Photo courtesy Charis Wilson / Seattle Sounders FC 2
TACOMA, Wash. – Seattle Sounders FC 2 notched two goals in three minutes just before halftime as it took a 2-1 victory against the Portland Timbers 2 before 6,049 fans in its debut at Cheney Stadium on Friday night on the opening night of the 2018 USL regular season. T2 took the lead on the half-hour mark as a skipping low cross from the right by Jimmy Mulligan was knocked home at the back post by Augustine Williams, but the hosts grabbed momentum before halftime as Felix Chenkam first converted from the penalty spot in the 43rd minute after Ibrahim Usman was brought down and Nick Hinds notched his first professional goal on a tremendous give-and-go with David Olsen two minutes later. Portland almost equalized with 13 minutes to go when Jeremy Ebobisse saw his shot clip the top of the crossbar on its way over, but S2 held firm late to pick up its first season-opening victory since its inaugural season in 2015.
30’ – POR – Augustine Williams (Jimmy Mulligan)
43’ – SEA – Felix Chenkam (penalty kick)
45’ – SEA – Nick Hinds (David Olsen)
Three Things That Matter:
1. Nick Hinds’ signing by S2 this offseason after his sophomore season at the University of Akron was a move that Seattle hoped would pay dividends immediately, and the first goal of the 20-year-old’s professional career was one to savor. The interplay between Hinds and returning S2 forward David Olsen showed off impressive chemistry, and the finish couldn’t have been placed better under pressure from closing defenders into the right corner of the net to put S2 up at the halftime break.
2. Portland held a deserved lead through Augustine Williams’ goal on the half-hour mark but ended up paying for its inability to convert other chances into goals over the rest of the night as it once again fell to its Cascadia rival. S2 goalkeeper Calle Brown finished the night with three saves, but it was other chances including Jeremy Ebobisse’s shot that hit the crossbar inside the final 15 minutes that ended up proving costly for the visitors as they suffered a seventh consecutive loss in the series.
3. S2’s performance rewarded a tremendous opening-night crowd for the club as it made its debut at Cheney Stadium on Friday night, with 6,049 fans on hand to welcome the club to its new home. There will be things S2 Head Coach John Hutchinson will want to address before the side heads out for its visit to defending Western Conference champion the Swope Park Rangers next weekend, but the potential Tacoma provides Sounders FC 2 in terms of becoming the community’s club was in clear evidence on Friday night.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Nick Hinds, Seattle Sounders FC 2 – Hinds marked his professional debut with his first goal for S2 which proved the winner against the club’s biggest rival, a fine way to introduce yourself to the club’s new fans.
Seattle Sounders FC 2 at Swope Park Rangers – March 24, 8:30 p.m. ET, Shawnee Mission South District Stadium
Portland Timbers 2 at Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC – March 24, 8 p.m. ET, Weidner Field