TUKWILA, Wash. – Seattle Sounders FC 2 has had a rough start to the 2016 season, but the team will have a chance to right the ship on as they welcome brand new USL club San Antonio FC to Starfire Sports Stadium on Sunday (5 p.m. PT; Live Stream on SoundersFC.com) .
Head coach Ezra Hendrickson focused on defense in the team's training session on Friday. S2 have conceded three goals across two games so far this season.
“We started from individual defending and worked up to a back four,” said Hendrickson. “Just basically trying to get them in the mentality of defending and how we’re trying to defend individually and as a team.”
S2 has also struggled with injuries from the get go, missing five total players, most notably Homegrown midfielder Jordan Schweitzer and defender Michael Nelson. And unfortunately, those players won't be back any time soon.
“All of the injured guys are still injured,” he said. “We’ve been using academy kids and I think they’ve filled in well. It will be another couple of weeks before we have a full team.”
On a more positive note, Hendrickson confirmed that forward Myron Samuel has returned healthy to Seattle from World Cup qualifiers with St. Vincent and the Grenadines and will be available for Sunday’s match. The club re-signed Samuel to S2 in the offseason and will be relived to have him back and in good shape for Sunday.
“Myron is just a very good overall soccer player; he’s very soccer savvy,” Hendrickson said. “He sees passes that most people don’t see, he’s got some pace, and he’s a very good finisher. He’s another one that’s going to be knocking on the door of the first team.”
San Antonio presents a strange challenge for S2 in that they’ve never played a match before. They were founded on Jan. 7 and this match will be their first in USL play.
Being a very new club themselves, S2 are accustomed to facing older clubs but in this fixture, they are actually the senior. Hendrickson spoke to media about their scouting efforts and how that affects their game plan.
“We’ve been trying to do some scouting on them but it’s hard,” Hendrickson said. “It’s a first-time organization, I think they’ll be excited to play, but right now we’re working on us and trying to get us better for whoever they bring.”
One aspect of San Antonio they will be familiar with, however, is goalkeeper Josh Ford, who signed with the club in February. Ford spent four seasons with the Sounders after being drafted as the 11th pick in the 2011 MLS Supplemental Draft.