Seattle Sounders FC welcomed their crowd to a magic show on Sunday. Obafemi Martins and his assistants showed that with just a few goals there are no more dire days. The Nigerian scored two goals and only missed his hattrick because Tally Hall is amazing.
It started early, with the Sounders pushing through Obafemi Martins from the go. Just 17 minutes in his return was obvious. A series of give-and-goes with Erik Friberg and then Lamar Neagle put Martins in on goal. He scored on Tally Hall. Without Hall's great play, the Orlando City SC would be further back.
The Gig Harbor native stopped Oba's 30th minute PK after Chad Marshall was tossed to the ground during corner kick service. Hall also slapped away the Andy Rose follow-up schross. Hall had six saves at the half.
Nelson Haedo Valdez and Román Torres both started their first match in Rave Green. Each made their mark quickly. Haedo Valdez has the energy and physicality need in MLS. His connection with Martins is clear. Torres created issues for young Tyler Turner and Turner was cautioned the first time in the 23rd minute. In the 40th Turner's second caution sent him to the lockers. Lamar Neagle earned that one.
The second forty-five were no kinder to the visiting Lions. It was just six minutes in when Haedo Valdez finished Erik Friberg's service after the short corner went back to the Swede. Valdez left just five minutes later. Thomas came on to maintain the number of South Americans on the field.
Martins scored his second goal after a series of deflections kept falling to his feet. Eventually he chopped it into the net. It was both choppy and pretty at the same time.
From that point it was a clinic in time-wasting via possession. At the 92' Thomas scored his first goal as a Sounder to completely ice a game and wash the dire days down the sewer.
- Oba's back! /end of message
- Haedo Valdez, like Martins, looks to be the perfect fit for MLS. He enjoys the contact and pace of play. He also has a great vibe with Oba already.
- Lamar Neagle looked great as the third best scorer. His interplay with both Oba and Nelson showed that Neagle deserves playing time in the now crowded XI.
- Brad Evans was as strong a CDM as Seattle's seen this year. That includes Alonso, this year.
- Friberg's service in dead-ball situations was good. It will be interesting if he or Ivanschitz is the primary when both are on the pitch.