T2 lost, but certainly made it interesting and exciting in the final minutes of a 4-3 home loss to Oklahoma City. Up next is the second of three home games, hosting the Vancouver Whitecaps 2 for the final Cascadia match of the regular season for T2.
T2 (8-12-2, 26 pts) are having problems in the first half of matches. As has certainly become custom for this young team, first half mistakes are costing T2 lots of points. Whether they come out and have a sluggish start, lacking energy, defensive errors, and/or mistakes they have given up a significant amount of goals in the first half of matches. Which puts them in a bad position to have to chase the match. Occasionally they have gotten something out of it, but more often than not it cost them all the points.
In their last match, they got taken to the cleaners to the tune of 4 goals, before heroically getting 3 back and really making a game of it. Unfortunately, they could not find that 4th goal and secure at least a point at home. And up next they've got to play the Whitecaps 2. T2 secured their first Cascadia victory at home in the last match against the Whitecaps 2 and they will be looking to repeat that. A victory and all three points are an absolute must as the playoffs get farther and farther away. T2 is three points behind the Whitecaps 2 and 7 points out of a playoff spot. And T2 don't get to play anyone below them anymore so the matches will refuse to get easier.
Midfielder George Fochive is in quite the run of form recently, having scored 3 goals in the past two games. His game winner secured all three points on the road against the Austin Aztex and his brace at home against Oklahoma City provided the spark and hope that T2 could make up for the 4 goals they shipped to the visitors.
In addition to George Fochive, newcomer Michael Seaton made his debut for the Timbers organization with a substitute appearance and a goal scorer in the T2 match against Oklahoma City. However, Seaton will not be available tonight as he is with the Jamaican Men's U-23 National team as they participate in CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying. He spoke to the press after the Oklahoma City match and said he should be back and available for the final home match of this three game stand. In addition, he also seemed very genuinely excited to be a part of the Portland Timbers organization. But not having Seaton won't be too different for T2 as they should seek their go to striker in team leading 9 goals scored, Kharlton Belmar.
Vancouver Whitecaps 2
Whitecaps 2 (8-10-5, 29 pts) came to Merlo Field on July 19th and left defeated by a 4-2 scoreline. Belmar, Fatawu, Fochive, and Gavin all found goals against the Whitecaps 2 in that match. So they will return for revenge. And they bring with them confidence in having downed fellow rival S2 to a tune of 3-0 at S2's home of Starfire. Losses are rare at Starfire, especially such a one sided 3-0 loss. So Vancouver will be looking to build upon that victory and their current two victories in a row to do the same at Merlo Field and make it a 3 game win streak.
Midfielder Marco Bustos is the on fire player for the Whitecaps 2 right now. In their two victories, he has scored 4 goals in back-to-back braces. The first brace came in a victory against Tulsa Roughnecks and the second came in the 3-0 victory over S2. It will be up to T2 to prevent this midfielder from gaining any more goals and certainly no more braces. T2 did well to keep him quieter than other teams have in their last visit to Merlo. Will they be able to do so again?
If T2 don't get all three points, the Whitecaps 2 will get within 1 point of a playoff spot and be in a good position to fight for one of the last playoff spots, while T2's playoff hopes will pretty much be all but mathematically eliminated.
After tonight's match, T2 will play their final of three home games against the Tulsa Roughnecks on Saturday, August 22nd.
Watch it: Streamed live on Timbers2.com
Kickoff: Sunday, August 16th, 7:00pm pacific, at Merlo Field in Portland, Oregon
Portland Timbers 2: 8-12-2, 26pts, 9th place in the USL Western Conference
Vancouver Whitecaps 2: 8-10-5, 29pts, 8th place in the USL Western Conference