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Sounders 2 easily bested by the Toros

Potentially serious injury to Sam Rogers biggest story from an awful night in south Texas

It was a bad Saturday night for Seattle Sounders 2. Near the Mexican border S2 lost 3-0, and possibly lost a promising prospect. Rio Grande Valley FC dominated them early as S2 floundered in an unconventional 3-4-3 diamond formation with no wingbacks. The Toros feasted on the globs of space in midfield to easily score two goals in the first half. While S2 improved in the second half, with a particularly bright performance from Marlon Vargas, a third Toros’ goal was ultimately too much for the young side and they faded after a good start to the second half. S2 are used to losing on the road though and the big concern from the night will be the seriousness of Sam Rogers’ injury after the young centerback went down with a non-contact Achilles injury in the first half. Exactly how bad the night was will ultimately depend on the severity of that injury, but that is currently an unknown.

After some patient and methodical possession play from S2 the Toros got in an early dagger against the run of play with a 30 yard shot from Todd Wharton in the 5’. Calle Brown reacted slowly to it and the shot beat him easily to his right to give the Toros a 1-0 lead.

After the goal S2 continued to look good in possession but their extremely attacking 3-4-3 formation gave the Toros room on the counter. The Toros looked the more likely to score in the 10+ minutes following their goal despite a lot of good build-up play from S2.

Brown made up for his earlier slow reaction in the 19’ when the Toros put Carlos Small in behind the S2 backline. Brown came out early and then showed excellent patience to delay Small’s shot and get a well timed dive in to knock the ball off of the forwards foot to end the dangerous one-on-one chance.

As the match wore on, and the Toros realized just how much space they had to operate in the midfield they turned the screws on S2 more on more. By the 30’ minute the Toros had the game completely in their control as S2 struggled to use their midfield on offense or defense.

Then, in the 35’, things got even worse for S2 when Rogers went down with what looked to be a non-contact Achilles injury. It is impossible to say exactly how serious the injury is, but no one on S2 looked hopeful about the prognosis. Jalen Markey subbed on for the injured Rogers.

Coach Hutchinson chose not to use this as an opportunity to change the formation and the Toros made them pay for the weak defensive line up again in the 42’. Eric Bird got the ball in the box off of a throw deep in the S2 half and juggled the ball past Jesse Daley fairly easily. He was then able to beat Brown from a tight angle with a half volley to stretch the Toros’ lead to 2.

That is how the half ended as S2 headed into the locker room lucky to be down just two and in desperate need of some halftime adjustments.

S2 came out in the second half in a bit more convention 4 back set up, with Hinds moving to LB and Jalen Markey playing as a sort of psuedo-RB. S2 still struggled defensively in the first 10 minutes of the second half, but looked to have a lot more ideas on offense, with multiple good scoring chances in the half’s earliest moments.

In the 57’ Marlon Vargas found David Estrada in the box with a lovely pass from out wide. It looked like it would be S2’s opening goal. Unfortunately, Estrada either lost his footing or was brought down in the box, and with no penalty call, the chance went wasted.

Around the 65’ it looked like S2’s defense finally settled in, and with the edge in possession and chances in the second half S2 began to look like the better of the two sides. It was short lived however, as S2 looked to run out of offensive ideas with the removal of Marlon Vargas in the 69’. As the S2 offense began to falter again the Toros upped their attacking pressure and were quickly rewarded with their third goal in the 76’. After a corner Todd Wheaton was able to put in a dangerous cross to the top of the six-yard-box, where Nicolas Perea was able to get free and send a glancing header past Brown to put the game out of reach.

After the Toros’ third, neither side threatened the goal again as a bad night for S2 ground to a merciful end. One whose effects they will hope do not linger.