All of that seemed in place last night, when Sounders 2 debuted with a 4-2 win over defending USL champion Sacramento Republic FC before a crowd of 2,951 at Starfire Sports Stadium. (Here's our game story from the TNT.)
“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.”
We also asked Hendrickson some differences between USL and the old MLS Reserve League it replaces (and improves upon):
"With these guys you have them all week, you're training with them and stuff and you kind of know what your lineup is going to be. So it's easier to prepare like that, rather than reserve where it's the night before you get players depending on how much they play with the first-team game. But we have a lot of work to do still. ... We're going to get back to work (Sunday), we'll do a little regen, but on Monday we're going to get back to work and prepare for Vancouver. It's just the beginning. We're very happy, but we're never satisfied. ... We've very happy that we were able to send our fans home excited and happy, and hopefully they'll want to come back and see more exciting soccer."
Also this from goal-scorer San Garza: “It’s like being in a mini CenturyLink. What an amazing atmosphere. Best fans in America, hands down.”