The Sounders U23 team needed a win against Crossfire to solidify a playoff spot for the 2015 post season. The game started as planned for the boys in green with an early goal by Florian Valot as he ran behind the Crossfire defense to hammer home an Alex DeCarolis assist. The game continued in the Sounders U23 favor with flurries on goal and possession mainly in the Crossfire half of the field.
The game went into halftime with a score of 1-0 for the home side. As the teams re-entered the field for the second half, Crossfire quickly made its presence felt as Hamza Haddadi scored an early second half goal to tie the game at 1-1. Almost immediately Haddadi found goal number two to put the away team up 2-1.
The Sounders U23 made three changes to the lineup and immediately started to attack from the flanks. Derek Johnson ran at the Crossfire left back repeatedly forcing Crossfire goalkeeper, Tyler Visten, to make saves. In the 61st minute, Kissima Bojang broke the ice with a header on the back post after another crafty run by Johnson and the game was now tied at 2-2.
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The Sounders U23 did not stop there with veteran playmaker Joey Gjertsen playing balls into the box and putting the Crossfire defense under pressure. In the 78th minute, Johnson hammered home the game winner from Gjertsen and sealed the win for the playoff bound Sounders U23 with a score line of 3-2.
The Sounders U23 will play in a play-in game after the final two regular season games if the standings stay as they are. The Kitsap Pumas are currently in first place with the Portland Timbers close behind. Three teams in the NW Division of the PDL make the post season with the 2nd and 3rd seed playing each other for the second seed into the Western Conference finals. The top point getter in the NW Division goes directly to the Western Conference finals.
A much needed weekend off is on the schedule for the Sounders U23 before they come back to play the Puget Sound Gunners and the Kitsap Pumas away to end the regular season. Stay tuned for the schedule as the regular season comes to a close for 2015.