A frantic 25minutes of end to end action between the Seattle Sounders ( 6-2-3, 21 points) and LAFC (4-5-3, 15 points) came to an abrupt end when the Sounders were awarded a penalty after a Video Review. The new rivalry seems everyone the Sounders play is a rivalry lived up to its billing early on. LA FC goalkeeper Pablo Sisniega thwarted shots from Nicolas Lodeiro and Jordan Morris inside the first six minutes of the game. Sounders goalkeeper Stefan Frei denied LAFC winger Diego Rossi’s right-footed shoot six minutes as the frantic pace continued.
SOUNDERS TAKE THE LEAD FOR GOOD
After the VAR referee Joseph Dickerson confirmed LAFC defender Dejan Jakovic illegal touch the ball with his hand during the Sounders corner kick. Lodeiro wasted no time in giving the Sounders the 1-0 lead. Calamity struck again for LAFC in the 33rd minute when the Sounders were awarded their second penalty of the game. LAFC defender Latif Blessing pushed Sounders FC defender Yeimar Gomez during a corner kick. Lodeiro wasted no time slotting the ball into the back of the next to give the Sounders the 2-0 lead.
For the 20 minutes of the second half, the Sounders were on their backfoot due to LAFC’s high press. The Sounders defended well but were unable to hold on to the ball once they got. Passes to teammates were short and behind. The Sounder’s sound defense enabled them to weather the LAFC onslaught. The respite came in the form of a third Sounders goal by Raul Ruidiaz in the 82nd minute. Sounders head coach acknowledged his team struggled coming out of the halftime break.
“So the first thirty minutes of the second half, I don’t know if we ever got out of our half until like 26 or 27 minutes into the second half when we got a corner kick up the field. Two-nothing is the most dangerous lead in soccer…you know that said Schmetzer.” “That was a challenging game against a good opponent. I am blessed, we are blessed with a killer in Raúl [Ruidíaz] I mean that third goal sunk them, you know. It was not an easy game, it was not a comfortable game, at least I didn’t feel comfortable.”
THE SOUNDERS SPEED
Despite the rain and a wet turf, the Seattle’s quickness and speed advantage was noticeable.
Jordan Morris and Joevin Jones created a match up nightmare for the LAFC defenders Latif Blessing Palacios. The two LAFC defenders were pushed out wide which then created room Joao Paulo, Nicolas Lodeiro and Cristian Roldan. Both of the Sounders first half goals were scored off penalties that were a direct result of the Sounders offensive pressure.
A TEAM HITTING ITS STRIDE
The Sounders are playing like the defending Champions that head coach Brian Schmetzer envisioned. The team has won three games in a row and lost just once in the last six contests.In the last three games, the Sounders have scored ten goals and given up just one.
- With penalty kick goals scored four minutes apart in the 29th and 33rd minutes of play, club captain Nico Lodeiro recorded his third and fourth goals of 2020. Since signing with Sounders FC in the summer transfer window of 2016, Lodeiro has 29 regular-season goals for the Rave Green. Of those tallies, 14 have come from the penalty spot.
- Lodeiro has never missed a penalty for Sounders FC in the regular season. Since 2016, the Uruguayan playmaker is 14 for 14 from the spot.
- Lodeiro’s two penalties came four minutes and five seconds apart, the quickest a team has scored two penalties in a league match since Houston Dynamo vs. Real Salt Lake on April 1, 2010 (two minutes and 19 seconds).
- Tonight’s goals for Lodeiro move him into sole possession of fifth on the club’s all-time regular-season scoring list (30), jumping ahead of Raúl Ruidíaz (29) and Lamar Neagle (28). Lodeiro is now one goal behind Jordan Morris (31) on this list.
- Raúl Ruidíaz scored the match’s final goal, giving him eight goals on the year and 29 in regular-season play since the summer of 2018. So far in 2020, the Peruvian is tied for second in the MLS Golden Boot race with Columbus’ Gyasi Zardes, trailing LAFC forward Diego Rossi by two goals.
- João Paulo earned an assist on Ruidíaz’s goal, his third of the year in eight regular-season games.
- Sounders FC moves to 3-4-1 all-time against LAFC in all competitions (including postseason play). The win marks the second Seattle victory since play resumed following the MLS is Back Tournament, with the Rave Green recording a 3-1 win over LAFC on August 30. That match was also played inside CenturyLink Field.
- Since returning to regular-season play following the MLS is Back Tournament, Seattle has played seven matches, all against Western Conference opposition. In those games, Seattle has scored 19 goals and conceded six.
- Following tonight’s two-goal performance and a seven-goal outburst versus San Jose on September 10, Seattle now has the top goal difference in Major League Soccer (+17). The club also holds the league’s best-performing attack (26 goals scored).
- Goalkeeper Stefan Frei and his backline earned their fourth shutout of 2020. For Frei, it was his 80th career regular-season clean sheet dating back to his rookie year with Toronto FC in 2009.