By Ashley Savage // @savage_hart
Seattle Sounders defeat Orlando City 2-1 at CenturyLink Field
The Seattle Sounders took 3 points in their mid-week home game against an Orlando City side who made 11 changes from their previous game.
Injuries continued to plague the Sounders this week as Chad Marshall, Gustav Svensson and Victor Rodriguez were left out of the 18, all of whom play an important role in Seattle’s ideal starting XI. The return of Raul Ruidiaz was a welcome sight for fans, as was seeing him get back in to scoring form.
Brad Smith continued to shine offensively and found great chemistry with Harry Shipp down the left wing. While Smith was credited with an assist here, his positive contributions to the Sounders offense has been more than the game score sheets show.
Whether with Victor Rodriguez or Harry Shipp in front of him, Smith has made an incredible impact down the left wing. It can’t be said enough how vital the retention of his loan from Bournemouth will be for the Sounders in the second half of the season.
The Sounders went in to halftime leading 1-0, but coach Brian Schmetzer stated to the sideline reporter he believed they should be leading “at least 2-0.” Both Nico Lodeiro and Harry Shipp missed sitters, but the lead was still maintained heading to the locker room.
In the 53rd minute, Jordan Morris went down with a non-contact injury and his physical and facial reactions indicated all was not well with the homegrown player. Handwalla Bawana substituted in for Morris, who was filmed in tears on the sideline bench. In post-match comments, Schmetzer stated the injury was a hamstring and would be followed up with an MRI.
While there is no indication this injury was due to the aging turf, it cannot be said enough that continuing to play on turf will negatively impact the team and the city. Any hope at a city selection for the probable North America World Cup bid would hinge on playing surface quality. Also, the United States National Teams both issued recent statements saying they would not play on any turf surfaces or with grass laid over turf. This eliminates Seattle from any future National Team games.
Turf rant over. Back to game notes. In the 67th minute after replacing Jordan Morris, Bwana finished off a BEAUTIFUL (and powerful) cross from Nicolas Lodeiro and extended the Sounder’s lead to 2-0.
While Orlando would grab a goal of their own in in the 75th minute thanks to Chris Mueller, the Sounders held off further efforts by Orlando and finished the game with a 2-1 victory.
The Rave Green travel to Philadelphia on a quick turn around for their next match on Saturday with a kickoff of 4:30 PM PST. This road game begins a month of away games for the Sounders who will travel to Sporting Kansas City, FC Dallas and Montreal Impact before returning home on June 29th for a Cascadia match against Vancouver Whitecaps.
Featured image: @SoundersFC
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