Sounders FC played the defending MLS Champions and Supporters Shield to a draw. In a tough physical contest, the home side did not back down. That’s the good news the bad news is that the Sounders let one slip away. The goal for the Rave Green is not to play with but beat LAFC at home. Up next for the Rave Green is a must-win again against a winless Sporting Kansas City squad. Before we preview that game here is a look back at last week’s Studs and Duds
Communicate with backline from start to finish except for the one miscue which was the collision with Ragen Jackson at the 21’ mark when both players collided on a cross.
It was no small task to keep Carlos Vella and Denis Bouanga off the scoring sheet. Both are premiere scorers.
Frei thwarted Kwadwo Opuka’s left-footed shot attempt from in close in the 92nd and finished with three saves to secure his 94th career clean sheet and third this season.
Fresh off a new contract the left back showed he is worth the money.Two early interventions. At the 2:30 minute mark, he booted the ball out of Sounder’s goal box and at the 5:54 mark he booted another dangerous pass out of the box this time from Bounga who had beat everyone else. 24’ Nouhou smartly shielded a Carlos Vela pass harmlessly out of bounds His yellow card just before halftime showed he is true warrior willing to protect his keeper. LAFC’s Aron Long kicked a ball that was in Frei’s hand and Nouhou wasted no time shoving Long from his keeper.
Before his injury, Ragen was calm, cool, and steady at the center back. His communication with Yeimar was stellar.Their ability to keep a high line through good communication made it difficult for LAFC’s Bounga and Kwadwo Opuka to run behind them. LAFC’s strategy is to send multiple players to your backline and cause confusion. The stellar communication between Ragen, Yeimar, and Frei negated that.
As for the injury you have to believe the Ragen collision with Frei earlier in the game caught up with him in the 53rd minute when he kicked the ball uncontested and then came off the field. During his post-game presser Head coach Brian Schmetzer said Ragen suffered a stomach injury
Albert Rusnak/ Joao Paulo Connection
Giving equal blame here. Each played a very good defensive game and there lies the issue. Both stayed compact and close to each other which is good on defense but not so much in possession. There was a lack of quick wall passes between the two. With Paulo dropping back to help on defense Rusnak needed to create space for Paulo once he got the ball. In the 32nd minute, Paulo moved upfield had the ball at the LAFC goal box but no one to pass it to.
23rd-minute mark Rusnak hit the post which was one of Seattle’s best chances of the day. Paulo earned a yellow card in the 34th minute after losing the ball but it was a smart card to take for the team because the Sounders were outmanned on defense. The pair did have a nice exchange in the 36th minute but it was one of a few. Rusnak gives the ball away in the 37th minute and is forced to concede a yellow card.
Give credit to Lodeiro for being much more active in the LAFC compared to the FC Cincinnati contest. Lodeiro moved from one side of the field to the other and returned back to the middle of the field to collect the ball,
Lodeiro’s pass to Raul Rudiaz just before the half and another five minutes into the second were exquisite. The gripe is there were just not enough dangerous passes into the box by Lodeiro.
Part of the blame here can go to a matter of timing and familiarity between Lodeiro and Raul Ruidiaz. Not that they have not played together but it has been a long time since Lodeiro, Rusnak, and Paulo were all on the same pitch. This was the get-well game between the trio and there should be no excuses against winless Sporting Kansas City.