Seattle Sounders FC 2 midfielder Irvin Parra rewarded for high press, great work ethic with fortuitous goal

Parra S2 goal celebration 2017-05-05

TUKWILA, Wash. — Irvin Parra wasn’t trying to shoot when he scored his second goal of the game in Seattle Sounders FC 2’s 2-0 victory over Portland Timbers 2 at Starfire Sports Complex on Friday.

The 23-year-old midfielder managed the tally after pressing Portland defender Rennico Clark, and when Parra went in for a 50-50 challenge, Clark backed off and Parra’s follow-through sailed over T2 goalkeeper Kendall McIntosh. It was a fortuitous bounce to be sure and certainly made for a strange highlight.

But to hear S2 head coach Ezra Hendrickson tell it, the goal was a fair reward for Parra’s execution of the game plan Hendrickson had laid out.  

“It’s interesting, the [second] goal he scored, we talked about that at halftime,” Hendrickson said. “[We talked about] the weak side winger pressing when the ball is switched to their center back and putting the pressure on and we got a goal.

“You can say it’s luck, but that’s from hard work.”

Added Parra: “I was trying to hit the ball. I didn’t try to shoot i,t but that’s what happens when I press high. Coach told me good things happen when I press.”

Parra also had the game’s first goal, a sixth-minute penalty kick that he himself drew. The brace brought his goal total on the season to three.

Hendrickson said he’s been pleased with Parra’s overall contributions to the team so far this year, citing his status as one of the elder statesmen on a team packed with young faces.

“He’s played well,” Hendrickson said. “He’s one of our older players, 23-years-old so we expect him to be a leader out there…That’s why he’s on the pitch, along with his quality. He’s been playing well. Hopefully the goals keep coming for him and he continues to be successful.”

The victory was S2’s second in as many weeks following a 3-2 road triumph over the Colorado Springs Switchbacks last weekend and also moved the club above .500 with a 5-4-0 record. S2 will have its work cut out for it, however, as it hits the road for its next match to take on a San Antonio FC squad that currently sports the best record in the USL at 6-0-1.

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