Things did not go well for Seattle Sounders FC 2 on Saturday night in Central California. They were bad all over the field, with perhaps the exception of the Ray Saari and Denso Ulysse. The Front 5 in the 4-1-4-1 were exceptionally bad, spending large parts of the match unable to complete any pass, whether simple or complicated, among themselves. The team held it together for awhile, but ultimately the combo of poor passing and a shaky centerback pairing caused S2 to fall apart. They fell 4-0 to Fresno FC.
Both teams got off to a shaky start but the first real chance of the game went to Fresno in the 20’. Bryan Meredith attempted to catch a looping ball but dropped it at his feet. Fresno got to the loose ball first and were able to put it into the back of the net. However, Meredith got lucky and the ref ruled that he dropped the ball because he was fouled (which he was not) and the goal was called back.
Just a minute later S2 got their first chance when Ulysse did well to get forward down the right side and sent in a floating cross. David Estrada was the first to the ball and cleverly headed the ball back where it came from towards the right post. Unfortunately he couldn’t get any power on it and the Fresno goalie was able to claw the ball away. That would end up being S2’s best chance of the game.
In the 27’ the calls evened out as Ibrahim Usman was called for a handball in the box that is rarely called a penalty. Fresno took advantage of the bad call and got the game’s first goal with Juan Pablo Caffa putting the ball in from the spot. From here S2 simply fell apart.
Fresno almost got their second in the 36’ when they got off multiple shots in the box. The first two were blocked by last-ditch tackles by S2 and the third was hit directly at Meredith who was able to gather it and stop the onslaught. Despite their struggles S2 were able to get into half down just 1-0.
When S2 came out from half they did so without Ray Saari and Nick Hinds, who were presumably removed in preparation for the First Team’s Open Cup match on Wednesday. Saari had been the one player able to get S2 a bit of possession and things went truly bad after his removal.
The Foxes finally added their second in the 52’. Zachary Ellis-Hayden made a run down the right and got by multiple S2 players. He was able to send a low cross into the box. Christian Chaney was the lone Fresno player in the box but he was able to beat both S2 CBs to the ball and put a simple header past Meredith.
Things got worst almost immediately as Jemal Johnson was given a ton of space which allowed him to hit an absolute screamer from 35 yards out past Meredith to make it 3-0 in the 54’. After the third goal Fresno took their foot of the gas a bit but S2 just had no ability to build any kind of attack.
After 30 minutes of not much happening in the match Jemal Johnson got his brace in the 83’.
This was easily S2’s worst match of the year. The type that has the potential to effect the teams confidence long-term. Several of S2’s players are likely to lineup for the First Team’s Open Cup match on Wednesday. Hopefully they can embrace the chance to play in the Cup and bring some confidence back to S2 with them after a victory over Sacramento Republic FC.