No DPs? No problem. Seattle Sounders FC chose to rest Clint Dempsey and Osvaldo Alonso, while their third DP Nicolas Lodeiro was unavailable due to injury. In middle of a dire start to 2018 and on the road against the Toronto FC team that thumped the Sounders in last year’s MLS Cup, the Rave Green rolled out a 5-4-1, played bunker-counter soccer and used subs to shift the tactics but not the formation. Not only did they win 2-1, they had fun doing it.
Behind goals from Will Bruin and Handwalla Bwana, the Sounders moved out of the bottom spot in the West and are now just three points shy of the red line. The win also ended a seven-match road winless run in regular-season play, but was also their fourth road point of the season, equalling their home total.
Yes, Bruin scored the goal, but Magnus Wolff Eikrem’s dribble, dribble, pass movement was what made it possible. The 5-4-1 suggested the Sounders planned to defend and counter, but they were lacking speed besides Handwalla Bwana. The only way to counter would be through extraordinary touch and pass moments. Wolff was extraordinary in this play and strong throughout the night.
Late in the match Seattle was playing zero forwards and six defenders while pressing high up the pitch. Nothing symbolized how high up the pitch as well as Gustav Svensson’s winning the ball at the 83’. He was a couple yards in the attacking part of the field and stopped Toronto’s attempt at a counter.
- Schmetzer gambled on youth, a formation change and tactical changes. He got it right, resting his older players keeping them ready for an away match at Portland.
- Will Bruin had a goal, an assist and a yellow card. It was nearly the Gordie Howe hattrick.
- Handwalla Bwana needs a goal celebration. Maybe he expected his first pro goal would be when Clint Dempsey was in the same city.
- Tony Alfaro still goes to ground too frequently.
- Bruin got a knock and hopefully it’s just a bruise of some kind.
5-4-1; Stefan Frei; Waylon Francis, Tony Alfaro, Chad Marshall, Gustav Svensson, Jordan McCrary; Handwalla Bwana, Cristian Roldan (captain), Jordy Delem, Magnus Wolff Eikrem; Will Bruin
63’ Alex Roldan on for Bwana
71’ Kelvin Leerdam on for Wolff as a like for like replacement
74’ Henry Wingo on for Bruin
25’ Will Bruin assisted by Wolff
40’ Jonathan Osorio assisted by Giovinco and Vázquez
54’ Handwalla Bwana assisted by Bruin and Roldan the Elder
Man of Match Poll
Who was the Man of the Match
This poll is closed
Magnus Wolff Eikrem