An eventful week almost doomed the Sounders U23s. The U23s played Saturday night knowing a draw or loss would basically crush any playoff hopes. It was Canada Day, and the visiting TSS Rovers wanted to celebrate, but the Sounders would have none of it.
The Sounders started off on the right foot and attacked the TSS goal. However TSS seemed to keep the Rave Green off the score sheet. The Sounders eventually found a way into the net and got a two goal lead. TSS would find a goal of their own prior to half. After the break each side would score one more to bring us to the final score of three to two favor of the Rave Green. The Sounders did their part of the job but would need help from Victoria.
The Timbers U23s hosted the lowly Victoria Highlanders on Sunday. The Timbers got the job done with a resounding 4-1 victory over their Canadian visitors. The win moves Portland one point behind Calgary who sit on twenty three points, and keeps the Sounders six points back.
So now what? Well for starters the Sounders U23s will look to continue the winning ways.
“We need to win games. So we’ll go in against a good TSS,” Coach and General Manager Darren Sawatzky told Sounder at Heart before Thursday’s practice, “a good Victoria team — but those teams have struggled on the results side. They're good teams, everybody in our division is good. We need to go win the first one and take it game by game.”
A match with the Victoria Highlanders on Friday night will effect what ever chance the Rave Green has. Luckily (or unluckily) for the Rave Green, Victoria is coming to town after taking back-to-back losses. Dropping their weekend matches by a combined score of eleven to two. A 7-1 loss in Eugene, Ore. on Saturday seemed to carry over to Sunday (4-1). The Highlanders are not in good form and will look to make the quest for the Sounders tougher than it needs to be. The U23s could get some help in their efforts. However that help could be very limited. Calgary plays Portland twice, in two days as part of a three-games-in-four days Oregon road trip. This trip includes a short run to Eugene for a Thursday night match vs Lane United.
Once again Friday night the Sounders U 23’s will have a doubleheader with the Sounders Women who are coming off a six nil trashing of Washington Premier South Sound FC in a exhibition friendly, and are looking fresh and ready to fight for a playoff spot. Both matches are at Sunset Stadium in Sumner, with the ladies kicking off at 5 PM and the Under 23s kicking off at 8 PM.
Sawatzky gives a few players for a Sounders fan to watch. “Adam Jones, he's a young Canadian player coming out of Simon Fraser.” Jones has four goals and three assists. Two keepers (Paul Cristensen, Tor Saunders) have Sounders Academy ties. Derek ‘El Tigre’ Johnson you may know from his Tacoma Stars fame.