Sounders 2 was created to get players game minutes in a competitive atmosphere.
Mission accomplished, the new club said Saturday, after making debuting with a 4-2 win over defending USL champion Sacramento Republic FC before a crowd of 2,951 at Starfire Sports Stadium.
“It was a great crowd; it turned out to be a great day,” coach Ezra Hendrickson said. “It was a good way to start. We knew they were the defending champions coming in. They had the better of things in the first half, but we went in and halftime and tweaked some things.”
The first goal in S2 history went into the books in the 49th minute, a soft chip by Andy Craven after a pass into the box by Damion Lowe.
Never miss a local story.
“It was an incredible game and start to a professional career,” Craven said. “I don’t think anybody could ask for more. I was so excited.”
Sacramento answered in the 64th minute when Justin Braun beat the defense in front of net and equalized with authority. 1-1.
S2 took over from there with three straight goals. Sam Garza restored Seattle’s lead in the 70th minute, fighting past a defender in the box. Newly signed Pablo Rossi provided breathing room in the 76th minute with a free kick directly into the net. Then Sounders FC top SuperDraft pick Cristian Roldan finished a break in the 89th minute.
Sacramento’s Ocravio Guzman scored in stoppage time to set the final score.
Sounders 2 was formed in October as a bridge between Sounders FC Academy and the MLS Sounders. Its purpose is to get game minutes for young or little-used players in a more competitive situation than existed in the old MLS Reserve League.
That was the case Saturday, as chanting, flag-waiving supporters groups from both the Sounders and the Republic added to the atmosphere. The stadium itself also had a new look for the occasion with three sections of plastic chair-back seating added to the main grandstand.
“It’s like being in a mini CenturyLink,” Garza said. “What an amazing atmosphere. Best fans in America, hands down.”
S2’s inaugural starting lineup had goalkeeper Charlie Lyon; defenders Oneil Fisher, Jimmy Ockford, Damion Lowe and Dylan Remick; midfielders Victor Mansaray, Amadou Sanyang; Giuliano Franco and Aaron Kovar; and forwards Rossi and Craven.
S2 returns to Starfire on March 29, when Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 visits.
Sounders 2 wins its inaugural match 4-2 over defending USL champion Sacramento.
ST: Goal from Sacramento's Octovio Guzman.
89' Cristan Roldan finishes a nice S2 break, sending the club ahead of defending champ Sacramento, 4-1.
76' We heard about newly signed Pablo Rossi and now we've seen it. Free kick directly into net. S2 3, Sacramento 1.
70' S2 jumps ahead again, this time a nice patient double-move by Sam Garza in the box. S2 2-1.
64' GOAL Sacramento. Justin Braun gets ball right in front of net and fires in with authority. 1-1. Braun also scored the Republic's first goal last season.
Attendance: 2,694 announced at Starfire.
49' GOAL S2. Andy Craven goes into the history books with a nice little chip by Andy Craven. S2,
Second half: ... has begun. S2 sub, Long for Fisher.
Halftime: nil-nil. Four shots for both teams.
First kick: ... has been struck. S2 is a reality and under way. S2 in familiar SSFC rave/green; Sacramento in white/white.
Lineup: S2 inaugural lineup: Lyon; Fisher, Ockford, Lowe, Remick; Mansaray, Sanyang, Frano, Kovar, Rossi, Craven. Reserves: Kerawala, Long, Miele, McCormick, Roldan, Garza, Jones.
Sacramento Republic starters: McLain; Klimenta, Daly, Foran, Kiffe; Gonzalez, Guzman, Mirkovic; RIvas, Braun, Estrada. (Yes, David Estrada.) Reserves: Jakubek; Gabeljic, Iwasa, Cazarez, Gissie, Motagalvan.
Pregame: The sun has made a surprising and appreciated appearance at Starfire about 90 minutes before the first -- the very first -- kick of Sounders 2 and Sacramento Republic FC.
We'll keep the blog open before during and after the match, with additional updates and comments on Twitter @donruiztnt.
There will be a live stream at SoundersFC.com.
Player added: S2 has continued adding to its roster, almost right up to first kick.
Here's their latest signing, announced today:
Seattle Sounders FC 2 has signed Canadian midfielder Giuliano Frano, the club announced today. Frano, 21, most recently played collegiately for Boston College. Per league and club policy, terms of the deal are not being disclosed.
Frano started all 34 games in his two years at Boston College and led the Golden Eagles with four goals as a junior in 2013. Before Boston College, Frano played at University of Montevallo in Alabama where he started 31 of the 40 games he appeared in for the Falcons. "Frano is a good two-way midfielder who defends well, but also gets forward well," said S2 Head Coach Ezra Hendrickson. "Having Frano in the middle with Amadou Sanyang is going to be an excellent pairing for us this season." Frano led Montevallo with nine assists as a sophomore in 2012. He also scored four goals and added four assists as a freshman, and was a Peach Belt Conference All-Academic selection. "It feels great knowing that all the work I put in during the preseason is paying off," said Frano. "We look forward to showing what we can do tonight as we try to make it with the First Team."
S2 opens its inaugural USL campaign tonight at 7:30 p.m. PT against defending USL champion Sacramento Republic FC. Members of the media interested in attending the club's first USL match should contact Branden Griffith [BrandenG@SoundersFC.com] immediately, as press box space and parking considerations are limited. Tickets to tonight's contests, as well as season ticket options - including all 14 regular season, post-season and S2 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup games - are available via sndrs.com/ut4w. Transaction: Seattle Sounders FC 2 signs midfielder Giuliano Frano on March 21, 2015. Name: Giuliano FranoPosition: MidfielderHeight: 5-11Weight: 163Born: May 16, 1993Hometown: Mississauga, OntarioCitizenship: CanadaAcquired: Signed to S2 roster on March 21, 2015Previous Experience: Boston College (2013), University of Montevallo (2011-2012) ABOUT SOUNDERS FC 2Announced on October 14, 2014, Sounders FC 2 is the club's Second Team, playing in USL starting in the 2015 season. Known as S2, the team represents a link between the Sounders FC Academy and Sounders FC First Team. Playing its home matches at Starfire Stadium, S2 emphasizes development and community involvement, and provides a consistent and competitive professional environment for promising Academy players and certain First Team players to progress. The team operates under the management of Sounders FC and the Sounders Community Trust, an unprecedented, fan-owned organization that will hold a 20-percent interest in the team.