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Storylines and self-evaluation after S2’s loss to Sacramento Republic

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With the First Team floundering some in Tacoma are pursuing their DeS2ny.

TACOMA — Seattle Sounders FC 2 Tacoma are at their best when playing instinctively. So many of their best talents look good when playing one-touch soccer while sprinting toward goal. They pulled this off often enough to entertain in their loss (2-1) on Sunday, but not enough to win.

My notes on Sacramento Republic

  • Still in the expansion hunt, but likely fading behind Cincinnati. Detroit is also still alive for that final spot in the next round that includes Nashville.
  • Cameron Iwasa may be the best player in the USL West. He’s creative, a goal-scoring threat, likes to do backflips and... is good at karaoke. I didn’t get to work in that note. I’m kind of disappointed.
  • Bijev might also be in the top five attacking talents. Bijev once had a scholarship offer to the UW. That 2013 UW team when he would have been a freshman included Ryan Herman, Darwin Jones, Cristian Roldan and more than a half-dozen other players that went on to be pros.
  • They’re the best in the West, easily. Not just on the record, but they play a fun style and have some dudes that are fringe MLS quality, or used to be MLS quality and are now fading out (Moffat, Hall).

My S2 notes

  • Using similar technologies to First Team during practices. There is a drone flying overhead and Catapult monitoring system on every player. They have increased their focus on nutrition and sleep habits as well.
  • Several new players added recently — Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez and Jesse Daley are eligible to play now. Antonee Burke-Gilroy isn’t with the team yet. That’s 16 players under contract. Conrad Lee is the latest Academy player to be made eligible. The goalkeeper is now the youngest S2 eligible to take the pitch for S2, even younger than Ray Serrano.
  • Adding a short halftime segment to hit bullet points about Academy and S2 players with various youth national teams. Since January 17 players from TheFuture got the nod with Sam Fowler currently in Czechia to face Kazakhstan, Ukraine and the Czechs. Midfielder Juan Alvarez and forward Austin Brummett are with the U15s in Croatia facing a local club, Bosnia-Herzegovina twice and Serbia.
  • The RFP for the new stadium is now public. It’s the May 2 announcement and things will move quickly.

Quick Thoughts

Bryan Meredith needs to figure out get his free kicks toward left field under control.

Ibrahim Usman needs to interact with Hinds more providing other options so Nick doesn’t just need to score or pass to Chenkam/Olsen.

Rodrigue Ele was a wonderful safety. He prevented too many Republic chances, which speaks to his mobility and positioning, but warning towards the other players on the team.

Sam Rogers and Ele both enjoy getting forward with the ball at their feet. Strong passing in this game.

Denso Ulysse is putting practice movements into games in a way that will make any coach proud. Excellent communication with Hopeau.

Fransisco Narbon might be the most important person on the team.

Nick Hinds has MLS speed already and is now demonstrating how to threaten goal regularly.

Dylan Teves probably needed to be in the attack more often in the 4-1-4-1.

David Olsen failed in his conventional passes and yet his skill moves still work. Possibly his worst game with S2.

Shandon Hopeau was stronger on the left than the right.

Felix Chenkam needs to get his green card so he can be on an MLS contract now.

David Estrada (58’ for Olsen) changed the game, giving S2 a chance to win.

Azriel Gonzalez (82’ for Teves and shifted to wing in a 4-1-3-2 with Hinds as the other forward) didn’t show much in limited minuts.

Khai Brisco (90’ for Hinds) played forward even though his past experience is as a right back. I can’t wait to talk to coaches about this.

Call I’m proud of

I said something about seeing the green smoke with the goal. It made the highlight reel. I’ve been waiting for it and I’m glad it worked.

Things I want to work on

I was a bit restrained, unwilling to signal/interrupt Riley.

I didn’t mention any of Bread’s poems she was getting tested on.

I didn’t make any DnD/spec-fic/movie references.