T2, Russell Cicerone vs. Real Monarchs SLC - Sept. 9, 2017
Sam Ortega

USL MATCH RECAP | Portland Timbers 2: 0, Real Monarchs SLC: 0

PORTLAND, Ore. – Closing out a two-match home stand, T2 earned their third straight result with a 0-0 draw against Real Monarchs SLC Saturday night at Providence Park in front of 5,309 fans on Bark in the Park night.

Outshooting Real Monarchs SLC (17-4-5, 56pts) 13-3 in the second half, T2 (2-18-6, 11pts) created a number of scoring opportunities late in the match. In the 85th minute, Omar Mohamed’s delivery from a corner kick picked out Renzo Zambrano inside the box. Zambrano’s shot was redirected on frame by forward Gio Calixtro, whose back-heeled attempt was saved by Monarchs goalkeeper Connor Sparrow. The ensuing rebound fell to the feet of forward Augustine Williams inside the six-yard box, but Williams’ point-blank shot was kicked aside by Sparrow for a T2 corner kick.

In stoppage time, Mohamed played a ball in behind the Monarchs defense towards the path of Calixtro inside the 18-yard box. Calixtro took a touch and struck a right-footed shot that Sparrow kicked away in the 91st minute. Seconds later, Zambrano’s long-range effort was blasted past the right crossbar.

Beginning the second half on the front foot, midfielder Russell Cicerone’s shot from the right edge of the penalty area forced Sparrow into a save in the 48th minute. Seven minutes later, Calixtro tried to catch the keeper off his line, but his shot from 40 yards out went just wide of the post in the 55th minute. In the 80th minute, defender Kyle Bjornethun played a long pass into the path of Williams down the left flank. Cutting inside, Williams feinted past his defender and curled a right-footed shot that Sparrow saved.

Holding a 17-8 shot advantage in the match, T2 threatened Real Monarch’s goal throughout the first half. After a poor clearance from Sparrow, Calixtro attempted a long-range header that missed the target in the 10th minute. Receiving the ball from Calixtro’s headed pass 20 yards out, midfielder Tomás Granitto’s long-range shot was saved by Sparrow in the 20th minute. Continuing on the attack, Zambrano played a ball in behind the SLC defense that released defender Harold Hanson into space on the right flank. Hanson whipped in a low cross inside the box to Williams, whose first-time shot flashed inches past the post in the 25th minute. One minute later, Granitto’s free-kick service from about 40 yards was headed past the far post by defender Bill Tuiloma.   

T2 goalkeeper Wade Hamilton finished the match with three saves and earned his third shutout of the season.

Next up, T2 will travel to face Reno 1868 FC at Greater Nevada Field on Saturday, Sept. 23; kickoff is set for 7 p.m. (Pacific).

Postgame Quote Sheet

T2 head coach Andrew Gregor
On the team’s performance tonight…
“I thought the first half was obviously pretty even. They’re obviously a good team – they’re a lot older than us. There was a lot of experience out there and quite a few guys have played in MLS. They’re top of the league for a reason. It was quite even in the first half and it was a good game. The boys came out in the second half and did a really good job. They had plenty of opportunities to go ahead and win the game. Their goalkeeper was outstanding tonight. [Connor] Sparrow made some big saves for them. A couple of their defenders made some big-time blocks.”

On the play of Gio Calixtro and Augustine Williams tonight…
Gio is 17 years old and he had some good opportunities to score tonight. He did everything right. He hit the target and was composed, but sometimes goalkeepers come up with saves. He did a good job for sure. Augi was busy tonight. He did a good job of holding the ball up. He created a couple of more opportunities for himself. I’d like to see him do that a little bit more, but I thought both of them did a good job tonight.”

On the next match on the road against Reno 1868 FC…
“We’re moving along how we should be right now. We’re playing the way we should be. We’ve added a couple of other guys into the group. I think Renzo [Zambrano] has come into the group and has done very well for us. It’s helped some of our younger players and so I think we’re a little bit of a different team at the moment. We’re looking at finishing off the end of the season. Reno is a tough place to go play, but we’ve gone there before and earned a point. They’re not going to be happy about us coming in again with what happened last time. They’ll be up for the game and we’ll be up for the game too because we’re hungry as well. We’ve had three game in a row now where we’ve been a little bit unlucky not to win all three games. We’ll go there, like we always do, and look to play and look to win the game.”

T2 (2-18-6, 12pts) vs. Real Monarchs SLC (17-4-5, 56pts)
Sept. 9, 2017 – Providence Park (Portland, Ore.)

Goals by Half                1          2          F
T2                                 0          0          0
Real Monarchs SLC       0          0          0

Scoring Summary

Misconduct Summary
SLC: Moberg (caution), 9
POR: Hanson (caution), 42
SLC: Velasquez (caution), 63
POR: Bjornethun (caution), 67

POR: Williams (caution), 71
POR: Gregor (ejection), 72

Lineups & Stats
POR: GK Hamilton, D Hanson, D Tuiloma ©, D Batista, D Bjornethun, M Cicerone, M Zambrano, M Granitto (Ornstil, 81), M Mohamed, F Calixtro, F Williams

Substitutes Not Used: GK Oladapo, D Amick, D Clarke, D Jimenez, M Lowe

TOTAL SHOTS: 17 (Calixtro, Williams, 5); SHOTS ON GOAL: 6 (Calixtro, Williams, 2); FOULS: 17 (Williams, 6); OFFSIDES: 8; CORNER KICKS: 7; SAVES: 3

SLC: GK Sparrow, D Moberg, D Curinga, D Lachowecki, D Peay, M Adams (Calvo, 76), M Besler ©, M Brody (Velasquez, 58), M Haber, M Cruz (Minter, 82), F Hoffman

Substitutes Not Used: GK Putna, D Schmidt, M Hanlin, F Mare

TOTAL SHOTS: 8 (Haber, 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (Three players tied, 1); FOULS: 21 (Besler, Cruz, 5); OFFSIDES: 0; CORNER KICKS: 6; SAVES: 6

Referee: Katja Koroleva
Assistant Referees: Seth Martin, Chad Stewart
4th Official: Jason Perlewitz
Attendance: 5,309
Weather: Partly cloudy, 76 degrees

All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial.