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Academy products impress in Sounders 2 loss to San Antonio

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Sam Rogers scored his first professional goal and 15-year-old Azriel Gonzalez made his first S2 appearance in 3-2 loss.

Sam Rogers celebrates after scoring his first professional goal
Sam Rogers celebrates after scoring his first professional goal
Max Aquino / Sounder at Heart

Despite losing the game 3-2 Seattle Sounders FC 2 put in an excellent performance against San Antonio FC. They were the better team throughout the match and it was really only 90 seconds of play that lost them the game. They lead all of the offensive stats (Possession: 63-37%, Passes: 477-297, Shots: 14-7, SOG: 7-5) but were ultimately beat due to a few defenses lapses.

San Antonio scored first when Tyler Miller parried a routine save into the path of Ben Newman who found Akwafei Ajeakwa in front of an open net for an easy finish in the 13’. They added another in the 24’ when Sam Rogers whiffed on an attempted back pass which Billy Forbes gathered and slid past Tyler Miller.

Sam Rogers got one back for S2 in the 55’ when he expertly volleyed a ball from a tight angle over the head of San Antonio’s keeper.

Unfortunately, San Antonio were able to stretch the lead back to two in the 69’. S2 were caught on the break and after Ray Saari tripped on the turf, Tyler Miller failed to close down Devin Vega who shot the ball between Miller’s legs to make the score 3-1.

In the 75’, Irvin Parra was taken down in the box and Zach Mathers was able to convert the penalty to restore the deficit to just one goal. S2 continued to pressure for the last 15 minutes of the game but were not able to find the equalizer. It really was a great team effort from S2 but they were unable to overcome the individual errors in the back.

Lineup (4-2-3-1)

Tyler Miller; Henry Wingo (Denso Ulysse 60'), Sam Rogers, Riley Grant, Nouhou Tolo (Brian Nana-Sinkam 45'); Ray Saari, Lorenzo Ramos; Zach Mathers, Shandon Hopeau, David Olsen (Azriel Gonzalez 72'); Irvin Parra.

Noteworthy Performances

David Olsen (AM)

S2’s best player on Tuesday was without a doubt David Olsen. He was all over the field, threatening offensively, and doing the hard work on defense. He was asked to accommodate for Zach Mathers lack of defense and he did so very well. He finished the game with 2 tackle, 3 interceptions, 1 clearance and 2 blocked shots. While doing all that work he still managed to be the most dangerous S2 player in and around the box. With better finishing he could have had 2 or 3 goals. Olsen consistently pops up in the right places which makes the lives of his teammates that much easier. He always seems to show up exactly where he needs to be to start an attack or relieve a teammate under pressure.

Olsen is rapidly learning how to play in the midfield and if he continues to improve like he has he will certainly be able to play at an MLS level.

Shandon Hopeau (AM)

Shandon Hopeau didn’t have a spectacular game, but after several poor substitute appearances it was good to see him back to showing the potential he has. Hopeau still has the ability to drive at people and put them under pressure with his direct play but in this game he showed the ability to moderate his game. After finding that his direct play was unsuccessful against a San Antonio team willing to absorb pressure early in the game he adjusted. He became more patient and began to help S2 keep possession. Hopeau finished the game with a respectable 89% passing and showed he has the ability to adjust his game to help the team.

Sam Rogers (CB)

After a blazing start to the season this was Sam Rogers’ 2nd poor game in a row. Where he struggled to deal with the quickness of the Real Monarch’s José Hernandez on Saturday, it was his passing that let him down in the first half against San Antonio. Several of his intercepted passes lead to dangerous attacks for San Antonio and it was his failed attempted back pass that lead to Billy Forbes’ goal. What Rogers did do in this game is show that he is mentally strong. After the poor first half it would have been easy for a young player like him to become frustrated, or mope, or just lose concentration. Instead he came out in the second half and put in a steady defensive performance and scored his first professional goal.

The last two games from Rogers have shown that he has a lot to learn before he is ready to defend in MLS, but they have also shown that he has the mentality to do the hard work needed to improve.

Best performance by an Academy player

Azriel Gonzalez is a fifteen-year-old and he came on for his first professional game and did not look out of place. He didn’t blow anyone away and ended up getting a straight red but just the fact that he looked like he belonged on the field is impressive.

First Team call up power rankings

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

Other Notes

  • Nouhou left the game on a stretcher in the first half. The team has confirmed that he suffered a left shoulder dislocation.
  • Riley Grant looked pretty good at left back.
  • Do not expect Henry Wingo to play RB for the First Team any time soon. He really struggled in this game.