Starting a backline of deep reserves, the Seattle Sounders earned their second shutout by that same reserve backline. The only thing that looked better than the shutout was a dynamic offense that punished the LA Galaxy in all parts of the field.
With Will Bruin up top and Jordan Morris wide left, Sounders FC netted three goals while dominating possession, passing, chances, upcycling, hopes, dreams. If a ninth-place team can have a signature win over an eighth-place team, this was it.
The first goal was a brilliant pass from Nicolas Lodeiro to Clint Dempsey. They celebrate with shots. Seattle finished with 17 shots.
This is Dempsey's goal. It finished off a 14-pass sequence and ended with Lodeiro and Dempsey taking a "shot" together. pic.twitter.com/LbMsJejC2I— Sounder At Heart (@sounderatheart) April 23, 2017
Joevin Jones slipped in a great low cross. It should have been a Will Bruin goal, but Ashley Cole preferred to score, and did. Cole’s own goal put Seattle up 2-nil. Sounders finished with 23 crosses.
Ten minutes later, still in the first half, Onalfo made his first sub. It wasn’t for injury. Yes, 38 minutes into the match he needed to give up on his original strategy.
Jordan Morris would offer no mercy; no surrender.
Morris' goal finished off an 11-pass sequence. The dribble by Svensson and the flick from Dempsey opened it up. pic.twitter.com/BoC2sEwFfi— Sounder At Heart (@sounderatheart) April 23, 2017
The flick was actually from Bruin. The run by Dempsey was from deep in his own end. He finished the day with a goal and an assist. Four Sounders collected assists on the day (Lodeiro, Jones, Dempsey, Delem).
At the end of the half Seattle held 64% of possession. They ended the game with ‘only’ 57% on 86% passing. It was as flawless a performance as an MLS side can have. That’s despite there being only 6.5 regular starters on the pitch for Seattle (Svensson being the half starter).
In the match between two former assistants that worked for top US coaches, Brian Schmetzer came out ahead. He started Jordy Delem, Gustav Svensson, Tony Alfaro and Joevin Jones as his back four. He shifted tactics up top to unleash the offense.
Curt Onalfo made a tactical sub in the 38th minute and saw players give up after their own failures.