The Sounders paid tribute to one of it’s greatest players before Saturday and after saying thank you, Chad Marshall, the Sounders stepped onto the field to do battle against the noisy neighbors from the North
It was a darby game complete with the absurd, bizarre and wacky. And some way and somehow the Seattle Sounders managed to pull off an improbable 1-0 win over the Cascadia rivals Vancouver Whitecaps Saturday at CenturyLink Field.
The Sounders were playing without a majority of their first team players, due to International duties and injuries. Missing from the game due to country duties were Raul Ruidiaz ( Peru ) Nicolas Lodeiro ( Uruguay), Cristian Roldan ( USMNT), Jordan Morris ( USMNT) and Roman Torres. Other notable missing players were Jordy Delem, Victor Rodriguez and Xavier Arreaga. Delem was a coaches decision while Rodriguez tweaked his hamstring and was a precautionary scratch and Arreaga was rested due after participating in the Gold for Peru.
So if the question is who did the Sounders trot out for the Darby it was regulars, Stefan Frei, Kelvin Leerdam, Kim Kee-hee, Brad Smith, Harry Shipp, Joevin Jones, Saad Abdul-Salaam, Henry Wingo, Justin Dhillion and Danny Leyva. Leyva and Dhillion were making their first team debut.
The first half between the Cascadia rivals was a slow-paced, disjointed game with each team having just two shots The second half was a completely different story as both teams pushed the ball up the field with intentionality. The result was a free-flowing game with both teams having decent looks at goal. The Sounders looked to have broken the deadlock in the 60th minute but Danny Leyva’s goal was disallowed due to a foul by Justin Dhillon on Whitecaps keeper Zac MacMath.
Despite the setback, the Sounders continued to press the issue and the result was a 90+6 stoppage time game-winner by Kelvin Leerdam.
- With Saturday night’s result, Sounders FC is third in the Western Conference with 29 points (8-4-5), two points shy of second-place LA Galaxy and eight points behind Supporters’ Shield-leading LAFC.
- Seattle is now 67-50-33 all-time against Vancouver dating back to the clubs’ NASL origins, and 1-0-1 against Whitecaps FC this season after playing to a scoreless draw on March 30 at BC Place.
- Sounders FC stretched its home unbeaten streak to 12 games (10-0-2) dating back to September 29 of last season. The streak is the third-longest in club history and just two shy of the franchise record of 14 set in 2013 (10-0-4).
- With the win, Sounders FC vaults to the top of the standings for the 2019 Cascadia Cup. Seattle is level with Vancouver with four points apiece, but holds the first tiebreaker on head-to-head points. The Rave Green’s next Cascadia Cup match is at home against the Portland Timbers on July 21.
- Leerdam’s goal in second-half stoppage time was his fifth of the season, which ranks second on the club behind only Raúl Ruidíaz’s six tallies. Four of Leerdam’s five goals have come in front of the home crowd at CenturyLink Field.
- Smith’s assist was his fifth of the season and fourth at CenturyLink Field. He ranks second on the club behind only Nico Lodeiro, who is tied for fourth in MLS with eight assists. Smith is tied for second among all MLS defenders with his five assists.
- Stefan Frei made five saves to record his sixth shutout of the season and 72nd clean-sheet of his career, which ranks seventh all time in league history.
- Danny Leyva became the third-youngest player in league history to start a match. At 16 years and 55 days old, he trails only Freddy Adu and Alphonso Davies. In Montreal earlier this month, Leyva made his MLS debut as a substitute in the 82nd minute, becoming the third-youngest player in league history to appear in a match. At the time of that appearance he was 16 years and 31 days, trailing only Adu (14 years, 306 days) and Davies (15 years, 257 days).
- After rejoining the club in May, Joevin Jones made his first start for the Rave Green since coming back to Seattle.
- Justin Dhillon made his Sounders FC debut up front after being officially acquired on Friday. After signing with Tacoma Defiance on March 15, Dhillon started 10 of his 14 USL appearances, leading the club with six goals this season (including a five-match scoring streak from May 12-June 8). The 24-year-old made history on May 18 by scoring just nine seconds into a 1-1 draw with Reno 1868 FC, marking the fastest goal in USL Championship history.