SEATTLE — The degree to which the Seattle Sounders had been struggling over the past month had probably been a bit overstated. There had been games where they’d played well and simply failed to find the back of the net. The last time the Sounders faced the Vancouver Whitecaps, for instance, looked a lot like this one, aside from the scoreline.
But the one thing that had been missing from the previous five matches was a well-constructed goal from the run of play that gave the Sounders an early lead. In other words, they had not really had the kind of play from which a team can draw energy.
That’s exactly what they got early in Wednesday’s match. The sequence that led to Victor Rodriguez’s opener was actually about a minute long and encompassed three distinct possessions.
The first saw Clint Dempsey set up Cristian Roldan with a beautiful backheel. That put Roldan into some space, which he used to race around Sheanon Williams — there’s no definitive angle that shows whether the dribble was controlled or poked free by Kendall Waston — but either way, it opened up a chance that hit off the far post.
After Rodriguez’s shot off the rebound was blocked, the Sounders quickly regained possession and eventually worked it to Joevin Jones on the wing. He got two attempts at crosses before the Whitecaps again failed to fully clear their lines following Osvaldo Alonso’s shot.
Gustav Svensson is able to win the ball back, gets it to Nicolas Lodeiro, who sets up Rodriguez. The Spaniard does some fancy footwork to set up a left-footed shot, which he somehow puts through a sea of defenders and inside the near post.
The play was a testament to the Sounders’ ability to win second balls and maintain pressure, and the frenetic nature of it all was captured perfectly by LevyFilms.