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Sounders at Fire, talking points: Perfect and flawed in win

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Rodriguez, Morris, Lodiero and Ruidiaz all score

MLS: Seattle Sounders FC at Chicago Fire Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

It was their biggest test of the early season. The Seattle Sounders burst out to a strong two-goal lead by the 15th minute and looked ready to run rampant. Seattle didn’t just look good, they looked perfect. After some adjustments by Chicago Fire coach Veljko Paunovic and shaky defense by the Sounders backline the match was in doubt. The Sounders’ flaws were as obvious as their previous perfection.

Raúl Ruidíaz ended all Chicago hopes with the sixth goal of the game. His third of the season gave Seattle a 4-2 win, their third straight to start the season.

Talking Points

Jordan Morris won’t let teams forget him

In 2017, Morris had just three goals in 23 appearances. He missed all of 2018 with the ACL injury. He now leads the league (with Ruidiaz) with three goals scored in 2019. He collected an assist as well. Morris even got off the first shot of the match on a near-perfect redirect that forced David Ousted into an uncomfortable save. In the first 20 minutes, Morris’ assault on goal was near perfect. He assisted, scored and created matchup problems in all facets. The 2019 version of Jordan Morris might just be the best American forward, who happens to play on the wing.

Sounders struggle to control tempo in second halves

It’s been a point of emphasis by Brian Schmetzer for the past couple weeks and yet it still isn’t corrected. The Sounders are willing to cede control of matches when the score is clearly in their favor. In Saturday’s match that almost meant a lot more nervy moments than a game with a three-goal lead should produce, as the Fire scored two in the second half and remained in striking distance. Against stronger teams, that ability to go into cruise control will hurt them, and they could give up leads.

There isn’t a better front four in MLS right now

Every starting member of the front four scored in the victory. Morris, Lodeiro and Ruidiaz also collected assists and Rodriguez drew the penalty. The diverse, potent attack can come from all angles, via buildup or counter. Attempts to mark them all are futile. The attack was so good that Chicago coach Veljko Paunovic needed tactical subs at 35’ and at half.

Did you see that?

The central run from winger Jordan Morris creates a tiny space for Nicolas Lodeiro to feed the ball. Morris’ touch is perfect, setting him free with the ability to pick his target in the net.

One stat to tell the tale

10 — Stefan Frei fell a little short of his career high in saves, but the 10 was the most he has ever had in a victory. The Fire didn’t quit in their attempt at a comeback, and Frei didn’t quit performing like one of the best keepers in MLS.

Poll

Man of the Match in 4-2 win over Chicago

This poll is closed

  • 19%
    Victor Rodriguez
    (384 votes)
  • 41%
    Jordan Morris
    (831 votes)
  • 38%
    Stefan Frei
    (768 votes)
1983 votes total Vote Now