TUKWILA - The Sounders FC kicked off Vancouver week with a dominating performance Tuesday night in MLS Reserve League action with a 2-0 win over the Vancouver Whitecaps reserves.
Coach Ezra Hendrickson looked to a makeshift lineup due to injuries and the Sounders reserves played an inspired first half while absorbing the Whitecaps pressure in the second half to preserve the clean sheet.
Trialist Cillian Sheridan scored in the seventh minute and Roger Levesque added another in the 26th minute while Terry Boss posted the shutout to improve the Sounders to 5-0-0 in the Reserve League.
“It was a great win,” said Sounders FC assistant coach Ezra Hendrickson, who handles coaching duties for the reserve team. “We want to win everything at home and they went out and did it again tonight.”
Despite being ravaged by injuries, including late knocks that kept both center backs Taylor Graham and Patrick Ianni out of the match, Seattle was able to control play from the opening kick.
In the second minute, Sheridan crossed for David Estrada at the far post, to no avail. However, it did set the tone early for the Sounders FC reserves, who controlled play offensively in the first half, then absorbed the pressure from Vancouver in the second half without conceding much of a threat to Boss’ net.
Seattle took possession of the ball in the middle of the field, just inside Vancouver’s half in the seventh minute. Servando Carrasco passed outside to Miguel Montano, who took a dribble run up the left side before crossing it to the far post, where Sheridan slid in and knocked home a goal for a 1-0 lead.
“Miguel has my permission to take guys one 1v1 on the wings. He’s very good at that,” Hendrickson said. “He took a guy on 1v1, took him on and put a nice ball into the box and Cillian was there to tap it home for our first goal.”
While Vancouver goalkeeper Jay Nolly was able to stop another effort by Sheridan from 20 yards out in the 16th minute, he couldn’t keep Levesque out of the goal in the 26th minute.
After the Whitecaps cleared a corner kick, Seattle was able to get it back into the box where Zach Scott headed it across the goal mouth, where Levesque was waiting at the post for a header that he slammed into the net for the 2-0 lead.
For as dynamic and crowd-pleasing as their first goal of the night was, Seattle’s second goal was equally a workmanlike effort, combining grit and determination to get on the board.
“We’ll take them however we can. They don’t ask, ‘How?’ They ask, ‘How many?’ Tonight we were able to get two and secure the win,” Hendrickson said.
While they were limited in the first half, Vancouver was able to get more shots away in the second half, challenging Boss to keep the shutout alive.
He stopped a solid header by Greg Janicki off of a free kick in the 51st minute, gloved a Michael Nanchoff bullet in the 64th minute and stopped Long Tan in the 70th minute en route to five saves and his second shutout of the reserve league season.
It was one of many great efforts by the Sounders on Tuesday as they strive to keep an undefeated record in the MLS Reserve League.
“At times, it’s just immaculate soccer,” Hendrickson said. “The guys are really just knocking the ball around and moving it and really playing good soccer.”
The Sounders first team will take on the Vancouver Whitecaps at 7:30 pm at Qwest Field on Saturday night. The reserves will get back on the field Monday to take on the LA Galaxy.
Sheridan played 45 minutes and was subbed for Myron Samuel to start the second half. Both are among several trialists Seattle plans to look at in the coming weeks. In addition, Sounders FC Academy players Aaron Kovar, Sean Okoli and DeAndre Yedlin made it into the match while U16 standout Michael Gallagher was on the bench.
Sounders FC - Cillian Sheridan (Miguel Montano, Servando Carrasco) 7; Roger Levesque (Zach Scott) 26.
Whitecaps FC - None.
Sounders FC - None.
Whitecaps FC - None.
Sounders FC - Terry Boss, Roger Levesque, Zach Scott, Leo Gonzalez, Michael Tetteh, Servando Carrasco, Michael Seamon (DeAndre Yedlin 90+), Pat Noonan (Aaron Kovar 75), Miguel Montano (Sean Okoli 88), David Estrada, Cillian Sheridan (Myron Samuel 46).
Whitecaps FC - Jay Nolly, Wes Knight, Greg Janicki, Kevin Harmse (La‘Vere Corbin-Ong 46), Blake Wagner, Russell Teibert, Jeb Brodsky (Caleb Clarke 76), Alexandre Morfaw (Peter Vagenas 46), Michael Nanchoff, Omar Salgado, Long Tan.