Below is a game report from each club. First, Sounders 2:
Sounders FC 2 fell by a score of 2-0 to Arizona United SC on Wednesday evening at Starfire Stadium. S2 couldn't overcome two early goals by the visitors, as the Rave Green fell to 0-2-0 to open the 2016 season. The five-match season-opening homestand continues on Sunday, April 3 against San Antonio FC (5:00 p.m. PT / live-streamed on SoundersFC.com.)
After keeping Arizona United SC at bay despite an aggressive offensive push by the visitors to open the match, Gibson Bardsley's well-placed header gave Arizona a 1-0 advantage in the 15th minute. Bardsley, who attended Mt. Si High School in North Bend, WA, received a cross in Seattle's area after Chris Cortez sent in the pass from the left flank.
Arizona extended the lead to 2-0 in the 24th minute on a goal by Cortez. On a fleeting counterattack, Cortez blazed past Seattle's backline for a one-on-one with goalkeeper Charlie Lyon. As he approached, Cortez sent a brisk shot attempt past an outstretched Lyon to the bottom corner of the net.
Of note, First Team players Lyon, Tony Alfaro, Andy Craven and Darwin Jones returned to the Starting XI for the second consecutive match. The Starting XI also featured first team forward Victor Mansaray and S2 defender Devon Fisher, who made their season debuts, while Sounders Academy product Toni Jnohope and 2016 MLS SuperDraft selection Zach Mathers made their second start in as many matches. Nick Hinds, Emir Alihdozic and Mark O'Ojong rounded out the Starting XI after making appearances off the bench in the season-opener.
Seattle returns to action on Sunday, April 3 against San Antonio FC. Kick-off is slated for 5:00 p.m. PT at Starfire Stadium, with a live-stream on SoundersFC.com. S2 season ticket packages are available now, starting as low as at $9 per match via the following link: http://sndrs.com/aju4. For complete information on S2 tickets, including single-match options, group tickets and the S2 Flex Plan, visit SoundersFC.com/S2/Tickets.
Seattle Sounders FC 2 |0 - 2| Arizona United SC
Wednesday, March 30, 2016
Venue: Starfire Sports
Referee: Levi Rippy
Assistants: Seth Martin, Juan Escobar
Fourth Official: Dan Compton
Weather: 64 degrees and clear
AZ - Gibson Bardsley 16'
AZ - Chris Cortez 24'
AZ - Brock Granger (caution) 42'
AZ - Daniel Antunez (caution) 49'
AZ - Blair Gavin (caution) 53'
S2 - Mark O'Ojong (caution) 78'
S2 - Zach Mathers (caution) 89'
AZ - Nick Costa (caution) 90'
AZ - Jose Cuevas (caution) 90'
LINEUPS & STATS
Seattle Sounders FC 2 - Charlie Lyon; Devon Fisher, Tobi Jnohope, Tony Alfaro, Nick Hinds, Zach Mathers, Mark O'Ojong, Victor Mansaray, Emir Alihodzic (Handwalla Bwana 57'), Andy Craven (Harrison Kurtz 71') , Darwin Jones (Lorenzo Ramos 71')
Substitutes not used: Matt Bersano, Handwalla Bwana, Henry Baldwin
Total shots: 8
Shots on goal: 2
Arizona United SC - Carl Woszczynski; Brock Granger, Julian Rinhof, Uchenna Uzo, Daniel Antunez; Blair Gavin, Miguel Timm, Gibson Bardsley (Tony Cascio 72'); Sam Garza (Long Tan 80'), Nick Costa, Chris Cortez (Jose Cuevas 80')
Substitutes not used: Jordan Stagmiller, Eduar Zea, Brandon Polgronierri, Freddy Ruiz
Total shots: 10
Shots on goal: 4
Post-match soundbytes from Sounders FC 2 Head Coach Ezra Hendrickson and defender Tony Alfaro are available for download via the following link: http://sndrs.com/366p.
And from the Reign:
Seattle Reign FC improved their pre-season record to 2-0-0 on Wednesday with a 2-0 win over the Houston Dash at Providence Park in Portland. Goals from forwards Beverly Yanez and Kiersten Dallstream solidified the win for Reign FC. The win was the second victory for Reign FC this week, after they defeated Portland Thorns FC on Sunday.
Haley Kopmeyer minded the net for Seattle, recording three saves and preserving a clean sheet.
The match had Reign FC playing a strong possession game, keeping the ball away from Dash’s offense. Although Dash made several strong pushes into Reign FC territory, the Reign FC defense held a tight line.
Reign FC answered Dash’s offensive attack by delivering one of their own in the 9th minute. Forward Manon Melis sent a shot from the left side that Williams caught straight to her chest. In the 10th minute, forward Merritt Mathias directed a shot from the top of the box that was again scooped up by Williams.
Melis had a strong offensive game, leading the team with five shots and two shots on goal, both of them near misses. Yanez also registered three shots, while Dallstream tallied two, and Winters, Mathias, and Little each made one shot.
Yanez put Reign FC on the board in the 38th minute with a beautiful unassisted shot from the right side of the box that found its mark in the lower right corner of the net.
“I was trying to get a lot of shots on goal and get a lot of momentum going forward, said Yanez. “I had taken about two or three shots before that actual goal. The team put me in great positions to get shots on goal – I’m just lucky enough that it went in. The team played great today and we have a lot to work on. It was a great start for us.”
Forward Kiersten Dallstream doubled Reign FC’s lead by scoring in 81st minute, her first goal with the club. Defender Michelle Cruz dribbled into the box from the right side and fed the ball to Dallstream who buried it into the goal with her left foot.
“I hit it from my left. I didn’t think I put a lot on it,” said Dallstream. “It’s a step forward, definitely. It built up my confidence.”
“I’m really happy that we kept a clean sheet,” said Head Coach Laura Harvey. “There is still loads to work on, but I am pleased with the result.”
Seattle takes to the Providence Park pitch again on Saturday April 2, when they take on Oregon State University at 2:30 p.m. PT. The team then returns to Memorial Stadium for their final pre-season appearance in 2016 as they take on the University of Washington Huskies on Saturday, April 9 at 7:30pm. PT.
Reign FC 2016 home-opener against Sky Blue FC is on Sunday, April 17 at 4 p.m. PT at Memorial Stadium. Tickets are on sale right now at Reignfc.com/tickets. Seats start at just $18.
Match: Seattle Reign FC v. Houston Dash
Date: March 30, 2016
Venue: Providence Park (Portland, Ore.)
Kickoff: 5 p.m. PT
Goals by Half 1 2 Total
SEA 1 1 2
HOU 0 0 0
SEA – 36’ Yanez
SEA – 81’ Dallstream
SEA – Caution – Rachel Corsie
HOU – Caution – Amber Brooks
SEA – Caution – Dani Foxhoven
Lineups & Stats
SEA: GK Haley Kopmeyer, D Carson Pickett, D Kendall Fletcher (73’ Michelle Cruz), D Lauren Barnes (45’ Rachel Corsie), D Elli Reed (70’ Michelle Cruz), M Havana Solaun (45’ Keelin Winters), M Jessica Fishlock, M Kim Little, F Beverly Yanez (65’ Lindsay Elston), F Manon Melis, and F Merritt Mathias (53’ Kiersten Dallstream)
Substitutes Not Used: Nielsen, Bennett, Tostanoski
HOU: GK Lydia Williams, D Poliana, D Ellie Brush, D Allysha Chapman, D Cami Privett, M Kealila Ohai (c), M Amber Brooks, M Andressa, F Rachel Daly, F Janine Beckie and F Caity Heap
Substitutes: Bianca Henninger, Jen LaPonte, and Caroline Van Slambrouck