The Seattle Sounders( 8-3-3-, 27pts ) erupted for three second-half goals in a disjointed 3-1 win over the Vancouver Whitecaps (5- 0-10 15pts). The win kept the Sounders atop the Western Conference standings three points ahead of the Portland Timbers( 7-3-4 24pts)
The Whitecaps did what most teams are doing against the Sounders. Pack the middle of the field and challenge the Sounders to break them down. The strategy against the second highest-scoring team in MLS was effective for the majority of the first half. The Sounders had some half chances. The most dangerous being in the 26th minute. Nicolas Lodeiro’s left-footed free-kick cross found the head of Ruidiaz who flicked the ball just wide of the Whitecap goal.
The Whitecaps had the best chance of the first half. Stefan Frei stopped Whitecaps Lucas Cavallini’s point blank shot in the 9th minute and had that shot gone in there is no telling what the outcome of the game would be.
HALF TIME WAKE UP CALL
Give credit to Sounders head coach Brian Schmetzer for delivering a halftime message that resonated with the team. Two minutes int the second half Jao Paolo right footed blast gave the Sounders the 1-0 lead.
The Sounders continued the pressure on the Whitecaps backline and the result was an own Goal by Érik Godoy. The Whitecaps defender misplayed a Cristian Roldan cross into the back of his own goal. The Sounders scoring barrage continued three minutes later. A Nicolas Lodeiro corner kick bounced off Jordan Morris’s to a wide open Raul Ruidiaz who made it 3-0 Sounders.
“ We just reminded the team what our goals were and the guys responded Schmetzer said in his post-game conference
The Whitecaps were able to pull one goal in the 65th minute. Sounders defender Yeimar Gomez Andrade was initially issued a red card for his foul on the Whitecaps Lucas Cavallini in the 60th minute. After a Video Review referee Timothy Ford downgraded the card to a yellow and awarded a penalty to the Whitecaps. Former Sounder Fredy Montero softly chipped the ball into the back of the net.
PHYSICALITY TAKE ITS TOLL
The temperature of the game reached a boiling point when Janio Bikel was issued a straight red card for his foul on the Sounders Gustav Svensson in the 75th minute. The Sounders pushed for a fourth goal with the man advantage, but it was to no avail. The Sounders are now on a two-game win streak.
- Saturday’s match at CenturyLink Field marked the second meeting of the season between Seattle and Vancouver, and the 142nd meeting across all competitions between the clubs dating back to 1974, with Seattle leading the series 69-50-23.
- Prior to tonight’s game, Seattle previously met Vancouver in the MLS is Back Tournament in Orlando, with Seattle winning 3-0 on July 19.