Zlatan Ibrahimovic Joins 500-Goal Club

Michelle Huitink - LA Galaxy/mlsfemale
Official LA Galaxy Reporter

By Michelle Huitink // @mchuitink

September 15, 2018

Starting XI

David Bingham; Rolf Feltscher, Dave Romney, Jorgen Skjelvik, Ashley Cole; Romain Alessandrini, Bradford Jamieson IV, Perry Kitchen, Jonathan dos Santos, Ola Kamara; Zlatan Ibrahimović.

Bench

Justin Vom Steeg, Servando Carrasco, Michael Ciani, Ema Boateng, Baggio Husidic, Ariel Lassiter, Chris Pontius.

The match against Toronto FC was the Los Angeles Galaxy’s first this season and the first with Dominic Kinnear as interim head coach after Sigi Schmid stepped down.

LA were down in the first half by three goals, until the last few minutes before stoppage time when Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored his 500th career goal

In the second half, Michael Ciani was brought on for Jorgen Skjelvik. In the 56’ Ola Kamara scored a header on an assist from Jonathan Dos Santos.

Rolf Feltscher leveled it in the 58’ with another nice header serviced from Ashley Cole to make it 3-3. It seemed as though the Galaxy could make a comeback. Adis “Baggio” Husidic was subbed for Bradford Jamieson IV and then Emmanuel Boateng came on for Perry Kitchen. In the 75’ the bleeding of goals resumed. Jonathan Osorio scored for TFC. Then, several yellow cards were given to the Galaxy. The final insult to injury was Jay Chapman’s goal in stoppage time.

This is another tough and embarrassing loss, but this one will be remembered for Ibrahimovic’s 500th. The goal was spectacular and in perfect Ibrahimovic fashion; a spin that was ballerina-esque and martial arts influenced.

Soccer giants such as Paul Pogba and David Beckham congratulated the Lion on his accomplishment.

Fans keep wondering how many goals LAG are going to allow and whether they’re playoff material. It does seem that when the team is behind, they fight harder and start scoring. Since Kinnear has been with the team as assistant coach, there was little chance that there would be a difference in the blue, white, and gold’s play or the defense. His starting XI put Ciani on the bench and we saw some players we hadn’t in some time, such as Husidic and BJV.  

The coach isn’t quite the problem, though the G’s are in need of one now. The state of play just reflects the ongoing issues the club has had. Many fans are calling for an overhaul of the front office, specifically to get president Chris Klein out.

Winter is coming. We’ll have to wait and see what changes are to be made. Til then, the Galaxy’s next “must-win” match is September 23rd against the Seattle Sounders, who just had their winning streak snapped by the Philadelphia Union.

See you at kickoff this Saturday at 7:30pm.

Featured image: @CozmoLAGalaxy

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Sounders 2-game recap

Abigail Gerken - Seattle Sounders/mlsfemale
Official Seattle Sounders Reporter

By Abigail Gerken // @abigailgerken22

SEA VS VAN – 9/15/18 

On Saturday night, after a 2-1 Sounders victory against our rivals to the north, the Seattle Sounders winning streak continued to a new MLS record of 9 consecutive games. The 27 points in 9 games, has not only boosted the morale of the team and fans but has made a serious improvement in the playoff race. This streak and result from this game moved them into good playoff contention with arguably one of the easiest remaining schedules left.

Also, the Sounders officially clinched the Cascadia Cup trophy which is a fan-created trophy awarded to the team who does the best against the other Cascadia teams (Vancouver, Portland, and Seattle). This is their 3rd time winning it since all three teams entered MLS.

Raul Ruidiaz was exceptional for the Sounders as he scored a brace to lead the Sounders to their 9th consecutive win.

SEA VS PHI – 9/19/18

This miraculous winning streak came to an end as the Sounders lost 1-0 to the Philadelphia Union on Wednesday night.

The Sounders suffered a couple first-half injuries to key players, which is not comforting as their fight for the playoffs continues. In the 35th minute, star striker Raul Ruidiaz came out with an ankle injury, later identified as a right ankle sprain. At the half, Chad Marshall was subbed off for Roman Torres due to a head-to-head collision that happened in the first half.

In the 65th minute, the away side scored a goal after a loss of marking off a cross from outside the 18. However, VAR was for once in the Sounders favor and disallowed it due to the goal scorer being offsides. (Seriously though it feels like the first time VAR has helped the Sounders and hasn’t hurt them!)

The Philadelphia Union were forced to go down to 10 men when Jack Elliot got a second yellow for a reckless tackle in the 89th minute.

The Sounders were battling to find the full three points with solid attempts on goal, however, in the 90+2nd minute, Philadelphia scored off of a bad clearance pass out of the back.

As of 9/20/18 the Sounders are pushed below the playoff line with 44 points in 6th place (1 point below 5th place which is the playoff line with a game in hand).

The Sounders continue their fight for the playoffs on Sunday, September 23rd in LA taking on the LA Galaxy on FS1 at 1pm PST

Featured image: @SoundersFC

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Joy and Pain. In cold NYC rain.

Keira Smith - NYCFC/mlsfemale
Official NYCFC Reporter

By Keira Smith // @keiramunsmith

Saturday, Sept 8: 1-1 Draw

Sometimes you need fresh eyes to appreciate what you have.  Jess Houwen the MLSFemale reporter for Colorado Rapids arrived in New York City on Saturday and breathed some much needed fresh air into my outlook regarding the New York City Football Club experience. My big takeaway is that sometimes you don’t need to veer too far off your regular path to see things a different way.

After meeting up with Jess and my NYCFC sister Tisha Gale outside Penn Station, we hoofed it to Times Square. Yes, the place that most New Yorkers avoid at all costs mostly due to the slow-moving tourists and scary faux Hello Kitties accosting you for a photo. We had a few hours to spare before the NYCFC game against DC United up in the Bronx.

We popped into the M & M store on Jess’s promise of to-die-for coffee flavored candies. Sadly, they ran out of the coffee M&Ms but the caramel and the mint crunch ones are pretty damn good.  If I’m being honest, the walls covered in giant tubes of brightly colored candies were a sight to behold.  A place I normally zoom past without thought, I can now appreciate.

Another highlight of our pre-gaming tour was Tisha spontaneously juggling a soccer ball in the Adidas store to the amusement of fellow shoppers.

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Onward and upward we headed to the stadium on the 4 train.  Jess, embracing her inner New Yorker, purchased her first NYCFC scarf and became an NYCFC fan for the day (or maybe longer?).  I was excited to catch my first glimpse of Wayne Rooney and see how he and David Villa would match up this time. Of course, I went in low-key nervous as NYC was missing more than a handful of players due to injuries and international call ups and DC has been recently invigorated by the arrival of Rooney.

In the first half, we sat in my seats which are behind the goal, opposite the supporters’ section and we saw strong indications of deep respect and friendliness between Villa and Rooney.  On one occasion where the referee Kevin Stott was considering calling an offensive foul on Villa who was actually taken down by a DC player, it appeared that Rooney was intervening on Villa’s behalf.

Still scoreless going into the second half, we switched it up and watched from the supporters’ section, which is Tisha’s view of the game.  180 degrees from where I normally spectate and a world away, I got completely sucked up in the drums, the chants, the excitement and the frustration.

While we were in the bleachers, City was scored on by DC’s Steve Birnbaum in the 58th minute via a gorgeous free kick service by Rooney.   Then at the 86th minute, Villa leveled the score on his world-class shot, also from a free kick.  Pain and then joy experienced from another angle and with a different crowd.

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The match ended in a 1-1 draw and while fans in the supporters’ section more openly and creatively expressed both frustration with the poor shot accuracy and simultaneous relief at grabbing a point, those same emotions were felt by most NYCFC fans regardless of the seating area. From both of my vantage points, it genuinely looked like both Rooney and Villa enjoyed themselves.  Also from all angles, it was evident how solidly and intelligently James Sands plays in midfield, which is a big deal for the growth and development of the team and club.

It’s worth mentioning that DC United scored on one of two total shots while NYCFC’s finishing continued to seem cursed with only one goal out of  31 total shots.  This is on the heels of NYC’s loss to New England Revolution this week despite outshooting them 27 to 11.

City’s next match is away at Montréal, which I will be attending, on Saturday 9/22.  What we are clearly lacking right now is finishing ability.  We aren’t that far from our early-season dangerous attacking form.  Let’s hope that those players returning will bring a fresh perspective to get the team completely back to fighting form.

Featured image of Jess: Keira Smith

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @keiramunsmith

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LAFC Weekly Roundup: bye week, National Team call ups, two players loaned to Phoenix Rising FC and links of the week

Araceli Villanueva - LAFC/mlsfemale
Official LAFC Reporter

By Araceli Villanueva // @Aracelv1

This past weekend was a bye week for the black-and-gold, so let’s take a look back at Los Angeles Football Club‘s victorious win in Toronto:

Over Labor Day weekend, LAFC traveled north and defeated reigning MLS Cup Champions Toronto FC in an incredible 4-2 victory. The win also marks the club’s sixth road win, a first in any club’s inaugural season. In addition to enjoying the best start for an MLS expansion team since 1998.

An early lead, a comeback, this match had it all. The contest in Toronto also saw the family reunion of Coach Bradley with his son, Michael Bradley.

  • Check out the full recap here

The black-and-gold will play again on Sept. 15, when they host New England Revolution. Kickoff is set for 7:30pm PDT.

National Team Call up(s)

André Horta and Shaft Brewer Jr. received call ups to their youth national teams, respectively.

Horta has been called up to Portugal’s U-21 squad for two 2019 Euro U-21 qualifiers, against Romania on Sept. 7 and Wales on Sept. 11.

Portugal is currently in third place in Group H, after falling to Romania on Sept. 7 in a 2-1 loss – two points behind leaders Bosnia and Herzegovina and Romania. Portugal looks to bounce back when they face Wales – who is currently below them in the standings. Horta has played three games for the Portuguese U-21s to date.

Meanwhile, Brewer Jr. has been called up to the U.S. Men’s U-20 National Team for the 2018 U-20 Men’s Invitational, a new tournament U.S. Soccer is hosting that will include the USMNT U-20s, the USMNT U-19s, the Venezuela U-20s, and Jamaica U-20s.

The tournament kicked off on Friday, Sept. 7 in Bradenton, Fla. and will conclude on Sept. 11. The U-20s are currently in third place with the U-19s leading the group.

Brewer has been getting fairly regular U-20 USMNT calls this year, and the CONCACAF U-20 Championship (which also doubles as U-20 World Cup qualification) is coming up in November, so it’s a chance for him to stay in the mix for those big games.

With the benefit of a bye this past weekend, neither player should miss any games for their club. And should return to LA in good health to play on Sept. 15.

Blackmon and Pérez joins Blackmon at Phoenix Rising FC

LAFC has loaned Tristan Blackmon and Josh Pérez to Phoenix Rising FC for the remainder of the 2018 season, the club announced on Tuesday.

Blackmon returns to Phoenix after a previous loan spell last month, where he played two games for the USL outfit, both big wins. The 21-year-old rookie was recalled by LAFC ahead of the team’s road match against Toronto FC, in which he played the last three minutes of the 4-2 victory.

Pérez joins Phoenix for the first time, having signed with LAFC during the summer transfer window from Serie A outfit Fiorentina. The Southern California native has yet to play for LAFC, but the 20-year-old is likely one for the future with the black-and-gold.

Per the Right of Recall, LAFC has the right to recall both players at any time. Blackmon and Pérez are eligible to play for Phoenix in their next game, on Wednesday in USL regular season play against Rio Grande Valley FC in Arizona.

Rescheduled Match

The club’s home match against the Houston Dynamo, originally scheduled for Thursday, October 18 has been moved up to Friday, October 12.

Kickoff will remain at 7:00pm PDT.

Links of the Week:

Featured image: @lafc Instagram

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A Message to the NYCFC Players

Tisha Gale - NYCFC photographer/mlsfemale
Official NYCFC Photographer

By Tisha Gale // @TishaGale

With the tough MLS scheduling, a slew of injuries and now international call-ups, we know that our pineapple isn’t looking very pretty. However, greatness is written on the backbone of those who can rise above adversity.

Tomorrow, we want you all to go out and play with tenacity, the same kind of grit you showed us against the New York Red Bulls on August 22nd. We—the fans—need to see the same indomitable spirit you so proudly displayed on that Wednesday night in the Bronx. It is in these moments when our true colors are revealed. Like Terry Bradshaw once said, “When you’ve got something to prove, there’s nothing greater than a challenge.”

Tomorrow—our game against the reinvigorated D.C. United—is our challenge. We must remind ourselves of who we are and what we’re capable of achieving. We must show the opposing teams that they still have a lot to fear going into the playoffs. This is New York’s team and New Yorkers never back down from a challenge.

Tomorrow, the fans will be there in full force. The drummers will drum as if they’ve never drummed before. The capos will bellow out chants that will echo throughout Yankee Stadium. We will bring the noise, all we ask is that you bring the grit, and let us have ourselves a good ole New York style party in the Bronx.

Blood, sweat, and tears—leave it all on the field!

#ForTheCity

Featured image: @TishaGale

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USWNT Recap – 2 games vs Chile and Press 100

Abigail Gerken - USWNT/mlsfemale
Official USWNT Reporter

By Abigail Gerken @abigailgerken22

On August 31st the US Women’s National Team defeated Chile 3-0 at the StubHub Center in Los Angeles, California. The highlight of the night was the celebration for Christen Press reaching 100 caps for the national team. Over her 6-year international career, Press has scored 45 goals in 104 caps, including a goal to seal the 3-0 lead on her celebratory night. She also has won an Olympic Gold Medal and a World Cup Championship.

In this first game against Chile on the March to World Cup Qualifying, the USWNT cruised past Chile 3-0. In addition to an own goal (off a Julie Ertz header) and Christen Press’s tap-in at the far post,  19-year-old Tierna Davidson scored her first USWNT goal from a header off of a goal kick.

There was controversy surrounding a PK that Christen Press took and scored- as it was disallowed because a Chile player and Crystal Dunn both encroached on the penalty kick – since both of them encroached fans and players argued that it should have been retaken.

On September 4th the USWNT played Chile again in San Jose, California for their final game before World Cup Qualifying begins.

Earlier in the day, the WCQ groups for CONCACAF were decided. The USWNT will play Mexico on October 4th, Panama on October 7th, and Trinidad and Tobago on October 10th all in Cary, North Carolina.

Alex Morgan captained the game, earlier it was reported that Carli Lloyd will retire following the 2019 WWC in France next summer, many supporters anticipate that Alex Morgan will be passed the torch. When Carli Lloyd came into the game, she was given the captain’s armband.

An early injury for McCall Zebroni after an unfortunate landing led to a 5th-minute sub, Morgan Brian subbed in for McCall Zebroni. Later it was reported that she has a fractured elbow. North Carolina Courage may lose their strong No. 6 for the 2018 NWSL playoffs starting in the coming weeks.

In the 33rd minute Mallory Pugh went down in the box, Alex Morgan stepped up and after missing the left-footed attempt, Tobin Heath rebounded and dished in a cross and Mallory Pugh scored her 12th international goal.

It didn’t take long for the USA to double their lead. In the 38th minute the USWNT earned a free kick in a dangerous position, Tierna Davidson gets the flick on header and Tobin Heath slots it away.

Just after halftime, in the 47th minute, Carli Lloyd scores a header off of a Tobin Heath free kick in her first touch of the game.

Shortly after, Alex Morgan would get her goal off of a Tobin Heath cross, however, it was ruled offside.

In the 90+3rd minute, Carli Lloyd sprinted up the wing, dribbled around Chilean defenders and slotted it away.

This 4-0 victory expanded the USWNT’s unbeaten streak to 21 games (18-0-3), they’re in good form heading into World Cup Qualifying.

The next US Soccer game is tomorrow. The USMNT take on Brazil with a young squad looking to secure their places within the depth chart.

Featured image: Sports Illustrated

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Sporting KC’s Goalkeeper Tim Melia continues to raise the bar

Araceli Villanueva - LAFC/mlsfemale
Sporting KC Contributor

By Araceli Villanueva // @Aracelv1

From denying big-name players like Zlatan Ibrahimovic to Diego Valeri, the buzz surrounding Tim Melia continues to grow with each game. And this upcoming Saturday’s match against Orlando City SC will be no different.

This past weekend, Sporting Kansas City fell to the Seattle Sounders 3-1, but the team will not let the loss deter them from facing Orlando City:

“There’s going to be wins, losses, and ties throughout what we’re trying to build. And coming back home to play against Orlando is just another opportunity to continue to build off of our goal and making sure we’re playing our best soccer coming into the season,” Melia said.

Melia even shared a similar sentiment regarding the team’s mentality with playoffs just around the corner:

“I think we’re all mature enough not to get roped into the game-to-game, these games at the end of the season are so important, especially with how tight the western conference is. And just making sure we’re getting points and keeping ourselves in a position that we want to be in.”

Going into his fourth season with the club, Melia is currently the reigning MLS Goalkeeper of the Year and is leading the league with a career-high 11 shutouts. Including, having earned various accolades such as MLS Best XI 2017, an ESPY nomination for Best MLS player, Player of the Week, etc.

“Accolades are great. You always trade them in for an MLS Cup or a Supporters Shield, CONCACAF, Open Cup because the individual rewards are reflective of the team and the effort of the whole group,” Melia continued. “I’m fortunate to be on a team that concentrates first on defense and it builds from the back and looks to really have that anchor in the back – that we’re going to be a good defensive team first.”

It’s tough to believe this Great River native was once traveling across the county visiting various teams working as a League Pool Goalkeeper before landing in Kansas City.

The 32-year-old has paid his dues with Real Salt Lake (2010-2011) and Chivas USA (2012-2014), serving as back-up for MLS All-Stars Nick Rimando and Dan Kennedy.

Aside from creating a high-profile career in KC, Melia has also dabbled in design – and inspired a line of gloves and athletic gear for West Coast Goalkeeping company.

Prior to joining Sporting KC, Melia reached out to West Coast Goalkeeping’s owner, Sean Norris, after being dropped from a previous glove company.

“[Sean] took me in right away [and] offered me the opportunity to design my own glove. I wasn’t even a starter at the time – that’s the type of company they are. They are big believers in developing those kinds of relationships early on.”

Even though, Melia doesn’t have any interest in pursuing design as a postgame career option. I think Melia will have plenty to look forward to in the near future. Earning recognition isn’t the only thing changing in Melia’s life, last year Melia and his wife, welcomed their first child, Rowan.

Most players look to certain family members or a particular goal for motivation, for Melia his daughter is his biggest motivator.

“It gives you more to really want to succeed for you; you’re not doing things just for you or your wife, you’re doing things for your family,” Melia said.

Along with finding new inspiration, parenthood has also taught him the importance of balancing work life:

“Having [a] strong family bond to concentrate on is beneficial in a sense – your mind is not solely focused on soccer. You need to be able to step back from things, give yourself a mental break because if it’s only this all day long [or] all night, it can wear you down.”

When asked if he has plans to train his daughter to become a keeper in the near future, Melia jokingly replied: “Absolutely not.”

While Melia continues to navigate parenthood, his goal for the club remains the same, as the team looks to secure a playoff spot in a tight race for the Western Conference.

Featured image of Tim Melia: @SportingKC

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @Aracelv1

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NYCFC’s season resembling a slowly deflating balloon

Keira Smith - NYCFC/mlsfemale
Official NYCFC Reporter

By Keira Smith // @keiramunsmith

Wednesday, Sept 5: 0-1 Loss

The bright shiny balloon that was the New York City Football Club‘s season is slowly deflating and losing its luster. After this recent loss to the New England Revolution 1-0, it’s hard now to consider early season fan-think that our team is the best in the league and deserves to win “silverware”.

In this match NYCFC took 27 shots, of which 6 were on target, 12 were off target and 9 were blocked.  All of this shooting resulted in zero goals.  New England were able to score one goal off 11 total shots.  Unbeaten at home until tonight, fans are left scratching their heads as to what the core problems are and how they can be addressed to possibly salvage this season.

Yes, more shots were taken in this game than last but they either went wide or directly at goalkeeper Brad Knighton. David Villa seemed to constantly be taking extraneous touches which lead to him being shut down when a one-touch shot would have sufficed.

It’s clear we worked the left wing pretty well to get the ball down to New England’s third but the repeated high crosses from that side were quickly destroyed by the high number of Revolution defenders concentrated in the middle.  It looked like a similar tactic to the one DC United successfully executed in shutting down Josef Martinez in their victory last week over Atlanta FC.

Thus, I am very nervous about our prognosis for this Saturday’s game against the newly invigorated DC. The only silver lining is that our homegrown teen James Sands made his starting debut in midfield and played very well for 75 minutes. Coach Dome Torrent was pleased with his performance and now that he’s back from his short loan to Louisville perhaps we will see more of him on a more regular basis.

Until Saturday. Let’s hope the balloon still has some air left in it.

*Final thought– A noticeable factor for both teams was the embarrassing status of the baseball infield layover of grass. It became an area that both teams had to actively avoid as players appeared to be walking on ice. It seemed impossible to pivot on without one or two players falling in the process.

Featured image: @NYCFC

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Mixed emotions as NYCFC fall to Columbus Crew 2-1

Keira Smith - NYCFC/mlsfemale
Official NYCFC Reporter

By Keira Smith // @keiramunsmith

Saturday, Sept 1: 2-1 Loss

On Saturday, I bore witness to two poorly played soccer matches. The first was the local high school’s varsity team’s first game of the season, played by a team where most teenagers only touch a soccer ball during the 8 week season and the other was New York City Football Club versus Columbus Crew.  In case you were living in a hole, the final score for the latter was 2-1 Columbus Crew.  (And if you’re really curious, the high school team lost 5-1.)  I can’t say that these matches were that dissimilar from each other. The high school team faced one of the best in the league and will get better as the season goes on, but can we say this about NYCFC?

Consistent manpower continues to be an issue for New York City with players injured, out for international call-ups, red cards and yellow card accumulations. I have no doubt that rotating players and lineups messes with chemistry but we played last week with 9 players and moved quicker and faster with more desire than we did with 11 in this one.

Looking at some statistics about the number of lineup changes and its effects on game outcome over the past three seasons in MLS, Dustin Nation (@D_Naish) of American Soccer Analysis (@AnalysisEvolved) correlated the number of lineup changes with the three outcomes: win, loss or draw.  He found that more than 2 roster changes per game generally lead a team to be less likely to win.

I would be very interested in a further study of this data going back 10 years to include a few World Cup years to see if these events are independent variables. My gut says that there is definitely a connection between a “forced hand” (injuries/red cards/international call-ups) reason for changing lineups and strategically changing lineups to improve performance.  Hopefully, this is something that I can research further.

I started writing this match reflection with one part frustration, a half part exasperation and a pinch of collective woe-is-me self-pity.  I mean we wasted a huge rare opportunity to gain points in a week where both the NY Red Bulls and Atlanta FC also lost.  I was thinking about the supporters who take days off work, pack into small cars and travel many hours to give our team a rousing base of support.  I feel for them and the optimistic energy they bring every single game and why does this not translate into wins or at least into performances that we can be proud of?

And then I learned of the passing of a passionate NYCFC founding supporter and saw the immediate response across all parts of the club’s universe to help her family during an extremely difficult time. From the initial communication from New York City Supporters’ Club and setting up of a GoFundMe to which our club president was one of the first contributors, to Blue City Radio donating and raffling off match tickets, the response was swift and full of fierce loyalty to her. As reporter and podcaster Nick Chavez stated in a tweet, “Let us, as the family we are, help look after the needs of the family our beloved Tirzah left behind.” My deepest condolences go out to the family and friends of Tirza Gonzalez.

As a female soccer fan, it can sometimes be a lonely place in the US. I have very few local friends who follow the sport at all, let alone MLS.  I used to think of fans of the sport as members of my species and then those who support NYCFC as my tribe. I’m seeing more clearly that this connection we have to our team and each other is family.

#SaveTheCrew

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All images: @TishaGale

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Inside the Sounders record-setting 8 game win streak

Abigail Gerken - Seattle Sounders/mlsfemale
Seattle Sounders Contributor

By Abigail Gerken // @abigailgerken22

Saturday, Sept 1: 3-1 Win

The Seattle Sounders have broken another MLS record. They have won 8 games in a row, the most in a single season in the post-shootout era. This is a massive turn around from their record earlier in the year. Before this historic run, they earned just 17 points in 18 games. This has completely changed the season for the Seattle Sounders, now they are in a good position to earn a playoff spot – now sitting in 5th place in the Western Conference.

Let’s see how this went down:

7/21 vs Vancouver – What better way to kick off a record-breaking, season-turning-around run than a 2-0 win over Seattle’s rivals to the north, the Vancouver Whitecaps! On Raul Ruidíaz’s MLS debut, the Sounders secured a solid 3 points. The goals came from a penalty kick due to a handball- which Nico Lodeiro converted and later he doubled his lead due to a long-distance shot & deflection that secured the lead.

7/25 at San JoseRaul Ruidíaz scored his first MLS goal as the Sounders cruise past the San Jose Earthquakes at Avaya stadium.

7/29 vs NYCFC Cristian Roldan put the home side up 1-0 in the 36th minute. Shortly after the halftime whistle, Gustav Svensson doubled the lead with a rocket shot from outside the 18. Then, 17 minutes later the away side got onto the scoreboard. However, they could not find an equalizer before Harry Shipp sealed the 3-1 lead.

8/4 at Minnesota – Minnesota was up 1-0 for 70 minutes. The game took a dramatic turn as the Sounders were awarded a penalty kick in minute 90+1, which Nico Lodeiro converted. Then in minute 90+7, Will Bruin chipped the keeper right before the final whistle blew. Seattle stealing these three points show off Seattle’s “tough kids” and fighting mentality. This was a big confidence and morale boost for players and fans.

8/12 vs Dallas – Right before the end of the first half Chad Marshall put the home side up 1-0 with a header off a Nico Lodeiro corner kick. Only 7 minutes after half FC Dallas tied it up. In minute 68, Nico Lodeiro put the Sounders ahead. With help from a Dallas red card to Reto Ziegler in minutes 90+1, the Sounders held on to this 2-1 lead.

8/18 vs LA Galaxy– The Sounders rolled past LA in this huge 5-0 home victory. They tied the club record for the largest margin of victory at home and broke the club’s win-streak record with 6 wins in a row,. The goals came from (in order) Marshall (3’), Shipp (18’),  Servando Carrasco – own goal (50’), Roldan (59’), Ruidíaz (67’). This victory brought the Sounders up above the playoff line for the first time in 2018!

8/26 at Portland – Another Cascadia victory for the Sounders as they defeat their rivals the Portland Timbers 1-0 at Providence Park. In the 76th minute center-back Kim Kee-Hee flew up the right side and powered in a cross – aiming for Raul Rudíaz, but resulting in a Timbers own goal. This win helped propel them in the standings, and lead them to the top of the coveted Cascadia Cup regional trophy table.

9/1 vs SKC – In the most recent game, the Sounders defeat Sporting Kansas City 3-1 at home. SKC didn’t waste any time getting on the scoreboard, they led 1-0 after a 2nd-minute goal. Raul Rudíaz equalized for Seattle in the 12th minute. Then, in the 52nd minute, a cross from Harry Shipp deflected off of Graham Zusi and in to put Seattle up 2-1. Shortly after Nico Lodeiro added to the scoreboard after converting a penalty kick awarded for a handball on Ike Opara. The most controversial moment of the match was an 81st minute DOGSO (Denial of an Obvious Goal Scoring Opportunity) red card to Chad Marshall. It was a very skeptical call despite going to VAR to justify the PK.

I’ll let you guys decide for yourselves, I’m interested in your opinions.  Comment your opinion if its a PK or not or tweet me your take  @abigailgerken22

The next Sounders game is Saturday, September 15th at Vancouver Whitecaps, let’s hope this streak continues as the Sounders push for the playoffs.

Featured image: @SoundersFC

Follow and chat with me on twitter // @abigailgerken22

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