Going into the second road match, only 3 days separated from battling hard for a draw in Sandy, Utah, Timbers 2 find themselves in Seattle of all places. One undefeated Cascadia 2 team travels to face another undefeated Cascadia 2 team and it is likely someone is going to go home unhappy. Frenemy from the north, Dave Clark of Sounder at Heart, is nice enough to answer three questions and give us a look at the new era USL Sounders 2.
STF: Who are three S2 players that we might not have heard about down here but need to watch out for?
SaH: Let's go from least known, to most known.
Choong Sil Lim - right back from the current U18 team in the Academy who is one of the five players that maintain amateur status while playing up in USL. The compact and speedy right back has only 10 minutes of USL play, but on a weekend with the first team down in LA this is a good chance for him to get a run. During preseason he cut off lanes well defensively and was a terror going forward.
Damion Lowe - The Generation Adidas player is on the first team roster, but is playing down right now. He's just 21 and part of Jamaica's U23 squad. Lowe is a lanky CB with speed and pinpoint accuracy with his long balls. Dude doesn't clear the ball, he assists goal scorers.
Victor Mansaray - He's Seattle's youngest HGP and youngest player to see first team time, but this weekend the MLS side won't need him so the forward/winger probably stays at home so he can do his homework and face Portland the first time. Vic played in 18 USSDA matches this season scoring 9 goals with 1 of those coming against the Timbers U18s. He's flashy, driven and the most right footed player you'll meet in your life. He'll still wind up in the boxscore.
STF: Are you excited to renew this rivalry at the USL level and do you feel it will be like the good old days before MLS noticed the existence of the Pacific Northwest?
SaH: I love being surrounded by 65,000 people that hate Portland. But there's also an amazing feeling to being at Starfire save in the knowledge that Seattle's earned trophies there and crushed Timbers hopes there. The intimacy is nice. Being so close to the players is a unique experience in pro sports. There's also a thing about that crowd. If you can measure crowd passion in percentages it is cranked as high as can be.
STF: What have you learned about S2 from their first two games and when these two undefeated teams enter who goes home unhappy?
SaH: Ezra Hendrickson cares about winning. S2 has a slightly older, and much more experienced lineup than other '2s.' There are several players getting loaned down regularly and only one direct signing from the Academy to Sounders 2. It's also a squad that's willing to go all out in the attack and doesn't care if it uses the long ball, set-pieces or build-up play to get there. Everything is about getting possession and threatening as rapidly as possible. It's exciting; it's winning; it's still pretty local.
Predicted Lineup: Lyon; Correa, Lowe, Miele, Long; Mansaray, Frano, Sanyang, Craven; Rossi, Jones
I'd like to thank Dave Clark for the time taken to exchange questions and answers with me and I invite everyone to check out my answers to his questions about T2.
Timbers 2 will kickoff against Sounders 2 tomorrow night, Saturday April 11th, at 7:30pm pacific at Starfire Stadium in Tukwila, Washington.