Miller the wrong way to make it 1-0.

At the half, Coach Ezra Hendrickson brought Irvin Parra and Jamie Dimitroff in to replace the struggling Lorenzo Ramos and Shandon Hopeau. For a moment it looked like the changes would help, and S2 were able to even the score in the 48’ when David Olsen excellently volleyed home a poor Monarchs clearance for his first professional goal.

Unfortunately, S2’s resurgence was brief. In the 68’ they gave up a goal to Hernandez following a poor Ele clearance, and it all fell apart from there. In the 73’ the Monarchs got another goal when Besler drifted past Narbón and both of S2’s centerbacks unimpeded and untracked. Wide open in the box, Besler finished with a simple tap in.

The battle was lost, and only luck and a PK save kept the Monarchs from putting in more goals. The backline struggled all game and the scoreline is probably kind to S2.

Lineup (4-2-3-1)

Tyler Miller; Brian Nana-Sinkam, Rodrigue Ele, Sam Rogers, Riley Grant; Ray Saari, Francisco Narbon; David Olsen, Lorenzo Ramos (Jamie Dimitroff HT), Shandon Hopeau (Irvin Parra HT); Felix Chenkam (Javorn Stevens 75').

Top Performer

Ray Saari (CDM)

The only Sounder that really looked good in this game was Ray Saari. He did his best to run the stuttering offense, but with Ramos and Hopeau providing no help in the first half and Narbón too busy trying to hold together the backline in the second half, it was all ultimately too disjointed to work. What is encouraging is that Saari is continuing to incorporate new offensive elements into his game. In Saturday’s game he showed the ability to use the dribble to break pressure in the 58’ and 73’. This is a very effective way to break a high press and is something both Ozzie and Roldan do often with the First Team. Saari also showed a bit of Dempsey-like swagger when he attempted a no look through ball that just missed in the 59’. If Saari continues to improve offensively, he is an S2 player to be very excited about.

First Team call up power rankings

  1. Sam Rogers (-)
  2. Ray Saari (-)
  3. David Olsen (-)
  4. Francisco Narbón (-)
  5. Irvin Parra (-)

Other Notes

  • Javorn Stevens made his first official appearance for S2 after injuring his ankle before the start of the season.