Tacoma Tide vs Spokane Spiders at Curtis High School Stadium, June 20
Tide fans were treated in more ways than one on Friday night. Not only did every fan get a free Yellow Tacoma Tide shirt, they also got to see the Tide win another match at home. The “Yellows” ran their unbeaten home streak to 16 games. It took a half for the Tide to get things rolling, but when they found the rhythm, the impact was immediate. It took less than a minute into the 2nd half before the Tide scored goal number one. Rory Agu put forth a great defensive and offensive effort to block a clearance, drive to goal, and finish with the outside of the right foot.
In the 51st minute and 60th minute, the Tide’s possession and fluidity paid off again. First, it was Rafael Cox playing provider to Machael David, and second it was Cox finishing himself. With a match to follow on Saturday, the Tide made a number of substitutions that broke rhythm a bit and the Spiders pounced for a goal in the 65th minute by Daniel Anderson. Late in the match, there was even a penalty kick awarded to Spokane that resulted in a disputable red card for Taylor Mueller. The Tide held on and extended their lead of the Northwest Division.
Tacoma Tide vs Cascade Surge at Salem, Oregon, June 21
After 7 wins from the last 6 league matches, the Tide finally took a loss. With a tough match-up against league front runners, the Vancouver Whitecaps, looming next weekend, the Tide were surprised for a loss. The Cascade Surge spent 8 days in Austria on a special soccer outreach trip before returning home to Salem. Their team cohesiveness was an added boost, and it showed. They played inspired soccer right from the start. In the first 20 minutes, Tide goalkeeper, Jordan Jennings, was forced to make two important saves. The first was a hard drive right to him, the second was after a ball squirted through the defense and Jennings was called upon for a better save, and made it. The Tide had chances that came in longer drives that whipped just over the crossbar from Sanchez and David. Rory Agu also had a 1 v 1 opportunity in the 23rd minute but was equaled by Surge keeper, Jon Wilkins‚Äô, kick save.
With chances now coming on both ends of the pitch, the Surge were the first to convert. On a 27th minute corner kick, Caleb Louvier found space on the back post to head the ball inside the same post. Then, sensing an opportunity for the upset, they pushed forward for another shot from the top of the box. Chris Andre received a pass from the end line, took a few touches, and then rolled one inside the far post. The shot came through traffic and Jennings didn‚Äôt get a clear view of it until it broke the net.
The Tide went out with a better mentality in the second half. Brayton Knapp, University of Portland star, ripped a corner kick volley off the back upright and Machael David had a nice header from a Tangney cross that was saved well. The end to end action kept Jennings’ hands warm in goal as he made a strong 1 on 1 save near the 70th minute as well. The Tide thought they had merited a penalty kick in the 82nd minute when Rory Agu was clipped from behind while chasing the ball toward the corner flag. Nothing was called then, but a PK was given in the 85th minute on another Agu take-down. Dennis Sanchez stepped up and converted. The Tide pushed forward for the equalizer, but ran out of time.
On paper, the chances for both teams were equal in number and severity. That said, the Surge earned the victory and were deserving of 3 points. The Tide loss keeps Vancouver and Yakima in the hunt for a Northwest Divisional title. The Vancouver match that sits next on the schedule (6/28 @ Vancouver) for the Tide is now a crucial one with the Whitecaps trailing by 6 points, but they have played 4 less matches. Yakima, who trails the Tide by 6 points as well, also lost to Cascade on Sunday. They have played one less game than Tacoma.