TUKWILA, Wash. - After having their two-game winning streak snapped at home last Sunday, Seattle Sounders FC 2 travel down to Sacramento Republic on Saturday (8 p.m. PT, Live Stream on SoundersFC.com) with hopes of getting back to their winning ways.
For head coach Ezra Hendrickson, winning begins with effort, and that was the message all throughout training this week.
“I told the guys that we’re all going to have bad days as professionals, but one thing we always have to bring is effort,” Hendrickson said. “It’s something that this team has always brought in the first two years. We didn’t always win but we always showed effort. I just felt like on Sunday the effort wasn’t there.”
Sacramento present a formidable challenge for S2 in a number of ways. Firstly, the two sides have faced off twice already this year, with S2 coming out on the short end on both occasions. And second, Republic’s Bonney Field is a notoriously difficult place to play, even if Hendrickson sees it as a positive.
“It’s a very professional atmosphere,” he said. “It’s a very good opportunity for our players. This experience is important for their development.”
Republic are currently sitting pretty in fourth in the Western Conference. With only 10 goals conceded across their first 14 matches, they come armed with a stout defense. Hendrickson and company know this from their first two matches this season but believe they have what it takes to break them down.
“They’re very good defensively, they also have some good goalkeeping,” Hendrickson said. “Even though we’ve lost, we created chances. We just weren’t taking them. That’s turned around somewhat. We know there will be chances because they’re a team that likes to attack so now it’s a matter of capitalizing on those.”