St Louis CITY2 took the field for its first MLS NEXT Pro match in two weeks and despite a slight break from action, John Hackworth’s side showed zero signs of rust by claiming their first three points of May. 

Vitor Dias scored the opening goal after only 109 seconds at Ralph Korte Stadium while Josh Dolling added a second-half brace as CITY2 defeated Timbers2 by a 3-1 scoreline. The result was CITY2’s first home victory since April 10 and a fifth overall win of the MLS NEXT Pro campaign. 

Dias opened the scoring for St Louis CITY2, dancing his way into the Timbers2 box before looping a shot over goalkeeper Noah Lawrence. Lawrence was caught out of position after getting caught with his defenders on a failed clearance attempt.

The Brazilian made no mistake, scoring his second MLS NEXT Pro goal of the season.

Lawrence remained busy in the early going as the Timbers2 goalkeeper palmed away Celio Pompeu’s effort not long after the opening goal. 

The Timbers2 goalkeeper received help from his post in the 43rd minute, watching as Kyle Heibert’s close-range attempt squeaked just wide of the bottom corner. 

CITY2 doubled their lead in the 49th minute as Dolling poked home a loose ball in the Timbers2 box. Dias set up the forward, allowing Dolling to net his fourth goal of the season and extend the host’s advantage.

Hackworth’s side kept their foot on the gas with Max Schneider coming close to extending CITY2’s advantage. However the Marshall University product was left disappointed as his free kick rattled the crossbar. 

Dolling added his second goal of the night after a perfect set-up from Wan Kuzain in the Timbers2 box. Kuzain’s pass allowed Dolling the chance to drill a low shot into the bottom-right corner.

Dawson McCartney’s headed finish in the 75th minute pulled a goal back for Shannon Murray’s side, but it would be a mere consolation in the final scoreline as Timbers2 suffered a fourth-consecutive defeat.

St Louis CITY2 moves to Hermann Stadium on May 29 for a Week 10 showdown with Earthquakes II while Timbers2 next travel to face the Tacoma Defiance on May 31.

The Story: Vitor Dias leads St Louis CITY2 with lively performance in home win

Vitor Dias has chipped in when called upon this season for St Louis CITY2 and Sunday’s outing against Timbers2 was just the latest example of Dias’ ability when needed.

Dias scored his second league goal of the season and also added his first assist as CITY2 eased to a 3-1 home victory. 

The 24-year-old Brazilian showed off his creativity in the opening two minutes, chipping Noah Lawrence from a tough angle and setting the tone early for the hosts.

As the match went on, Dias continued to look lively on the ball, connecting with his fellow midfielders as CITY2 kept their foot on the gas. His silky pass to Josh Dolling in the early stages of the second half helped the forward add to CITY2’s lead and keep the pressure on visiting Timbers2. 

Dias logged 90 minutes in the match, continuing to offer plenty on both sides of the field. The veteran midfielder ranks in top five for CITY2 in tackles (5), key passes (6), shots on goal (7), and passing percentage (77.1%).

With plenty of the opposition’s focus remaining on Dolling and Wan Kuzain, Dias’ strong outing might just be an additional spark for CITY2 to continue its quest up the Western Conference standings.