The Sounders goal of throttling the MLS is Back Tournament’s top scoring team went array due to jaw dropping turnovers. LAFC came into the game against the Sounders with a high octane offense led by Diego Rossi and Bradley Wright-Phillips. Rossi had five goals and Wright Philips had 3. There eight goals combined where more than any MLS in the tournament. The Sounders strategy to slow down LAFC never took hold due to turnovers in the team’s defensive half.
LAFC used a high press to start the game and the Sounders had no answers for it. Multiple times the Sounders lost possession on their half of the pitch and managed to overcome the miscues. The relentless pressure by LAFC finally took its toll in the 13th minute when Sounders defender Xavier Arreaga was whistled for a penalty after crashing into LAFC forward Diego Rossi. The MLS is Back Tournament’s top goal scorer smashed the ball into the back of the net to give LAFC the 1-0 lead.
Sensing a hapless and bewildered Sounder side LAFC continued its lethal press. After a couple of missed opportunities LAFC went up 2-0 in the 39th minute when Latif Blessing’s left footed shot ricochet of Sounder defender Shane O’Neill
SOUNDERS FLATFOOTED IN BACKLINE
The Sounders backline of Arreaga, O’Neill Kelvin Leerdam, Nouhou were simply not up to the task. While d efense is a team game, Seattle’s backline lacked cohesion due to a lack of communication. Often times the Seattle defenders were flatfooted due to a lack of communication. LAFC was able to make intricate runs inside the Seattle goal box. A Will Bruin goal in the 75th gave the Sounders some hope being down just 2-1. The hope was short-lived.
The Sounder’s miscues continued when Arreaga lost the ball in front of the goal to a pressing Rossi. The Uruguayan wasted no time scoring his second goal of the game and giving LAFC the 3-2 lead in the 82nd minute. Gustav Svensson ‘s turnover in the 89th minute gave LAFC substitute Brian Rodriguez his first goal of the tournament. Rodriguez picked up Svensson’s errant pass in front of goal and rifled it home for the 4-1 lead.