Sounders grind out 2-1 win over Toronto FC

The one stat to know how unlikely it was for  the Seattle Sounders (2-4-2, 8 points) to score  two goals and beat Toronto FC  (2-5-1, 7 points)  is  this, the last time the Seattle Sounders scored two goals and beat Toronto  in Toronto  August 10th  2013.

The Seattle Sounders waltzed into Wednesday nights game against the defending MLS Champions without Clint Dempsey, Nicolas Lodeiro and Osvaldo Alonso. Arguebble three of the Rave Greens best  offensive players. Alonso and Dempsey were rested  due to Sundays impending match up with Cascadia Rivals Portland Timbers while Lodeiro’s absebce was due to an ongoing leg injury.

Toronto FC had its own injury concerns as Nico Hasler ( quad strain), Chris Maviga and Drew Moor were unavailabe for the  game forcing Toronto head coach Greg Vanney to start Michael Bradley in Central defence next to Gregory van der Wiel.

The Sounders starategy was to clog up the middle of the field and ground the high flying Toronto FC attack that was missing  striker Jozy Altidore but was  still dangerous due to the irepressible Sebastian Giavinco. 

Sounders head coach Brian Schemtezer coached one of his best games as an MLS coach.Schmetzert started a five man backline that  had Gustav Svensson, Chad Marshall and Tony Alfro all playing centerbacks next to fullbacks Waylon Francis and Jordan McCray.

While the homeside enjoyed 80% of the possession for the first 25 minutes of the game, it was the visiting Sounders who drew first blood when  Norwegian international Magnus Wolff Eikrem hit a streaking Will Bruin with a perfect slide rule pass the burley forward slotted into the back of the Toronto goal for the 1-0 lead.

Jonathan Osorio pounced on a loose ball in front of the Seattle goal and leveled the game at 1-1 with a snap header four minutes  before the halftime whistle. The Sounders continued thier aggresive play in the  second half. The Sounders continued to play a free flowing side line to side line passing game that forced the depleted Toronto defense to chase the Sounder players up and down the pitch.

Handwalla Bwana
Sounders Bwana tees up the game winning shot. (SoundersFC)

The Sounders determination paid off in the 53rd minute when rookie and Homegrown Player Handwalla Bwana scored his first MLS goal of his career to give the Sounders a 2-1 lead they never relinquished. The win snapped the Sounders two game non-scoring drought and  serves as a momentum boost as the team travels to Portland on Sunday to face Cascadia  rivals Portland Timbers according to midifelder Cristian Roldan.

 

“It’s fantastic, I mean we’re playing probably one of the best teams in the history of MLS with the lineup that we came out with. “Roldan said after the game.”A dedicated group who wanted the result from the first minute. It plays into out next game which is against another big team, a rival. We just have to rest our bodies and build off of this win against Portland”

GAME NOTES

  • Seattle improves to 8-4-2 against Toronto in MLS play, including a 4-1-1 record at BMO Field. Saturday’s match marked the lone regular-season meeting of the campaign between the two sides.Forward Will Bruin scored his team-leading third goal of the season on an assist from Magnus Wolff Eikrem in the first half. The strike marked his 14th tally for Sounders FC since joining the club prior to the 2017 season. With 64 career MLS regular-season goals, Bruin is now seventh among active players, three shy of Dom Dwyer and David Villa.
  • With the start on Wednesday , Chad Marshall recorded his 377th career MLS regular-season appearance, one behind Steve Ralston for fifth in league history.
  • Stefan Frei, who played at Toronto FC from 2009-2013, matched his season high with six saves on Wednesday, including a midair stop with his knee in second-half stoppage time. Frei has now faced his former team five times in regular-season play, recording a 2-2-1 record with 22 saves and a 1.00 goals against average.

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