USL

S2's depth tested in mid-season clash at Starfire

062515 S2 Preview

After a two-week road swing in which Sounders FC 2 was knocked out of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup before traveling to Arizona to play in 106-degree Scottsdale Stadium with 10 men against Arizona United SC, Starfire Stadium is a welcome sight to the weary wearing Rave Green.
“It’s always tough playing so many games in so few days,” said S2 forward Andy Craven. “Being able to come home to get our feet back under us is going to help us get back out there to put in some work.” 
S2 is now set to face Real Monarchs SLC, the affiliate club of Real Salt Lake. The Monarchs are 1-7-5 in league play, with the lone win coming against defending USL Champion and current Western Conference leader, Sacramento Republic FC.
“It’s nice to be back at home and in front of our support,” said S2 Head Coach Ezra Hendrickson. “Real Monarchs are a very talented team. The results may not show it, but they are very technical and tactically sound so it will be a good contest come Thursday.”
Two faces familiar to the Rave Green will likely make the trip to Tukwila with the Monarchs, as both Justen Glad and Phanuel Kavita have spent plenty of time with the team this season, and both appeared for Real Salt Lake in the Open Cup Fourth Round match on June 16. Glad, however, left the match with an injury and is questionable for Thursday. 
S2 will be missing a key midfielders going into Thursday’s match, as both Duncan McCormick and Sérgio Mota will be serving red card suspensions. Being the third game in ten days, Hendrickson will likely rely on some of the younger players in the Academy system to fill in. S2 will also be missing Damion Lowe and Oalex Anderson as the two continue their international duties in the Caribbean.
”It’s going to be a fight no matter who or when we play,” said Craven. “Everyone seems to be gunning for us, and we just let each other know that no matter who is on the field with us, we have each other’s back and that we will pick them up.”
With Lowe training with Jamaica’s U-23s, fans will also be looking forward to the potential debut of new centerback Ashani Fairclough. The Jamaican defender joined S2 from Wilmington before the road trip, and could see his first minutes with the club against the Monarchs.
Coming off a season-high eight-save game, Charlie Lyon will be determined to keep the Monarchs out of the net, as the team has scored the fewest goals in the USL Western Conference so far this season. Lyon, who earned USL Team of the Week honors for his performance, has two shutouts with S2 so far this season. 
Kickoff for Thursday’s match is at 7:30 p.m. PT and will be live-streamed on SoundersFC.com. Tickets are available here.

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