T2 versus S2. It has been a very one sided affair this season. Four times these teams have faced each other and four times S2 has walked off the field victorious. Three regular season victories and a US Open Cup victory have S2 with a 4-0-0 record over T2. Will T2 be able to use the confidence from the past two wins to turn the tables on their hosts or could S2 complete the sweep on their southern rivals?
T2 (7-9-2, 23 pts) scored 8 goals across two victories this past weekend and Tuesday. Hosting the Vancouver Whitecaps 2 in USL league play, T2 emerged 4-2 victors over the Whitecaps 2 and got their first result against a rival team. And the offensive output didn't stop there as they put another 4 goals past English Premier League side, Newcastle United in a 4-3 victory at Providence Park on Tuesday night. In each match four different players scored with only Fatawu scoring in both.
In the victory over the Whitecaps 2, they got a pair of goals in each half. Belmar and Fatawu scored in the first half, followed up by Fochive and Gavin in the second. Making his first start for T2 against Vancouver was Santiago Biglieri as he registered a pair of assists in his 63 minutes on the field. And against Newcastle United, Fatawu opened the scoring for T2, followed by Manning, Peay, and Besler. With Manning making his first start in returning from injury with a goal, followed up by Nick Besler getting his first professional goal. And Nick Besler probably had one of his better performances against Newcastle. It looked like he might have finally turned a corner and paired well with George Fochive in front of the defense. If he has finally taken another step forward it will be nothing but beneficial for T2, especially coming up against S2. And with the return of Anthony Manning to the backline, T2 can hopefully return to keep goals out of the back of the net a lot more often as well.
Tonight, T2 will need to draw on the confidence building 8 goals in two victories. With players returning and goals coming from just about everywhere right now, it is the perfect time to try to play spoiler to a full season S2 sweep of this series. T2 will look to the return of Winchester from Gold Cup duty, the current form of Fatawu, and the return of Anthony Manning from injury to put their stamp on this match and bring something home.
Seattle Sounders 2
S2 (10-6-3, 33 pts) and T2 have produced 390 minutes of soccer against each other. With 13 yellow cards and 10 goals between both teams in four different meetings, and S2 was victorious each time. Playing at home in Starfire where their regular season home record is 8-1-0 against a familiar foe that they know only victory over should provide them with plenty of confidence tonight.
S2 are also coming into this match with plenty of confidence from playing host to a 4-0 shutout victory over visiting Arizona United and following that up with a 1-1 road draw against the high scoring attack of the Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC. And with the USL regular season beginning to wind down, S2 will want to secure all 3 points against a T2 side they might feel overly confident against. Those 3 points will see them move into soul possession of 1st place instead of sharing it with Los Dos. And history, as brief as it may be, is on their side with an impressive home record and familiar foe upon them.
T2 could have an eye to the next match as well given such a short turnaround between games. After facing S2 in Tukwila, WA tonight, T2 will have to return home on only one night of rest before playing host to the LA Galaxy II on Sunday evening at Merlo Field. Kickoff for that match will be at 7:00pm.
Watch it: Streamed live on Timbers2.com and embedded in our T2 match thread
Kickoff: Friday, July 24th 7:30pm pacific, at Starfire Stadium in Tukwila, WA
Portland Timbers 2: 7-9-2, 23pts, 8th place in the USL Western Conference
Seattle Sounders 2: 10-6-3, 33pts, 1st place in the USL Western Conference