The North Sound SeaWolves hope a week of practice was just what they needed as they head to the road for a matchup against the Portland Timbers U-23 squad at 5 p.m. today at Sherwood High School in Oregon.
The Edmonds-based soccer team, coming off a 3-0 loss to the Seattle Sounders U-23, are now 3-4 and in a tie for sixth in the Premier Development League Northwest Division with Victoria. Portland is 5-2-1, tied for third with the Washington Crossfire but just a point out of first.
“We’ve had a difficult schedule with so many games this month,” SeaWolves coach Alex Silva. “But we think we’re at a point now where we’ll have our entire team together going forward and that should help our results.”
Scoring hasn’t been easy for the SeaWolves. Forward Abdul Aman has four goals and midfielder Brady Ballew has two, accounting for six of the team’s seven goals. But Silva hopes the stability of the roster now that most of the collegiate players are on break, will help.
“We’ve had chances,” Silva said. “We’ve done some good things moving the ball. In a lot of ways we’ve been unlucky but I think that will start to even out.”
In Portland, the SeaWolves will face a team that swept them last season, including a 5-0 victory in Oregon. This season, Portland is 4-0 at home, having outscored its opponents 13-2.
Leading the way for the Timbers is 6-foot-3 forward Mark Sherrod, a third-team All-American at the University of Memphis this past season when he set a school record with 19 goals. He already has five goals and three assists for the Timbers.
Portland also features midfielder Cameron Vickers, who leads the entire PDL with six assists to go along with two goals. Three other players—Steven Evans, Clark Phillips and Andrew Ribeiro—also have two goals for the Timbers. Keeper Spencer Richey, a University of Washington player from Seattle, allows less than a goal a game.
“They’re a dangerous team; they attack in a lot of different ways,” Silva said. “It’s going to be a great challenge for our defense. We need to make things tough on them, not let them get easy looks at the goal and be sure we’re communicating. It’s a great opportunity for us.”