Seattle Sounders FC 2 secured three valuable points on the road against Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 behind goals from Ray Saari and Zach Mathers on either side of halftime.
Saari opened the scoring in the 31st minute when he pounced on a Vancouver clearance and struck a powerful volley destined for the bottom corner, but the shot deflected off of a WFC2 defender and rolled across the line. Vancouver nearly pulled one back in the 37th minute when midfielder David Norman attempted to score directly for a corner kick, but Saari provided the heroics once again by heading the ball off the line.
WFC2 came flying out of the gates to start the second half, carving out a few half-chances in search of an equalizer. S2 soaked up the pressure and scored a crucial second goal against the run of play in the 60th minute, courtesy of a sublime play by Sounders Academy product Lorenzo Ramos.
Ramos drove into the final third and played a quick one-two with Charles Renken. Ramos then megged his defender and played a clever pass with the outside of his right foot to Mathers, who beat the goalkeeper with a powerful shot to the near post.
Mathers’ goal was his fourth in his last three appearances for S2.
Protecting a 2-0 lead, S2 sat back and remained compact defensively in order to stifle the Vancouver attack. WFC2, however, managed a few looks on goal, only to be denied by a few smart saves from goalkeeper Bryan Meredith.
Sounders Academy standout Azriel Gonzalez, 16, came on for Shandon Hopeau in the 77th minute, marking his fifth USL appearance of the season. Hopeau, 18, made his first appearance for S2 since May 13, having recently returned from an ankle injury.
S2 improves to 7-7-2 and is fifth place in the USL Western Conference with 23 points. Next up for the Rave Green is Real Monarchs SLC away on Saturday, July 8, at 6 p.m. PT.