The Seattle Sounders made history with their best four-match start in history. Even with just a 0-0 draw, the 10 points on the young season are enough to be their best. The Vancouver Whitecaps did rob Brian Schmetzer’s squad of a few chances at more notable history (MLS win streak, player goal streak). Marc Dos Santos was willing to do anything to get a point, even if it meant shifting away from his preferred tactics. Instead the Whitecaps played like a Carl Robinson side, defending deep and praying for a counter. On defense that worked.
- Chad Marshall’s 400th MLS start showed that he’s beyond age. The centerback had 12 defensive actions, including great play against Fredy Montero. Marshall had one of five blocks by the Sounders.
- It took Robert Sibiga a long time to get the call right, but eventually did. When Joaquin Ardiaz broke through the Seattle defense it was Stefan Frei who saved the day. His deflection was enough for the moment. Hwang In-Beom took a touch as he gathered the rebound as Kim Kee-hee scrambled to make up for getting dribbled by Ardiaz. Kim slid in with a perfect block and tackle. In-Beom was stifled and Vancouver’s hopes died, until Sibiga called a penalty. He discussed the call with his video assistant referee, and eventually went to the booth. Sibiga pulled back the yellow card and the penalty call. The three minutes of stoppage time were long gone. Sibiga’s call and change meant that Seattle took a point.
- Whitecaps gave the rest of MLS a lesson. Despite having the technical prowess across the front three bands in attack, the Sounders were unable to beat two low lines. Vancouver stifled a Sounders offense that is still third-best in goals for and rated 6th best by 538.
- Clean sheets can be fun. It was the Sounders’ second clean sheet of the season. Seattle’s attacking success papered over some struggles on defense. Those struggles were rare against the counter of the Whitecaps. Against poor and average attacks Schmetzer’s team should be able to collect those shutouts.
Did you see that?
This is beautiful soccer. Don’t let anyone tell you that defense isn’t beautiful.
Kim makes a WORLD CLASS stop here. Would be cruel to not overturn this. pic.twitter.com/kF2ISKP3Yw— Sounder At Heart (@sounderatheart) March 31, 2019
One stat to tell the tale
Non-shot xG from 538: VWFC 0.7 SSFC 2.3
Seattle’s inability to create danger from shots meant that each keeper only had to make three saves in the dual shutout.
Quote of the day
Chad Marshall about starting in 400 MLS games, “It’s cool man.”
Man of the Match in 0-0 at Vancouver
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