A combination of resilient team defending and individual heroics from goalkeeper Tyler Miller earned Sounders FC 2 a valuable point away to San Antonio FC at Toyota Field on Saturday. With the result, S2 is unbeaten in its last three matches.
Normally a team that likes to sit back and counter, S2 ceded possession to the home side in the first half. While SAFC had control of the ball for most of the opening interval, a resolute S2 backline restricted them to a couple of half-chances from set pieces.
Miller came up with his first big save in the 18th minute. An SAFC corner was flicked on at the near side and found a wide open player at the back post. His first-time volley was denied by Miller, who managed to scramble across the goal-line and get a strong hand to the shot.
The rest of the opening interval saw the home team maintain sterile possession, as Lorenzo Ramos and Denso Ulysse teamed up to keep danger-man Billy Forbes relatively quiet. That all changed minutes before the end of the half, when Forbes settled a diagonal pass off his chest and rifled a volley in one motion. Miller did well to hold his ground and produced a world-class kick save to snuff out the danger.
The roles were reversed in the second period as S2 looked to get a foothold on possession. The Rave Green continued to funnel the SAFC attackers centrally in order to restrict space in the wide channels.
S2 looked lively attacking down the left in the second half, with Shandon Hopeau causing problems before being replaced by an equally incisive Azriel Gonzalez. The 15-year-old, making his third professional appearance, drove the visitors forward after coming on for Hopeau in the 61st minute with several intricate passing combinations.
The draw moved S2’s record this season to 4-4-1 and marked the first time all year in which a team held San Antonio scoreless. S2 will be on the road against next weekend at Reno 1868 FC before taking on Sacramento Republic at home for this second time this season on Sunday, May 28.