After an incredibly unpredictable run of games, the Seattle Sounders grabbed 3 points at home against Western Conference rival, Minnesota United, to lock up the 2nd spot in the West and a home road in playoffs.
In their fan appreciation match, the Sounders honored the return of their longtime captain, Osvaldo Alonso, prior to kickoff and the fans showed Ozzie nothing but love. General Manager Adrian Hanauer presented Ozzie with a framed copy of the recently elected Sounders Best XI, which featured Ozzie in the midfield. The Honey Badger gave the entire stadium a clap and wave before heading in to the opposing team’s locker room, a feeling that must have felt odd for the man who spent nearly a decade in Rave Green.
In front of nearly 48,000 home fans, the Sounders pushed the attack from the opening whistle. Jordan Morris and Joevin Jones provided plenty of pressure from the wings, while Nicolas Lodeiro was a welcome return to the middle of the pitch after missing the previous two games from injury. Due to another red card suspension, Xavier Arreaga missed the match and was replaced by Roman Torres, who had only returned to eligibility in the 18 man lineup the previous weekend after serving a 10 match ban for substance violation.
The Panamanian made a thunderous return to starting form in the 29th minute. After a corner kick played in fell outside the box, Joevin Jones sent in a vicious cross that found the head of Roman Torres perfectly. This goal was Torres first in Rave Green and couldn’t have come at a more dire time for the Sounders.
The Sounders managed to generate a few more offensive chances and also held off the Minnesota United attack as the match ended 1-0 in favor of Seattle. While the result was probably not what Osvaldo Alonso would have hoped for his return to CenturyLink, the Sounders and their fans relished the 3 points, which secured them the second seed in the Western Conference.
Up next the Sounders will face FC Dallas, who had a disgustingly dominant 6-0 win on Decision Day vs Sporting Kansas City, at CenturyLink on Saturday October 19th with a kickoff of 12:30 PM.
The biggest concern to the Seattle Sounders over the back half of the season has been health and squad depth. The Sounders reached deep in to their reserves for many games this season and dropped more points at home than ever before. However, the Sounders were able to maintain the third longest playoff appearance streak in American professional sports (behind the Pittsburgh Penguins and San Antonio Spurs, respectively) by securing their 11th straight playoff appearance.
While it appears Victor Rodriquez is sidelined by yet another injury, Seattle is entering playoffs with nearly their entire squad healthy and ready for battle. Both Raul Ruidiaz and Nicolas Lodeiro are questionable to be at full health after recent injuries, but Gustav Svennson, Kelvin Leerdam and Brad Smith are all back to full health after missing long individual stretches. Cristian Roldan and Jordan Morris are as hungry as ever, the former having been named to Opta’s MLS Best XI. In this final game, Joevin Jones seemed to show flashes of his former self as well.
While the road to MLS Cup is not a simple one for the Seattle Sounders, they just might be hitting their stride at the right time.
This is the season of 2-1 defeats for both the Seattle Sounders and Portland Timbers. The two teams traded defeats at home this year with Portland taking a 2-1 victory in Seattle and the Sounders grabbing a 2-1 win at Providence Park on Friday. Seattle hoisted the Cascadia Cup trophy in back-to-back seasons after the victory and, most importantly, grabbed a much needed 3 points to remain in playoff contention.
The first half contained a few moments of offensive and defensive highlights from both teams, but nothing as impactful as the show both teams’ supporters groups displayed. For the first 33 minutes of the match, neither supporter group waved flags, sang songs, yelled chants or performed their respective duties as the Timbers Army or Emerald City Supporters and Gorilla FC.
The stadium, usually tightly packed with sound, was still for those 33 minutes. The television commentators had a tough time navigating the silence and, honestly, the players seemed put off as well. However, both teams came together at the start of the match to show support for the message the fans were intending to send to the league. The picture of both teams together is one that I never thought I’d see, but the photo sends a powerful message that two utter rivals can put their dislike aside for the message of anti-fascism and anti-racist.
MLS Commissioner, Dan Garber, was in attendance for the match, which may or may not have impacted the display shown by both groups. However, the response the league has shown towards the anti-fascist and anti-racist cry from supporters groups across MLS has been disappointing. A silent protest by two of the most prominent, most vocal supporters groups in what has consistently been voted and considered the biggest rivalry in MLS sends a strong message that hate will not be tolerated in this beautiful game, whether in the stands or on the field.
The match itself had the usual amount of ticky-tack fouls, offensive aggression, and defensive prowess this rivalry has become known for. The Sounders opened the scoring in the 22nd minute after Cristian Roldan thundered home a rebounded deflection from a Jordan Morris cross. Morris spent most of the game running circles around Portland’s Zarek Valentin down the left wing.
The Timbers were quick to push back after the opening goal, testing centerback-pairing Xavier Arreaga and Kim Kee-hee with many offensive chances. Kee-hee and Arreaga stood strong, the latter committing so hard to the proper shirt tuck that fans are slowly starting to embrace the trend after his stellar showing against the powerful Portland offense.
Although Jordan Morris appeared to pick up a knock late in the first half and seemed unlikely to continue, he and the rest of the Rave Green came out blazing in the second 45. In the 47th minute, Morris again drove past Valentin and sent a pin-point pass in to Raul Ruidiaz, who converted from 8 yards out.
The Timbers pulled one back in the 54th minute when Diego Valeri’s free-kick took a deflection in to the back of Seattle’s net. The rest of the game showed chances for both teams, but after the full 90 minutes and SEVEN additional stoppage time minutes, the score held 2-1 in favor of Seattle. With the Western Conference standings tighter than they’ve been in years, every point counts and these were 3 huge points Seattle desperately needed to take home with them.
The Sounders will face Zlatan Ibrahimovic and the LA Galaxy at home next Sunday at 3:30 PM for another important Western Conference battle. The Sounders are hoping to snap a home winless streak, the longest in franchise history, against the high-powered, Carson-based LA team. It has been reported that both Brad Smith and Victor Rodriguez should be available for selection, providing Seattle with a true first team selection since May.
I’ve been quiet in my game summaries since Seattle lost at home to Portland on July 21st. After that game, I wrote an article that generally said that losing to Portland wasn’t the end of the world, but the Sounders were not alright. After squeaking out a 1-0 victory on the road in Houston the following week, nothing has gone right for the Sounders in every match that’s followed.
In the month of August, the Sounders are winless and have gathered only 2 points in 4 games. The Rave Green lost 3-2 at home to Sporting Kansas City, who at the time were second from the bottom in the Western Conference. While I have a great deal of respect for Kansas City as a club, that was a game the Sounders should have taken 3 points from. But they let in 3 goals at home, an occurrence fans are starting to see often, and couldn’t capitalize on their own offensive chances.
Then Bruce Arena and the New England Revolution came to town. While New England is on an upswing, this too should have been a sunny Sunday afternoon for Sounders fans. A can of Rueben’s brew, some boom-boom-clap, 3 points and back to business. But instead, the game tied 3-3. Six goals in the back of the Sounders’ net in 2 games. And then they took to the road.
A double game week on the road is never an easy task, especially for a squad absolutely gutted by injuries like the Sounders are. But taking another 3 goal beat down in Salt Lake and not even recording a shot on goal is embarrassing. It’s uncharacteristic. As Brian Schmetzer has said recently to the media, it is not the Sounders way of play. So again, the Rave Green marched on to visit another Western Conference foe: the Los Angeles Galaxy.
Down in Carson, the Sounders lineup was still missing 3 to 4 key starters and facing a Team Zlatan that was shining with fancy new TAM/GAM players (that would be DPs anywhere else in the league, mind you). But the Galaxy gave the Sounders a much needed break in the 6th minute when Daniel Steres was red carded for DOGSO (denying an obvious goal scoring opportunity). This should have been a golden opportunity for the Sounders. A man advantage, even against a team led by Zlatan, should basically guarantee 3 points.
But much to the dismay of commentator Taylor Twellman and Sounders fans alike, Seattle did not high-press the opportunity. Instead, they sat back and did not alter their game plan in the slightest. In the 42nd minute, Raul Ruidiaz finally put the ball in the back of the net, but the man known as Zlatan leveled the score only 3 minutes later. The Sounders midfield gave Sebastian Llletget plenty of time and space to send in a lofted ball to the most towering Ferrari in all of MLS and this happened:
Zlatan would go on to draw his own penalty and convert from the spot in the 65th minute. Then, in the 82nd, David Bingham decided to play as recklessly as the Sounders defense has for the past month and a half and do this:
Own Goal struck once again and became the only reason the Sounders, who were up a man from the 6th minute, took a point home from LA. Seattle now sit in 5th place and face Portland away next week and the Galaxy back home at CenturyLink the following week. No slouch of a schedule on the back of what is nearly the worst run in Sounders history. However, the worst run in Sounders history ended with the firing of Sigi Schmidt in 2016. Falling in the standings, letting in 11 goals in 4 games and unable to keep a healthy squad has left Sounders fans wondering what in the world can turn things around.
So… what is going on in Seattle?
Well, the first thing to note is Chad Marshall retired. While I realize that happened at the end of May, it’s impact has been felt in more than just the on-field play. Marshall was the leader on the field even without the captain’s armband. Before him, Ozzie Alonso kept things in check. With both of these impactful leaders departing this season, the squad is looking around (literally) for someone to lead and finding no one.
The second note is our signings have been a bust. Joevin Jones has returned a shell of the defender he led the league in assists in 2016. His play has been inconsistent at best. Xavier Arreaga, the DP center back Seattle vastly overpaid, has shown no chemistry alongside Kim Kee Hee and made several mistakes that have lead to scoring opportunities for opponents.
Before the summer transfer window closed, former MLS player Luis Silva and Argentine Emanual Cecchini were brought in. Cecchini has been hyped to fans as a CDM to fill the Ozzie void, while Luis Silva is simply a more seasoned Harry Shipp-style winger. Neither of these signings fit the most pressing needs of the Sounders and General Manager Garth Lagerway continued to state to the media that he “likes our squad the way it is.”
Injuries have been the third note of issue for the Sounders. Brad Smith and Kelvin Leerdam have missed a combined 11 games as of late. Victor Rodriguez has been out due to injury for 13 games so far this season, Raul Ruidiaz has only played 6 of the last 11 league games and Gustav Svensson has only logged 4 full 90 minute games since week 9 of the season. Oh, and Roman Torres went and got himself suspended for 10 games for taking some sort of illegal vitamin.
The final note of issue facing the Sounders has been the gradual decline and recent exit of co-owner Joe Roth. While the Sounders front office recently introduced 11 Seattle-based families (including Macklemore and his wife and Ciara and Russel Wilson) to take over Roth’s majority share, fans were quick to speculate that Roth’s lack of recent involvement and exit from the club were most likely a key factor in the lack of major signings lately.
Sounders fans tend to have two pools of thought: Rave Green ‘Til I Die or What Have You Done For Me Lately? The former will continue to support, cheer and love the Sounders. They are the first to point out that the last time Seattle went on a run like this, they won MLS Cup. The latter demand a DP signing when things get rough, sell their tickets after what was the worst 4 game home stretch in Sounders history and insist that Brian Schmetzer isn’t the man to lead this team.
Both groups come from a place of Seattle Love. They love a team that plays hard and with passion for the full 90. They know the history of a team that has tallied the second most points in all of MLS for the past decade. For both of these groups it isn’t necessarily MLS Cup or bust, but play hard. Win games you should win. Score goals and try to keep less than a dozen out of your net in a 2 week stretch of games. But for many of the reasons I listed previously, we’ve all been greatly disappointed.
It was another tough home match on Sunday night as the Rave Green dropped another important 3 points at home, this time to Sporting Kansas City. This was the second consecutive loss at CenturyLink Field, which has not happened in over three years. The Sounders now sit in a 3-way tie with San Jose and Minnesota for second place in the Western Conference.
Felipe Gutierrez struck first for Sporting in the 12th minute, silencing the nearly 38,000 fans in attendance. The Chilean would add his second goal only 21 minutes later after VAR determined Nouhou made a penalty-awarding tackle on Gerso Fernandez.
Although down 2-0 after 45 minutes, the Sounders still had some fight in them during the second half. Jordan Morris got Seattle back in the game with a beautiful strike just moments after kickoff. Nico Lodeiro picked up is 10th assist of the season, making this the third consecutive season the captain has tallied 10 or more assists.
In the 58th minute Erik Hurtado gave Sporting a 2 goal lead once again, recording his first goal of 2019 in his first start for SKC. The former Whitecap found his way through the Sounders’ back line after a pinpoint pass from Gerso Fernandez.
Once again, Jordan Morris made things interesting in the 82nd minute and converted his 7th goal of the season to make the game 3-2. While the Seattle native had several more opportunities through the rest of the game, neither Morris or his teammates could find another goal and the match finished with Sporting Kansas City leaving Seattle with 3 points.
While the loss was tough and not at all pretty, there were some bright spots to the disappointment. Jordan Morris notched his 7th goal of the season and scored in back to back games for the first time since September 2016. It was also his third multi-goal game as a Sounder. Morris is now the second leading goal scorer of the season.
However, the positive marks basically end there. While the last time the Sounders dropped 2 home games they eventually won the MLS Cup, these losses don’t indicate a light (or trophy) at the end of the tunnel. The entire team looked flat and uninspired against the Timbers two weeks ago and the same could be said of the play last night.
Joevin Jones, who is filling in for the continuously injured Victor Rodriguez, looked out of place on the left wing for most of the match. He misplayed several passes inside the box and attempted to play down the middle through Lodeiro.
Nouhou, who was starting for the injured Brad Smith, made defensive error after error and despite the speed and agility both players possess, he and Jones could not get any chemistry going down that left wing.
While Jordan Morris single-handedly kept the Sounders in the game, he made his second consecutive start for Raul Ruidiaz, who is still in concussion protocol.
Gustav Svensson missed another match with a hamstring injury and was replaced by 16 year old Danny Leyva. Kelvin Leerdem was in the 18, but did not feature and Saad Abdul-Salaam started at right back in Leerdem’s place.
Xavier Arreaga started at centerback for the suspended Roman Torres and played alongside Kim Keehee. However, Kim did not display the comfort and partnership next to Arreaga that he has always had with Marshall and Torres.
The injuries and lineup adjustments are officially a concern for the Sounders. While General Manager Garth Lagerway has continually been quoted as saying he “likes our current squad”, the recent record and dropping of points indicates some reinforcements need to be brought in… and soon.
Rivalry games are one of the most powerful aspects of competitive sports. As an avid sports fan, these are the games I circle on my calendar as soon as schedules are released. Manchester United vs Liverpool has been one of the biggest rivalries in English football dating back to their first meeting in 1894. USC football vs UCLA football has been a blood bath since 1929. Seattle Seahawks vs San Francisco 49ers has been a turning-tables rivalry for decades. These are the games I live for every year as a fan.
Atop my rivalry list is Seattle vs Portland. Even in the USL days, these teams did not like each other. The rivalry has always, from a Seattle native’s perspective, felt like a little brother vs big brother rivalry. The younger brother of Portland has always wanted to climb outside of the shadow of big brother, Seattle, and has done so successfully a time or two.
But statistically, the Sounders dominate this rivalry. The pure amount of hardware displayed in the pregame tifo shows that. But on Sunday, as they did in the playoffs last season, the Timbers outplayed and conquered the Sounders.
Both teams came out firing and aggressive. There was a push and a pace to this game not typical of either team and each team’s DP forward put on a show. It was chippy, aggressive and the epitome of what this rivalry game is year after year.
After a back and forth battle of offensive chances, Portland opened the scoring in the 21st minute of play. Jorge Moreira rattled a long-distance shot off the crossbar that fell oh-so-kindly at the feet of Brian Fernández, who placed the ball swiftly in the back of the net.
Not to be outdone by his Argentinian rival, Raul Ruidíaz, the Peruvian, equaled the scoreline in the 50th minute. Roman Torres sent a long ball up to Ruidíaz, who was able to round the Timbers goalkeeper and slot in the equalizer, making the contest 1-1.
Fernández would tally his second of the night only 1 minute later, finalizing the score at 2-1 to the away side. The stadium fell completely silent with only the roars of the Timbers Army’s cheers pouring through the air of defeat that covered CenturyLink.
Two Strikers on a Hot Streak
Brian Fernández and Raul Ruidíaz are the latest names on the list of powerful strikers to appear in this heated rivalry. Both strikers come in on an undeniable hot streak of consistent scoring. Signed only in May, Fernández had scored 6 goals in 6 starts heading into Sunday’s rivalry match. Similarly, Ruidíaz had notched 8 goals in 10 starts on the season.
The list of influential strikers in this rivalry is top class: Clint Dempsey (SEA), Fernando Adi (POR), Ryan Johnson (POR) and Freddy Montero (SEA), to name a few, had massive performances in the history of this rivalry. But if both Fernández and Ruidíaz stick with their respective clubs for the long haul, it could raise the rivalry (and their respective teams) to an unparalleled level in MLS.
Eight year old Bheem Goyal had some big shoes to fill on Wednesday night. The Seattle Sounders have had two of the best in league history starting between the sticks in Kasey Keller and Stefan Frei. Bheem spent time training with the Sounders during the week after signing his official contract on July 10th, the first signing of the secondary transfer window for the Rave Green. The young man, who is bravely battling A.L.L. (Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia), pulled off a shutout during his stint in goal. Watch below:
After the proud and emotional start to the game, the friendly play resumed. Both teams fielded starting XIs that would not be considered first team regulars, but there were several highlights for the Sounders.
Joevin Jones returned to the starting lineup after missing the past two games for the birth of his first child and was able to grab an assist on the home team’s only goal.
Cristian Roldan was given the captain’s armband, an act that many fans would like to see a more regular occurrence.
16 year old Danny Leyva was given another first team start. The potential is evident in the youngsters play and this is likely not the last start he’ll receive this season, especially if the Sounders front office continues to falter on making any new signings this transfer window.
Marius Wolf, Paco Alcácer and Jadon Sancho all scored for the German giants, who finished in second place in the Bundesliga last season. Dortmund definitely controlled play in the second half, but Jonathan Campbell was able to head home his first goal in Rave Green to make the final score 3-1.
The midweek showing was not only a good chance for minutes for players who don’t usually see field time, but also a very friendly exchange between two powerhouse clubs. Dortmund players and staff were in Seattle for several days leading up to the game and were able to experience and meet the community.
While the game ended in a losing score for the Sounders, the stadium and fans only showed support for newcomer, Bheem Goyal. The introduction of Goyal to the first team was a joy to witness in person and has been shared through Twitter by many major sporting outlets and athletes from around the world. There’s been no word from head coach Brian Schmetzer whether or not Bheem will push Stefan Frei for starting minutes going forward, but the kid sure put on a show.
The Seattle Sounders and Vancouver Whitecaps met for the second time this season after a scoreless draw up in Vancouver in March. The Cascadia rivals met on Saturday with both sides somewhat depleted by international call-ups. For Seattle, 16-year-old Danny Leyva made his debut start, the third youngest player to start in MLS behind Freddy Adu and Alphonso Davies.
Along with the debut start of Leyva, USL veteran Justin Dhillon made his Rave Green debut. The Sounders signed Dhillon to a first-team contract after Will Bruin sadly tore his ACL in training and while Raul Ruidiaz is still away on international duty with Peru. Seattle’s only other forward on roster is 17-year-old Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez, who made his substitute debut in the 90th minute.
While both teams were goalless through the first half, the Sounders showed significant pressure in the second half and tested Vancouver goalkeeper, Zac MacMath. In the 60th minute, MacMath came off his line to shut down a breakaway from Dhillon. The ball deflected off of MacMath (after what can barely be defined as contact with Dhillon) and fell to the feet of teenager, Danny Leyva. From 30 yards out, Leyva picked his head up and lobbed a ball in past not 1, not 2, but 3 Whitecaps defenders.
After the Sounders thoroughly celebrated Leyva’s debut goal, the stadium fell to a murmur, then a roar of boos as referee Alan Kelly motioned for a VAR check of the goal.
For this. This “contact” from Dhillon, who had full possession of the ball and took a shot on MacMath, who made no intentional contact with the ball except for it deflecting off his body.
When the ball fell to the 16-year-old only a split-second later, he had the composure to do this:
But the goal was called off for what the referee referred to as “sportsmanship”, claiming Leyva should have played the ball out upon seeing MacMath on the ground injured. However, the referee himself did not blow the whistle to stop play and MacMath’s injury was not a head injury. Nevertheless, the youngster was robbed of his debut goal by Alan Kelley and Zac MacMath, who both heard it from the Sounders faithful the remainder of the match.
With 8 minutes of stoppage time added on for the MacMath/VAR antics, in the 96th minute Kelvin Leerdam and Brad Smith combined with a stellar passing sequence capped off by Leerdam slotting home his 5th goal of the season to give the Sounders a 1-0 victory.
Celebrating A Legend
Before the match, Chad Marshall was honored with a brief retirement ceremony and given the Golden Scarf. As a fan, it was daunting to watch him stand out on the field for the very last time while he spoke briefly, teared up slightly and walked away to the blaring tune of Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You”. It was perfect but still felt too soon. You can read my extended take on Marshall’s retirement here:
Chad Marshall retires as the most decorated MLS defender of all time.
By the numbers, Chad Marshall was an incredibly dominant defender with 409 games played, 26 goals scored, 16 assists, and 35,843 minutes played. The only player in MLS history to win Defender of the Year 3 times (2008, 2009 and 2014), 4 times MLS All-Star, 4 times MLS Best XI, 4 times Supporters Shield Winner and 2 times MLS Cup Champion.
Marshall walks away from MLS with the 2nd most games and minutes played by a field player in history. He is decorated, accomplished and undeniably an amazing player. But there was so much more to what made and continues to make, Chad Marshall a great human being.
In July 2014, my husband and I got married the night before the Portland Timbers were traveling to Seattle for the one and only time that season. As an inaugural Sounders season ticket holder and boisterous Rave Green fan, my husband wanted to tie this in to our big day. We decided that we would wear our wedding attire to the game and bring as many friends and family as possible.
Through our season ticket holder benefits, we were able to watch the last 20 minutes of the game from field level and allowed to linger after the final whistle to high-five players and watch the post-game events. As we were relishing in the Sounders 2-0 victory and taking in all the sights, Chad Marshall spotted me wearing my big, dirty and previously-beautiful dress. He made eye contact and pointed at me. I waved, thinking it was so cool he even had noticed, and he began to walk over to us.
“You’re wearing a wedding dress! Did you guys just get married?” he asked with a huge grin.
“Yesterday.” My husband and I said in unison, like two star-struck fans.
“That’s awesome! Let’s take a picture!” Chad said. So we did!
In that moment, after a massive win against a major rival, Chad Marshall was so down to earth and kind. He made our day (and my husband’s screen saver for several years) and made a lasting impact on us that transcended what we saw of him as a soccer player.
Four years later, my husband and I were attending the Sounders Season Ticket Member Celebration with our 2-year-old son in tow. He was too young to understand how cool it was to attend this event. He loved sitting on the team bench, running around the field at CenturyLink and people watching all the big kids, but he had no idea who any of the players were. He just ran around saying “play soccer!” and that was enough for us.
During the event, we were given the opportunity to meet team players, which was such a special opportunity for my husband and myself. As we were waiting in line, we realized that Chad Marshall was one of the players posing for pictures and signing autographs. When we came face to face with him, I awkwardly asked, “Can you take a picture with our son?” to which he swiftly responded “Absolutely!”
We knew our son, Sawyer, wouldn’t understand how cool this moment was. But we did. It was a full circle moment having stood with Marshall on that same field 4 years earlier in our wedding attire and now with our son, who had attended every Sounders match that fell outside of nap and bedtime since he was 3 months old, taking a picture with Chad Marshall.
My husband and I don’t know Marshall. These two encounters are all we have to base our opinion of who he is off the field and outside of all the record-breaking stats. But those two moments highlighted to us what so many of his peers have said about him publicly in the wake of his retirement: that the man off the field was just as much a GOAT as the player.
After only two days rest and a cross-country flight, the Seattle Sounders gritted through a tough 0-0 tie in Chester, Pennsylvania against the Philadelphia Union, earning them 7 points in 7 days.
Heavily rotated, the Sounders came in to the game vs the Union with a 5-3-1 formation, an unusual look for the Rave Green. The lineup included 3 center backs, Kim Kee-Hee, Roman Torres and Jonathan Campbell, and two wingbacks in Nouhou and Saad Abdul-Salaam. The Broldans (Alex and Cristian Roldan) made up the 3-man midfield with Jordy Delem and Nicolas Lodeiro sat behind Will Bruin offensively.
The modified lineup resulted in very little offensive threats, producing only 6 shots on the night. However, the parking of the defensive bus did help Seattle maintain a clean sheet, their fifth of the season.
Alex Roldan and Jonathan Campbell both made their first start of the regular season, each putting in decent performances, especially Campbell who helped take some of the pressure off Kim and Torres who have both played extended minutes lately.
While Raul Ruidiaz, Kelvin Leerdam and Brad Smith all made the bench of the 18 man lineup, Jordan Morris, Victor Rodriguez and Chad Marshall did not travel to Philadelphia and their timetables for return have not been specified by the club. While the signings of Joevin Jones and Xavier Arreaga will help fill the void of Rodiguez and Marshall, neither will be available to the Sounders until mid-July due to international call-ups.
The Sounders travel next to Sporting Kansas City on Sunday, May 26th. While Sporting has been battling their own depth issues lately, the KC Cauldron has statistically not been a location of success for the Sounders.
After that match, the Sounders head in to another double game week with two road games at FC Dallas Saturday, June 1st and the Montreal Impact Wednesday, June 5th. Morris, Torres and Cristian Roldan will all be absent from both road games while Ruidiaz, Lodeiro and Delem will miss the Montreal match.
This will leave the Sounders missing 6 of their regular starters vs Montreal before taking a welcome break until June 29th at home against the Whitecaps.
Seattle Sounders defeat Orlando City 2-1at 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 Bawanasubstituted 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.