Photo courtesy Charis Wilson / Seattle Sounders FC 2
TUKWILA, Wash. – Sacramento Republic FC’s Tyler Blackwood scored deep into stoppage time to earn a 2-2 draw against Seattle Sounders FC 2 on Sunday afternoon at Starfire Stadium. Sacramento’s Trevin Caesar had the first big chance in the 13th minute as he feinted past a defender to open up space in the penalty area and shot low to the left corner, but S2 goalkeeper Tyler Miller got down to save well. Miller had to be on his toes again as he claimed a knock-back by Elliott Hord from the right, while S2 had Ray Saari head over seven minutes before the break, but the game went to halftime scoreless. Republic FC (4-5-2, 14pts) took the lead just before the hour-mark, however, as a chipped through-ball by Danny Barrera found Trevin Caesar breaking in behind the S2 defense, and the Trinidad & Tobago striker lifted his finish into the right corner of the net past an advancing Miller. Seattle (4-5-2, 14pts) almost leveled five minutes later when a cross by Nouhou Tolo from the left was fired on goal by Zach Mathers on the volley, only for Dominik Jakubek to get across his net well to save. Jakubek was at fault as Seattle equalized with 12 minutes to go, however, as he misjudged a free kick by Zach Mathers and left a gaping net for Brian Nana-Sinkam to head home. S2 then took an improbable lead with four minutes to go when a cross from the right was headed home by Olsen as he beat Jakubek to a back-post ball by Charles Renken. But Sacramento grabbed a point in stoppage time as Agustin Cazarez found Blackwood in space for a low shot from the right side of the penalty area that leveled the score.
59’ – SAC – Trevin Caesar (Danny Barrera)
78’ – SEA – Brian Nana-Sinkam (Zach Mathers)
86’ – SEA – David Olsen (Charles Renken)
90+’ – SAC – Tyler Blackwood (Agustin Cazarez)
Three Things That Matter:
1. It was looking like an uphill struggle for S2 when Sacramento took the lead, with the visitors having had the upper hand for decent portions of the game and the better chances. But just when the side looked like it had claimed only its second win in the all-time series against Republic FC, a late concession cost the hosts a valuable two points. The goals by Brian Nana-Sinkam – his second against Sacramento this season – and David Olsen were well-taken, but Tyler Blackwood’s late equalizer ended the game on a down note.
2. Some of the USL’s best playmakers shone this weekend, and Sacramento’s Danny Barrera made sure he wasn’t left out of the fun with his third assist of the season. Barrera has been among the USL’s leader in chance creation this season, but many of them went astray due to the cold streak of finishing his front line went through. On Sunday as his deft chip found Trevin Caesar in the left channel that wasn’t the case as Caesar produced a finish worthy of the pass to open his league account for Republic FC.
3. Caesar’s goal left Sacramento looking comfortably on the way to a result on the road with half-an-hour to go, but the late concessions bring into question the rotation of goalkeepers that Sacramento has employed for each of the past two seasons. Two terrible misjudgments by Dominik Jakubek almost sank Sacramento, and if not for Tyler Blackwood’s late equalizer the side would have returned home to Papa Murphy’s Park thoroughly deflated. With a crucial week that sees the side host Reno 1868 FC in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and Rio Grande Valley FC in the league coming up, it may be decision time for Head Coach Paul Buckle.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Tyler Blackwood, Sacramento Republic FC – Blackwood pulled a point out of the fire for Sacramento after the side had conceded its second-half advantage.
Seattle Sounders FC 2 vs. LA Galaxy II – June 3, 10 p.m. ET, Starfire Stadium
Sacramento Republic FC vs. Rio Grande Valley FC – June 3, 11 p.m. ET, Papa Murphy’s Park