Sounders FC 2 drops 2-0 result after first half mistakes

TUKWILA, Wash. – Seattle Sounders FC 2 dropped its second match of the season in a 0-2 loss to Arizona United SC on Wednesday, March 30 at Starfire Sports Stadium. It is the second consecutive loss at home to begin the 2016 season.

S2 was shell-shocked by the quick starting Arizona United, who scored twice in the first 26 minutes of the match. The first goal came in the 16th minute on long distance header from midfielder Gibson Bardsley, who grew up locally and attended Mt. Si High School. Gibson received the chance from forward Chris Cortez, who whipped in the deep cross from the opposite flank.

The second goal came in the 26th minute when Cortez, who had caused problems for S2 all night, received a pass on a well-timed run and fired the goal into the far post netting past second year goalkeeper Charlie Lyon.

“It was two completely avoidable goals, and that’s the way it is,” said defender Tony Alfaro. “You take your foot off the pedal for a second and the next thing you know it’s in the back of the net.”

S2 managed to recover and find their feet after the substandard start, taking eight shots, earning three corner kicks and a promising free kick from forward Darwin Jones that narrowly went over the bar from Alfaro’s head. Ultimately, the team was unable to overcome the deficit that they had dug for themselves in the first half.

“We lost that game in first 20, 25 minutes,” said head coach Ezra Hendrickson. “We started very poorly – the effort just wasn’t there. In the first 20, 25 minutes of the game they took it to us, they got two goals, and we were never able to crawl back in…When you’re at home, you’ve got to do better than that.”

One positive the club can take away is the experience gained by the young academy players that were featured in Wednesday’s match. S2 trotted out two players in the starting eleven and then subbed in another three in the second half. “I thought the academy kids that came on late in the game did well for themselves,” said Hendrickson following the match.

S2 will look for redemption this weekend as they take on San Antonio FC on Sunday, April 3 (5 p.m. PT/SoundersFC.com) at Starfire Sports Stadium.

“Sunday we’ll come out and give a better effort,” Hendrickson said. “I thought tonight overall was better than the first game, and as long as we’re seeing some improvement I think we’re fine, we’re happy with that. The wins will come; I’m very sure of that.”

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