Two games do not a season make but when you score six goals and concede none in front of your home fans to start the season having confidence in your club and its future is understandable. The Sounders followed up last Sunday’s 4-0 win over the Colorado Rapids with a free-flowing 2-0 win over Real Salt Lake Saturday night. A bugaboo team head coach Brian Schmetzer said after practice leading up to the game. A titillating display by Schmetzer’s squad had him singing a different tune after the game.
“It’s not often that I have openers, wins or losses,” Schmetzer said. “But I just want to go on record: I don’t know what you guys saw, but some of that play in the second half, I almost wished I wouldn’t have subbed.
“I mean, the team looked really good. It was only 2-0, it was a shame we didn’t score again. But some of the passes and the one-touch, that was some of the best soccer the Seattle Sounders have played in a very long time. Reminded me a little bit of the stuff [Obafemi Martins] and Clint [Dempsey] used to do, some of that stuff. It was entertaining. I thought it was a really entertaining match.”
HERE ARE THE STUDS AND ONE DUD FROM SATURDAY NIGHT’S GAME
JORDAN MORRIS UNLEASHED
Forward Jordan Morris has found the sweet spot to use his speed on the outside and then cut inside when there is open space. What Morris has added to his game is creativity with the ball. What Morris has mastered for the moment is not to hold on to the ball to long. On Saturday Morris started on left side and moved to the right which confused defenders as to whether give him space of man up. In the 13th minute played a beautiful ball to an on-running Heber who was able to manufacture a shot.
In the Sounder’s first goal, Morris laid off a between-the-legs pass to a cutting Lodiero who fed Albert Rusnack who then found Cristian Roldan who was blocked back to his feet. Cristian Roldan then fed brother Alex Roldan who had his pass deflected back to him and gave him time to cross the ball to Morris for the goal in the 34th.
For the second time in as many games, Heber scored a goal. It’s a good thing when your fill-in striker scores back-to-back goals. What makes Heber exceptional is his vision and ability to play the give-and-go 25 to 30 yards away from goal.
Most strikers are lethal inside the 20-yard and goal box. Heber ability gives the Sounders another midfielder 25 to 30 yards from the opponent’s goal. In the Sounders’ first goal, Heber intercepted a pass in the middle of the field and laid the ball off to Joao Paulo who helped orchestrate one of the best Sounders goals in recent memory. In addition to his scoring chance in the 8th minute, Heber had another scoring chance in the 26th minute and 44th minute in the second half before registering his second of the season in the 57th minute of the second half. A sublime pass from Alex Roldan showed Heber’s other talent, patience, and deceptiveness inside the box.
ALEX ROLDAN THE CREATOR
During preseason Alex Roldan talked about how the team wanted to have him not just stay along the touchline but to move inside midfield and be more involved in the attack. The tactical switch has been brilliant. On Saturday night Roldan set up both goals while taking care of his defensive duties. As a result of his performance, Roldan was named to the Matchday 2 Team of the Match.
Credit the whole back line for another stellar performance that left goalkeeper Stefan Frei with just a few saves in the second half. Real Salt Lake had just two shots on target the whole game.
DUD ( reaching here)
Two games and two clean sheets are a good thing. The dud is that the backline is still making little or small mistakes when playing out of the back. The culprit is the defenders holding on to the ball. By doing so Real Salt Lake was able to pressure the ball career and force weak or ill-advised passes on several occasions. The good news is that with each game familiarity within the backline will continue.
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