USL

S2 Match Preview: Sounders FC 2 vs. Timbers 2

052115 S2 Match Preview

After a hard-fought extra-time win at home against Kitsap Pumas SC in Second Round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, Sounders FC 2 (5-3-1, 16 points) hits the road right away, traveling to Portland to face Timbers 2 (3-3-2, 11 points) Friday night at Merlo Field.


The two teams will get to know each other quite well over the next week, as they both travel back to Starfire Stadium Wednesday afternoon to play for a Third-Round Open Cup matchup.


S2 won the only previous meeting between the clubs, a 2-1 come-from-behind result that saw the Rave Green score a pair second-half goals to secure the three points.


T2 has scored 10 goals this season and allowed 11 with a home record of 2-1-0. The team will have one more day of rest than the visiting Sounders, but have to make its way back from Michigan where they defeated the Michigan Bucks in Open Cup play.


Although both teams played without a majority of their usual starters, with extra time and an early injury to midfielder Duncan McCormick, players such as Andy Craven, Sam Garza and Aaron Long ended up playing more minutes than S2 Head Coach Ezra Hendrickson had probably planned. However, young talent shined through in the match, with Sounders FC Academy standout Nate Tongovula contributing to the team’s first goal and assisting the second. Four Academy players made the starting XI for S2, and their play might start earning the youngsters spots on the usual rotation.

Still without a win on the road, S2 is on a two-game win streak across all competitions, including last Friday’s victory over OKC Energy FC. The team will need to pack the winning ways and some extra pairs of fresh legs to face T2 who will look to rebound from the last meeting between the rivals.


Who to watch:

S2’s Andy Craven has five goals and four assists across all competitions this season and provides a scoring threat from anywhere on the pitch with his pace. With a brace in his last USL match against OKC Energy FC earning him a spot on the USL Team of the Week, and another goal in the Second Round of the U.S. Open Cup, Craven is on a roll and will look to continue his production to help his team to its first road win.


T2’s Kharlton Belmar is tied third for the league lead with five goals, but it was Harrison Delbridge who scored in the club’s last trip to Seattle. Belmar recently scored for Portland against Michigan, and could likely start for the squad this Friday.

By the numbers:


10 – The number of different players who have scored for S2 in regular-season play. This includes five forwards, three midfielders and two centerbacks.


3 – The number of times S2 has conceded the first goal and mounted a comeback to win the match. Most recently, S2 defeated OKC Energy FC 3-1 after conceding first in the 49th minute.


0 – The number of wins S2 has gotten while playing away from home. The team is 0-3-1 on the road, and held leads in two of the three losses.

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