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Sounders at Orlando City, recap: Seattle qualifies for 10th straight postseason

Victor Rodriguez and Handwalla Bwana score as Sounders win on the road.

MLS: Seattle Sounders at Orlando City SC Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

For the first 15-20 minutes the Seattle Sounders took their B+ team into Orlando and looked like the greatest team in MLS history. Their 2-0 lead wouldn’t hold, they rarely do, but the 2-1 final result was enough to assure victory. That victory puts Seattle back in the playoffs, something they’ve now down for a MLS record-tying 10th straight season.

The two goals given up mean that Orlando City SC now has the worst defense in MLS history. They play two more games this year, though the San Jose Earthquakes may find a way to take that title away from them in 2018. It wasn’t perfect. It was enough.

Key Moments

“Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt.” Sun Tzu, The Art of War

This was a match where many could understand if Brian Schmetzer decided to bunker. He was down his top two attacking talents that were actually healthy, and several more that were injured. Bunkering and praying for a 0-0 would be a completely valid approach.

Thunder doesn’t like to be controlled.

“The sleeper must awaken.” Duke Leto Atriedes, David Lynch, Dune

Handwalla Bwana was supposed to be the poor man’s Nagbe. But then he spent most of the season injured. His promise was cut short. There were questions about fitness and ability to perform in MLS. The 21-year-old was doubted. He’s awake now. We’re awake now.

Talking Points

5 Good

  • There was a time before a healthy Victor Rodriguez. It was a time without joy. It was a time without happiness. Dude just carried the offense. One goal, one assist and the Catalan showed that he has what it takes to steer an MLS side against a team that also happens to play in MLS, but maybe only technically.
  • Depth. The depth has failed at times in the past. Tonight, Bwana netted a goal, but was also key to a ton of early pressure. Surprise starter Jordy Delem continued his now strong history as a lockdown d-mid (sorry Sacha). Alex Roldan, Waylon Francis and Jordan McCrary came in to kill the game off, they did.
  • How much does Raul Ruidiaz love the Rave Green? He flew from New York to Orlando just to sit on the bench all night. Gustav Svensson flew from his international duty to Orlando and landed right about when the final whistle blew. Nicolas Lodeiro will be joining the squad on their few-day road trip as well.
  • Playoffs, again, again, again, again, again, again,again, again, again. That’s 10 in a row. It feels good. We will be heard.
  • “The difference between the quest for the Holy Grail and someone saying ‘bring me a cup’ is the flavor text and the number of stops involved.” ― Bryan Fields, Life With a Fire-Breathing Girlfriend. This has been a hell of a journey. We’re not finished yet.

2 Bad

  • They didn’t go for the kill. There was the opportunity to break souls tonight. Instead it was a mere 2-1 win.
  • Will Bruin put in a ton of work between pressing and making strong runs from deep positions. That kind of work should be rewarded with goals.
  • The ability of Video Review to see an offside call.


Sounders: 4-2-3-1 — Stefan Frei, Nouhou, Chad Marshall, Kim Kee-hee, Kelvin Leerdam (Waylon Francis 76’); Osvaldo Alonso, Jordy Delem; Handwalla Bwana (Alex Roldan 61’), Victor Rodriguez, Cristian Roldan; Will Bruin (Jordan McCrary 89’)

Lions: 4-2-3-1 — Adam (knows Ryan Krasnoo) Grinwis; Will Johnson, Shane O’Neill, Scott Sutter, Lamine Sane; Carlos Ascues, Oriol Rosell; Chris Mueller (Josue Colman 58’), Sacha Kljestan, Cristian Higuita (Richie Laryea 74’); Dom Dwyer


3’ Victor Rodriguez (Kelvin Leerdam)

13’ Handwalla Bwana (Victor Rodriguez)

57’ Dom Dwyer (Scott Sutter, Chris Mueller)


Man of the Match in 2-1 win over Orlando

This poll is closed

  • 3%
    Handwalla Bwana
    (43 votes)
  • 6%
    Chad Marshall
    (73 votes)
  • 2%
    (31 votes)
  • 87%
    Victor Rodriguez
    (1037 votes)
1184 votes total Vote Now

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