TUKWILA, Wash. – It was a double dose of substitutions that did the trick for Seattle Sounders FC 2 as they downed Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC 2-1 on Sunday night for the second time this season.
First, it was midfielder Zach Mathers who came on in the 58th minute and was the primary catalyst for the S2 comeback. With his team down by one, Mathers not only set up S2’s first goal, but earned the foul that got Switchbacks’ defender Joe Greenspan sent off in the 70th minute. After the match, head coach Ezra Hendrickson had nothing but praise for the young midfielder who has established himself not only as lynchpin for S2 but a rotational player with the first team as well.
“I thought [Michael] Farfan gave us a good 60 minutes but then Zach came on and did his thing like he’s been doing for us all year,” he said. “And that’s orchestrating the offense. He gets the ball, finds the guys out wide and that’s how we try to play.”
Mathers, who is in his first season with S2, said he's finally feeling comfortable in his role. “When you’re down 1-0 sometimes you need that sub, and they put me on…to give us that spark… I realized that was my role and tried to do that today,” said Mathers.
“It was a good shot by Schweitzer and he [Jones] was there to tap it in,” said Hendrickson. “That’s what goal scorers do; they get it however they can… Maybe that jumpstarts his season and the floodgates open.”
With the score level at 1-1, forward Victor Mansaray entered into the match in the 73rd minute to deliver the final blow from S2. Forward Myron Samuel found Mansaray sneaking behind the back line with a deft pass which Mansaray then blasted into the top left corner of the net leaving goalkeeper Billy Thompson with no chance for the save. The Switchbacks back four appealed for offside, but was not given as S2 stole the lead in 86th minute.
“Oh it was great,” said Mathers of the goal. “The defender maybe tried to step up and catch him offside…I think Vic did a really good job of placing it in the corner and keeping himself onside.”
With the win, S2 maintain an undefeated record against the Switchbacks at home dating back to the club's inception in 2015. The points also come at a crucial time for S2 as the team looks to climb from its current 14th position in the USL Western Conference.
“I thought our guys really stepped up,” Hendrickson told reporters. “This was a team win.”
Next, S2 travel down to Arizona United SC on Saturday (7:30 p.m. PT, livestream on SoundersFC.com).