Home Red Black 90 Match Day Six Pointer Preview: Seattle Sounders 2 at San Antonio FC

Six Pointer Preview: Seattle Sounders 2 at San Antonio FC

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Match Day 32 will see San Antonio FC back home for the first of three straight matches at Toyota Field to close out the 2018 season. We once again caught up with Dave Clark from Sounder at Heart (@sounderatheart) to get some perspective on Seattle Sounders 2 . Here we go into another Six Pointer Preview.

  • 1 – (RB90) It’s been nearly two months since these two teams met – catch us up on Seattle’s season since then – what has stood out?

(DC) At home, they have grown to be a competent, if not great, the side that will not quit. The 4-4 draw they earned after being down 4-1 is probably the best example of that. On the road, they seem to be overwhelmed. Most of the direct-to-USL signings are only in the second year, or less, of professional soccer. That inexperience has stood out at times.

  • 2 – No big surprises or deep analysis here, but Seattle is near the bottom of USL in goals scored (30) and clean sheets allowed (2) – it’s tough to win games when you’re not scoring goals and when you’re not keeping the other team out of the net. Give us some reasons why there won’t be any quit in this team, these final three matches.

Despite their struggles, they did have a five-match home unbeaten run. Two of the draws included comebacks. Plus, these are guys fighting for their jobs. Players like David Olsen, Shandon Hopeau and Nick Hinds all came through the Academy and are in the second pro season. For them to get a third USL deal they’ll need to be much better to end 2018. Outside signings Denso Ulysse and Rodrigue Ele are also in their second years with S2, but are both young. All have 36+ appearances so far and only Olsen is over 21, so maybe the organization has some patience, but their resumes all need strengthening.


  • 3 – Estrada gets the headlines for this team, but let’s talk about Henry Wingo. He scored two of his three season goals against SAFC last time out. Tell us more about him as a player, and was that just his night?

Wingo is currently out with a concussion. The First Team loanee has dominated when at the USL level. To borrow a baseball phrase he may be an AAAA type guy who is too good for the lower divisions, but not quite enough to make an impact in MLS.

  • 4 – Calle Brown is the lead GK for S2, but three other keepers have seen time this season. What’s the latest on the GK dynamic and who do you expect to start against SAFC?

There’s no unique dynamic here. Brown and Meredith are both First Team players. The Academy kids only get starts when both are unavailable. Meredith gets just enough starts to stay ready to be the backup at the MLS level and Brown is the emergency guy. He will remain as the majority starter for S2.

  • 5 – From our standpoint, it was a surprise loss to Seattle the first time around. On the flip side, Seattle has zero road wins in 2018. What does Seattle need to do to pull off the sweep, and what is your prediction for the match?

It’s hard to predict against them, but S2 is unlikely to win on the road this season. They need to play an up-tempo game where they react instinctively. When doing that and understanding that they will need to play something like a 4-3 win they stand a chance.

  • 6 – What is Seattle’s biggest offseason need (or needs) to improve in 2019?

A seasoned veteran in each line. The loss of both Narbon and Saari to injury this season crushed their ability to compete. A backline that averages less than 20 years old will never succeed. If they can get regular appearances from fringe MLS players who understand and believe in representing this soccer community the youth can come through. An Estrada level d-mid and CB changes everything. If Wingo and Alfaro were starting 20+ times at the USL level, while also practicing with the team S2 is probably capable of competing for a 2019 playoff spot.

Current Form (W-D-L)
San Antonio FC – W W L L L, 2018 Home Record 8-3-3
Seattle Sounders 2 – D D L L L, 2018 Road Record 0-2-12

Table Position
San Antonio FC: 43 points, 38 GF, 45 GA, -7 GD, 9th in USL West
Seattle Sounders 2: 20 points, 30 GF, 61 GA, -31 GD, 17th in USL West

All-Time History (W-D-L)
Despite a loss in the last fixture, this series has largely favored San Antonio. In five overall meetings, San Antonio has three wins and there was one draw, at Toyota Field last year. Overall, San Antonio is 3-1-1 vs Seattle 2, leading the series 10 points to 4.

Season Series
8/11/18 @ SEA – SEA 3, SA 2
9/29/18 @ SA

Last Time

It was a shock defeat for San Antonio in Seattle last month, a defeat that would begin their worst stretch of the season, ultimately losing four straight matches. It was a game filled with goals. San Antonio would earn an own goal and a Guzman goal after Seattle opened the scoring from Henry Wingo in the 5th minute. The lead wouldn’t last. Another goal from Wingo late in the first half tied the match and took the wind out of San Antonio’s sails, setting up Shandon Hopeau to get the second half match winner, despite an Olsen Red Card that left Seattle to finish with ten men. Here are the highlights:

Match Highlights:

The Matchup (W-D-L)
Seattle Sounders 2 (5-5-19) at San Antonio FC (12-7-12) #SAvSEA
Toyota Field, Saturday, September 29
Kickoff 7:30 pm Central Time
Where to Watch: ESPN+

Key to victory

It was a disastrous end to a disastrous road trip for SAFC on Saturday night as they watched their playoff hopes dwindle to a small flicker after losing to Saint Louis FC 2 to 0. San Antonio hung in there for a half with the match scoreless at the break, but it would soon unravel in the second half behind goals for Hilton and Dikwa who sealed it late. The match also saw recent loanee Moises Hernandez sent off with a straight red card. The last SAFC player to get straight red was Tyrpak, and he would never play with SAFC again. Something tells us that’s the end of the Hernandez era in San Antonio. We hardly knew ye.

If San Antonio ends up staying home for the playoffs for the second time in three seasons – and it looks like that will be the case – they can point squarely at two three-match road trips in the last two months where San Antonio went 0 for 6, dropping 18 precious points. During those six matches, they were outscored 15-4. That is simply not good enough in the USL to survive.

Two of those losses were to teams outside of the playoff chase. One of them was to Seattle Sounders 2. And that brings us to this week’s opponent. Seattle is dead last, long eliminated from playoff contention, they’ve lost three in a row, and they are somehow even worse than San Antonio FC on the road. Seattle hasn’t won a road match all season long. Zero wins in 14 matches. They have a depressingly bad negative thirty one-goal differential on the season. They are a mess.

San Antonio would like a few matches back this season that could have made all the difference. You can bet Seattle was one of them.

San Antonio simply can not allow this team to take any points at Toyota Field this weekend. And let’s face it – they owe them one. To make the playoffs, San Antonio needs to be perfect in their final homestand of the season. They need three wins. They also need a lot of help. Destiny is no longer in their hands. If nothing else, we think they’ll get this first game. San Antonio bounces back and keeps hope alive for one more week.

Prediction
San Antonio FC – 2
Seattle Sounders 2 – 0

SAFC “Did You Know?”
San Antonio FC has scored multiple goals in every match they’ve played in Seattle. It’s a different story at Toyota Field. San Antonio has never scored more than one goal at home vs Seattle 2.

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Stephen Michael 26, is a journalist, social media coordinator, host, and entertainment reporter. Michael graduated in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in Communication Arts and earned a Master's Degree in Digital Media in 2020 from the University of the Incarnate Word. He has worked covering the San Antonio Rampage, Stars, and San Antonio Futbol Club. He was the host of the Project Spurs Roundtable on NBC affiliate News 4 San Antonio from 2015-17.

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