Sounders FC 2 (9-15-2, 29 points) suffered a second defeat in the span of a week with a 2-0 loss to Phoenix Rising FC on Saturday evening at Phoenix Rising Soccer Complex in Tempe. In the first meeting of the season for the Western Conference foes, the home side took all three points courtesy of two late goals. Ezra Hendrickson’s club returns to league play with a home fixture against Reno 1868 FC on Saturday, September 9 (7:00 p.m. PT, live-stream on SoundersFC.com)
S2 started the opening period at a blistering pace and managed to carve out a few quality goal-scoring opportunities. Homegrown midfielder Aaron Kovar nearly opened the scoring in the 20th minute with a shot from distance. The Seattle native received a pass out on the right-hand side from Henry Wingo, dribbled past two defenders and curled a shot toward the top corner, but his effort sailed just wide of the far-post. Phoenix nearly found the opener just four minutes later when Chris Cortez headed toward goal from about six-yards out, only to be denied by a point-blank, full-extension save from Tyler Miller.
The second half started in a similar manner to the first, with both teams trading chances in front of goal but unable to find a breakthrough. In the 73rd minute, the best chance of the second period fell to the feet of Zach Mathers, but after beating the goalkeeper, he was denied by the woodwork. A cutback cross from the left-hand side from Steve Whyte found Kovar at the top of the box, but his first-time effort was blocked by a Phoenix defender. The rebound fell to Mathers inside the penalty area, but his stabbed shot sailed past the goalkeeper and crashed back off the crossbar.
With S2 in search of the opener, Phoenix Rising scored the decisive goal in the 78th minute. AJ Gray cut infield and took a shot inside the box, which was blocked by an S2 defender and lofted toward the back-post for Amadou Dia to head into an empty net. The home side doubled their advantage in the fourth and final minute of stoppage time. Midfielder Jason Johnson picked the ball off Miller, rounded the goalkeeper and walked the ball into the goal.
The Rave Green return to league play with a home contest against Reno 1868 FC on Saturday, September 9. Kickoff is slated for 7:00 p.m. PT.
Seattle Sounders FC 2 |0 - 2| Phoenix Rising FC
Saturday, September 2, 2017
Venue: Phoenix Rising Soccer Complex
Referee: Farhad Dadkho
Assistants: Anthony Bersano, Todd Woodhull
Fourth Official: Paul Newman
Weather: 95 degrees and clear
PHX – Amadou Dia 78’
PHX – Jason Johnson 90’+4’
SEA – Tony Alfaro (caution) 10’
SEA – Felix Chenkam (caution) 28’
PHX – Chris Cortez (caution) 43’
SEA – Jordy Delem (caution) 83’
LINEUPS & STATS
Seattle Sounders FC 2 - Tyler Miller; Denso Ulysse, Tony Alfaro, Rodrigue Ele, Steve Whyte; Jordy Delem, Francisco Narbon, Zach Mathers (Ray Saari 75’), Henry Wingo (Charles Renken 61’), Aaron Kovar; Felix Chenkam (Seyi Adekoya 61’)
Substitutes not used: Sam Fowler, Sam Rogers, Lorenzo Ramos, David Olsen
Total shots: 10
Shots on goal: 3
Phoenix Rising FC – Josh Cohen; Victor Vasquez, Jordan Stewart, Peter Ramage, Kody Wakasa; Kevon Lambert, Blair Gavin (AJ Gray 75’), Jason Johnson, Shaun Wright-Phillips (Sam Hamilton 69’); Alessandro Riggi (Amadou Dia 68’),Chris Cortez
Substitutes not used: Nolan Wirth, Matthew Hurlow-Paonessa, Eric Avila, Douegui Mala
Total shots: 11
Shots on goal: 3