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Three Questions with Sounder at Heart (ThunderCap Edition)

We sat down with Sounder at Heart writer Dave Clark about the upcoming ThunderCaps game. Here are his responses!

With the inaugural game of the VWFC 2 set to be played on Sunday against the Seattle Sounders 2, we chatted with Sounder at Heart writer Dave Clark about the game and what to expect from Seattle.

  • The goal of the ThunderCaps is to provide additional minutes for the fringe and injury returning players and transition players from the academy to the professional ranks. What are the primary goals of the Sounders 2 team during their inaugural season in USL?

The dual goals are development and community involvement. They get the second by having a fan Trust own 20% of the team. It's a pretty nifty little thing. The rules are also a bit looser at Starfire, so there's smoke without arrests now. The first part means that S2 won't be a place for regular 1st teamers to get minutes for fitness or injury recovery, instead it will be younger players who head down to the 2 to get time. Last week that meant seven kids went down on loan and played to great effect. They are a mix of HGPs (3), GA (2) and draftees (2). But they are also all part of one team. The 1st team and S2 practice together on occasion. Players might participate in both sessions when they are split. It's all about getting more time on the ball for those that need it.

  • The MLS Sounders are known for their large home crowds. Has the fan interest been high for the USL Sounders and should we expect a similar atmosphere and passion as we see at the MLS level?

It's a decent Starfire crowd of about 3,000. It happens to be the most passionate of the fanbase, so the atmosphere was quite vibrant in that first match. Still, it is smaller. Everything about Starfire is smaller. That is both nifty and disappointing at the same time. There's a certain wonder about small venues, but I'd love more people get to understand the power of having kids that grow up playing on the streets of your neighborhood growing into pros right in front of your eyes.

  • Although this is the first game for the ThunderCaps, the Sounders 2 played, and defeated, defending champion Sacramento Republic last week. What were the takeaways from that game and what can ThunderCaps’ fans expect for the Sunday version of the Sounders 2?

It's hard to take too much away from that game. Much of Sac's cup winning lineup was out either injured or on loan. What we learned is that Pablo Rossi has a beautiful free kick; Andy Craven will chase any ball near him; Aaron Kovar has a great cross and Seattle can make defensive mistakes at any level. S2 fans are high on the team right now, it will be a few matches before we can know if that's justified.

Expected Lineup?

Charlie Lyon; Andreas Correa, Jimmy Ockford, Damion Lowe, Oniel Fisher; Aaron Kovar, Amadou Sanyang, Giuliano Frano (Canadian!), Victor Mansaray; Pablo Rossi, Andy Craven