T2 have played 7 games so far this season. I think most of us enjoyed 6 of them. Now onto the 8th game and a new opponent T2 haven't faced before. Brand new independent USL expansion side, Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC.
T2 (3-3-1, 10 pts) did not do so well in their most recent outing. Starting a team that only had 2 players out of the entire 11 that were signed directly to T2 it was a night to forget. Since T2 were playing at Providence Park and the night after the Timbers faced the Vancouver Whitecaps, the Timbers loaned 7 additional first team players down to T2 in an effort to get minutes for some of the guys who needed to stay sharp ahead of a busy May and upcoming US Open Cup matches.
Well, the players got their minutes but Orange County Blues FC came and played them all off the pitch. OC Blues went up 2-0 in the first half behind 8 shots taken vs T2's zero. Things changed in the second half but OC defended well and even though T2 got 12 shots off in the second half (OC Blues only got 5 off), the scoring yips that have plagued the first team in recent weeks came to haunt the second team that night too.
As they travel to face a brand new team who only sit one point and two places behind them, they will have to take on the challenges of an away trip at altitude. And hope that they left the ghosts of Sunday night behind them.
Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC
CSSFC (3-3-0, 9 pts) got all 3 points in their last match on Saturday May 2nd. They traveled to Scottsdale and faced Arizona United. The Switchbacks defeated Arizona 3-2 despite ending the game down to 9 men. Colorado was up 3-0 at the half and were able to make those 3 goals count despite going down 2 men and giving up 2 goals in the second half.
Shintaro Hirada and Josh Phillips both received two yellow cards in the match and were ejected in the 51st and 71st minutes, respectively. So they will not be available for selection against T2. Harada was used as the center midfielder in a 4-3-3 formation, while Phillips was one of the central defenders that night.
In addition, it seems Colorado Springs has split their results very evenly in their first six matches. They are 1-1-0 at home and 2-2-0 on the road. But with two starters suspended, as long as T2 show up rested, prepared, and ready to go, they can get a result in this match.
Watch it: Streamed live on Timbers.com/T2 and embedded in our T2 match thread
Kickoff: Saturday, May 9th, 6:00 pm pacific, at Sand Creek Stadium in Colorado Springs, Colorado
Portland Timbers 2: 3-3-1, 10pts, 6th place in the USL Western Conference
Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC: 3-3-0, 9pts, 8th place in the USL Western Conference