Photo courtesy Charis Wilson / Sounders FC Communications
TUKWILA, Wash. – Jordan Schweitzer scored the winner with two minutes to go as Seattle Sounders FC 2 took a 2-1 victory against the Portland Timbers 2 on Monday night at Starfire Stadium. S2 almost grabbed an early lead when Portland goalkeeper Kendall McIntosh denied Carlos Patino, and Mark O’Ojong had a shot slip through McIntosh’s hands and come back off the crossbar nine minutes later. Seattle remained on the front foot, but Portland also hit the crossbar in the 26th minute as Villyan Bijev hit a fine shot from the edge of the penalty area that came back off the woodwork. S2 took the lead seven minutes into the second half when Zach Mathers converted from the penalty spot after Patino was brought down looking for a return pass in the penalty area. Bijev threatened again with a fierce shot that was saved by Tyler Miller in the 58th minute, while Irvin Parra shot just wide for S2 with 18 minutes to go. T2 got back on even terms in the 76th minute as Victor Arboleda sent a low finish home off a pass by Bijev. S2 grabbed victory when the game appeared set to finish as a draw with two minutes to go, however, as Tony Alfaro’s low cross was turned home by Schweitzer’s first-time finish.
52 – SEA – Zach Mathers (PK)
76’ – POR – Victor Arboleda (Villyan Bijev)
88’- SEA – Jordan Schweitzer (Tony Alfaro)
Three Things That Matter:
1. Facing a seven-point deficit to both seventh-place Orange County Blues FC and eighth-place San Antonio FC going in, Monday night’s contest was essentially a must-win for Seattle and its playoff hopes, and thanks to Jordan Schweitzer’s second goal of the season S2 managed to do just that. It’s not often you see a center back made the type of turning cross that Tony Alfaro did to set up the opportunity, but after seeing chances go to waste in the first half, S2 pulled three points out of the fire against its biggest rival.
2. On the other hand, T2’s playoff hopes are almost certainly gone after having played well for most of the second half. At the center of most of Portland’s good attacking work was again Villyan Bijev, who picked up his seventh assist of the season in setting up USL 20 Under 20 selection Victor Arboleda’s finish, but with the team now sitting nine points back of a playoff position with five games remaining, it definitely appears T2 will miss out on a playoff berth for a second consecutive year.
3. The path for S2 in its bid for a playoff berth gets no easier as it next faces a home-and-home series with third-place Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 that kicks off on Friday night at Starfire Stadium. With games against OKC Energy FC and Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC also on the slate, Seattle is going to have to put together a remarkable run of form as it closes out the season with four consecutive road games, but with the attacking ability this side has, it’s at least going to be entertaining to watch it try.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Jordan Schweitzer, Seattle Sounders FC 2 – Schweitzer’s late goal proved the difference, and kept S2’s playoff hopes alive with victory against its archrival.
Seattle Sounders FC 2 vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 – Sept. 2, 10:30 p.m. ET, Starfire Stadium
Portland Timbers 2 vs. OKC Energy FC – Sept. 4, 10 p.m. ET, Merlo Field