Sounders U-23 handed second league loss in four days

Sounders U-23 handed second league loss in four days

VICTORIA, BC Canada – (club release) The Sounders FC U-23 started slowly on Sunday afternoon, giving up two first half goals to Brett Levis and were never able to recover. Attempts to close the gap were instead countered for two more Victoria Highlander goals before the Sounders notched one for consolation.

The U-23’s lost their PDL opener 2:0 Thursday in Portland. The team won it’s loser-out US Open Cup match on Tuesday.

Whether it was the busy week, bus travel, or an especially thick and slow grass field, the Sounders U-23 struggled to find rhythm in Victoria. The Highlanders brought great energy in front of their home crowd and capitalized on chances in the 22nd and 32nd minutes, each by winger, Brett Levis. Then, in the 2nd half, found two more goals from a free kick and off an awkward bounce.

su23clearAfter an early chance in the 9th minute for Victoria, the Sounders began to control the run of play. However, in the 19th minute, after the ball floated over the end line, Darwin Jones crossed it back into the goal box for David Geno. Playing through the whistle, Geno headed the ball towards the goal. When he landed, he seemed to tweak his foot on the patchy grass field. Geno was forced to sub out of the match.

Riding the momentum swing, after seeing the Sounders talisman subbed off, the Highlanders went on the attack. Brett Levis worked space on the left channel after a quick throw in and shot low into the far post. His effort beat Earl Edwards for the first goal of the match.

The Sounders grew back into the match again, following the Victoria goal. After a corner kick was deflected to the top of the Sounders penalty area, Josh Phillips opened his right foot and drove at chest height shot off of the left upright.

Moments after the Sounders hit the post, Vitoria responded with another goal to extend their lead. Again, it was Brett Levis. This time, he dribbled from the right wing into the box, chopping past two Sounders defenders and casually slotted the ball into the bottom corner from six yards out to make it 2-0 in the 32nd minute.

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With 45 minutes to respond, the Sounders came out on the front foot for the 2nd half. However, despite multiple chances built for the Sounders, it was the home side that converted for the third goal of the game. Tommy Mallette brought the ball into the box from the right side. The diminutive attacker skipped in between two Sounders defenders and attempted a shot. While his first shot was blocked, the attempted clearance got stuck in a grass divot. The ball bobbled right back to Mallette, who scored from five yards out.

As the Sounders began to push forward with attackers subbing in for defense, each the midfield became non-existent. In the 61st minute, the Highlanders added another, this time from a poorly marked free kick. Riley O’Neill was alone near the penalty spot and headed into the bottom corner.

The Sounders would finally catch a break in the 63rd minute as their attack led to shots from Mark Lee and Aodhan Quinn. Their shots were cleared off the line, but the latter, only as far as Miles Byass, six yards from goal. Byass made no mistake, and gave the Sounders their first goal of the PDL season.

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The final half hour included chances for both sides, but each team seemed slightly worn out after the feverish pace at the beginning of the 2nd half, and the match ended without any further goals; 4-1.

The Sounders U-23 don’t have long to lick their wounds from the match on Sunday, as they will fly out Monday morning for their first ever appearance on Tuesday, in the second round of the U.S. Open Cup. They will travel across the country to take on the Charlotte Eagles of the USL Pro league on May 21st.

Darren Sawatzky, said, “The Open Cup is an exciting competition for these players. It gives them a chance to showcase their ability against professional players and we are looking forward to Tuesday’s game in Charlotte.”

For more news and all things Sounders U-23, visit, follow us on Twitter: @SoundersU23, or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Scoring Summary:
VIC – Brett Levis 22’
VIC – Brett Levis 32’
VIC – Tommy Mallette 52’
VIC – Riley O’Neill 61’
SFC – Miles Byass 63’

Sounders FC U-23 – Earl Edwards, Joshua Phillips, Stephen Mohn (85- Luis Esteves), Michael Uyehara (61- Miles Byass), Mark Lee, Chris Brundage, Lucas Baldin (33- Michael Harris), Austin Sweeney (45- Nicholas Raskasky), Aodhan Quinn, Darwin Jones, David Geno (21-Abdul Aman (54- Eric Stevenson))

Substitutes Not Used: Zac Lubin


Victoria Highlanders – Elliot Mitrou, Kalem Scott (85-Adam Ravenhill), Gavin Barrett (80-Tarnvir Bhandal), Tyler Hughes, Ryan Ashlee, Riley O’Neill, Gareth Langdon (78-Craig Taylor), Matt Polster, Brett Polster, Brett Levis, Tommy Mallette (78-Craig Gorman), Jordie Hughes

Substitutes Not Used: Joel Wilson, Andy Phillips, , Jermele Campbell,


Misconduct Summary:
Victoria Highlanders: Riley O’Neill (caution) 87′

Referee’s Assistants:
4th Official:
Attendance: 1,376
Time of Game: 1:00 p.m. PST

All statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial


6 thoughts on “Sounders U-23 handed second league loss in four days

  1. Highlanders FC bitch-slapped Sounders U23 – it was a dominant display, and a very entertaining game. 3-0 against Kitsap two weeks ago was a close game, but this one wasn’t. Levis and Mallette are beasts down the wing, O’Neill is bossing the midfield, Polster is a great signing, and most of the rest of the team is one year better than last year. Highlanders beat Whitecaps U23 on Friday, and look set to beat them on the return leg 31 May to win the Juan de Fuca Plate. They are also set to battle for the league title this year, unless the MLS teams U23’s start playing the likes of Reo-Coker, Mauro Rosales, and Will Johnson against them.

    1300 fans is down from the 1800 two weeks ago, but on the Victoria Day weekend with people out of town, and with both the Luxton Rodeo and the 150th Victoria Highland Games (with Prince Andrew in attendance) going on, there was competition for people’s time today. What a great day and a great game.

    “Patchy grass field”. Give me a frickin’ break. You got your arses handed to you on a plate by a superior team, stop pretending the field was somehow a problem.

    1. I blasted Sounders U23 on twitter after they were complaining about the length of the grass during the match after being down 3-0 . After Victoria posted photos of the match, I posted links on the Sounders U23 facebook page of a photo and challenged them about the “especially thick and slow grass field” and showed them a comparision of the grass at Cheney Stadium last season.

      1. Whining about refereeing is one thing because you often at least have a case, but pretending the field is a factor when you’re playing on a surface as good as Royal Athletic Park in May indicates that whoever wrote this has no sense of self-responsibility and objectivity (something the Sounders organisation does have a bit of a reputation for). The reality is that Highlanders dominated this game, and the reason wasn’t the nice grass, or the sun being in their eyes for a half, or the big crowd, or really how Seattle played: the reason is that Highlanders were, on the day, a much better team, over most of the field, in most positions, on most plays.

        This is one of the best maintained public fields you’ll ever see; there has been almost nobody of any sport playing on it; it hasn’t been worn down or fried by a summer’s worth of play and heat; and the local (grid-iron) football team no longer plays there. I walked the players out onto the field in the pre-game, it’s immaculate. Kitsap Pumas didn’t bitch about it when Highlanders shut them out 3-0, and Highlanders were keeping the ball on the ground while passing crisply in triangles all day against Seattle.

  2. Note that this is a club-written press release. Nice to see the Highlanders off to a good start. They have underachieved for many years now. 2013 might be different.

  3. I had been watching all the division teams in the preseason and their roster moves and Victoria seem to me that they are not messing around this season. I’m not surprised by their fast start. They have 6 of their first 7 at home (due to sharing RAP with a baseball team) and then the next 6 on the road before finishing at home against Portland. I see Victoria 7-0 before their road trip.

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