Sunday was a bad day at the office for TSS Rovers. It happens. It was just unfortunate that it came at a time when a win would have seen the team take sole leadership of the PDL Northwest Division and set them up very nicely for the second half of the season in terms of playoff positioning.
The Rovers were simply outplayed by a Seattle Sounders U23 team that looked more dangerous throughout and could have won by far more than the 3-1 final scoreline if it wasn’t for more goalkeeping heroics from Andrew Hicks, who boosted his already high Canadian Premier League credentials once again.
Led by the two goal Santiago Patino, who was a constant danger and looks to be a real prospect and one to watch in next year’s MLS SuperDraft, Seattle were never behind and comfortable for most of the match against a TSS side that struggled to get much attacking danger going until far too late in the match.
The Rovers did at least garner some small consolation from the goal of the game, a stunning strike from Zach Verhoven that flew into the postage stamp corner. That had tied the game at one apiece, and gave TSS their best spell of pressure in the game, but when Free Warren made it 2-1 just before half time and Patino grabbed his second in the 64th minute, TSS’ chances looked over the way they were playing, and that proved to be the case.
The loss brought the Rovers five game unbeaten run to an end but does keep them five points ahead of the chasing pack in the second, and final, playoff position. Dropping points at home in this league usually proves costly, but they can do themselves a lot of good if they see off leaders Calgary Foothills on Friday.
That match is the last one at home for TSS before a gruelling five game spell on the road. They’ll need to produce a far better performance to get a result against Calgary. Another loss and another poor performance is going make for a very challenging few weeks. Make sure you get along to Swangard on Friday night to help them get the three points they so badly need.
AFTN photographers Tom Ewasiuk (@ResidualImage)) and Duncan Nicol (@VanCityVilla)
were there to capture what action there was before, during and after the game. Here’s their “Story In Pictures”, with a full Flickr slideshow at the end.
Your TSS Rovers starting XI
Seattle got off to the stronger start, threatening the TSS goal in opening minutes, and it wasn’t a great surprise when they took the lead in the 8th minute when Santiago Patino got on the end of a long ball forward
And used his power and skill to make a chance for himself heading the ball over the onrushing Andrew Hicks
And just like that it was 1-0 Sounders
TSS fought back though and levelled things up with one of the goals of the season, when Zach Verhoven hit a screamer from the corner of the box into the postage stamp corner
Take a bow son
Smoking – goal and celebration (and extra kudos for wearing a t-shirt from one of my all time favourite bands!)
Seattle responded by found Andrew Hicks in tremendous form as the Rovers keeper kept them at bay with a string of impressive saves
And another one
But although Hicks got a hand to Free Warren speculative shot two minutes before half time, he couldn’t direct it past the post and it nestled in the bottom corner of the net to restore Seattle’s lead
Seattle continued to look dangerous in the second half, led by Santiago Patino – watch this guy at Florida International University in his senior year, looks a great potential draft pick
Seattle put the game to bed in the 64th minute when Hayden Criollo showed some nice hustle to get free and send a cross into the box
Which Santiago Patino duly dispatched to make it 3-1 to the visitors
Even the Swanguardians traditional 75th minute version of Bohemian Rhapsody could help the Rovers rise
Nick Soolsma forced a leg save on the line from Sounders keeper Marvin Kasim in the closing minutes
But nothing and no-one else was getting past him
A disappointing way to end their streak, but this will be a real test for the Rovers players and management now in the second half of the season – their playoff fate is still very much in their own hands and it starts on Friday when Calgary come to town. Be there!
You can see all of Tom and Duncan’s photos from the game HERE and in our full Flickr slideshow below: