While it was not quite the dramatic Clark Kent steps into the Phone Booth and out steps Superman to save the day classic thriller, Nicolas Lodeiro did play the role of Captain Fantastic when he bagged a brace to lead Seattle Sounders FC ( 9-5-5, 32 points) to a 2-1 win over Columbus Crew SC ( 5-13-2, 17 points) Saturday night in Columbus Ohio.
Lodeiro returned to Captain the Rave Green after serving his International duty for Uruguay who lost to Peru in the quarterfinals of the 2019 Copa America tournament in Brasil. After sitting out Wednesdays disappointing 3-0 loss to NYCFC, Lodeiro made an immediate and lasting impact on Saturday’s match.
Lodeiro equalized the game in the 56th when he draw and converted a penalty which he slid past Columbus Crew goal keeper Joe Bendkit. The Sounders pushed forward looking for the game-winner which never came during regulation. However, with nine minutes of stoppage time, the team continued to press. Kelvin Leerdam – who claimed the late winner for the club against Vancouver last Saturday – nearly scored on a free kick in the 94th minute, but his shot skimmed off the top of the crossbar.
With the clock ticking, Lodeiro stepped up to grab his brace, scoring on a header following a long throw-in from Saad Abdul-Salaam. The 96th-minute goal is now tied as the second-latest goal scored in club history (league play), matching Kelvin Leerdam’s goal last week and behind only Will Bruin’s 97th-minute game-winner against Minnesota in August 2018.
Since joining Seattle in the summer transfer window of 2016, Lodeiro has 27 goals between MLS regular season play and the MLS Cup Playoffs. Lodeiro’s 44 regular season assists in that same span are the most in Sounders FC club history and rank first in MLS since he joined the league.
- With tonight’s result, Sounders FC remains third in the Western Conference with 32 points (9-5-5), two points shy of second-place LA Galaxy and eight points behind Supporters’ Shield-leading LAFC.
- Seattle moves to 6-4-4 all-time against Columbus Crew SC, having earned a 4-2-1 record in Central Ohio since the club’s first year in MLS in 2009.
- Seattle Head Coach Brian Schmetzer rotated eight new players into the group that played midweek at Yankee Stadium versus New York City FC, including returning internationals Nicolás Lodeiro and Román Torres. Lodeiro had not started for the Rave Green since May 26 at Sporting KC prior to departing for Copa America with Uruguay. Torres last started for Seattle on June 1 at FC Dallas prior to the CONCACAF Gold Cup with his native Panama.
- Nicolás Lodeiro converted a penalty attempt in the 56th minute of play, followed by his 96th-minute game-winning strike, good for his third and fourth goals of 2019, respectively.
- Of note for Sounders FC this evening, two teenagers started for the Rave Green for the first time in club history, as Danny Leyva got the nod alongside fellow Sounders FC Academy product Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez. At 16 years of age, Levya is Seattle’s youngest-ever First Team signing, with Ocampo-Chavez not far behind at 17 years old.
- With Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez making his first start tonight, Seattle has now fielded six teenagers in league play dating back to the club’s 2009 inaugural MLS season. Danny Leyva made his first MLS start one week ago at home against Vancouver, while previous teenage starters for the Rave Green include Cristian Roldan, Nouhou, DeAndre Yedlin and Miguel Montaño.
- After spending six of their past seven league matches away from home, the Rave Green return to the Emerald City for a string of important home matches inside CenturyLink Field. In a span of one week, Sounders FC welcomes Atlanta United on July 14, Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund on July 17 in an international friendly, followed by Portland on July 21.