SEATTLE — For the first time since 2012, the Seattle Sounders have started the season with a pair of wins. This one was put to bed early with Kelvin Leerdam slamming home a rebound in the 5th minute and Raúl Ruidíaz following it up three minutes later with a goal of his own.
The Sounders had plenty of chances to grab a third, but couldn’t quite put the game away and instead settled for their first shutout since Sept. 29, 2018 (the last time the Rapids visited CenturyLink Field). It was not an entirely perfect performance, but it was another strong performance that should go a long way toward quieting any lingering doubts following a relatively quiet offseason.
Two games, two wins: It’s obviously very early yet, neither of the teams the Sounders played are likely to make the postseason and both of the games were at home. Caveats aside, there has not been much to nitpick. Even the one negative — that they’ve been less than clinical in front of goal — can be spun into somewhat a positive, that they are creating a ton of dangerous chances. Still, this beats opening the season slowly doesn’t it? The Chicago Fire should give them some sort of test next week.
Rodriguez played with the flu: You wouldn’t have known it from his play on Saturday, but Victor Rodriguez spent most of the week battling a flu. As Brian Schmetzer made sure to note, this wasn’t just a cold, but a full-blown flu with all that entails. Rodriguez wasn’t quite as effective as he was in the season-opener but he still came close to scoring a goal and looked like he had an assist on Ruidíaz’s goal before Opta ruled it had been deflected by a defender.
Wreck-It Raúl: It has been said before — in fact we noted it last week — but Ruidíaz is on a bit of an epic scoring streak. This was his seventh straight MLS match with a goal, unofficially a Sounders record. It’s “unofficial” because league and club records only include regular-season games, and Ruidíaz’s run includes a pair of postseason games. Still, he’s scored in five straight regular-season contests which does tie a team record (held jointly by Fredy Montero and Obafemi Martins). For those wondering, Diego Valeri holds the MLS record when he scored in a rather amazing nine straight back in 2017. More broadly, though, Ruidiaz now has 15 goals in 18 Sounders appearances.
Did you see that?
No one in MLS does a better job using their body to shield opponents than Cristian Roldan, a skill that was on particularly keen display against the Rapids. Rather than pick one standout play, here are two:
One stat to tell the tale
6 — You might think that 2-0 starts aren’t THAT big of a deal, but they are for the Sounders. In the Sounders’ previous 11 March matches — which stretches back to 2015 — they had claimed a total of just six points. That includes six home games where they went 1-5-0. This also ties a franchise record for points in March and they’ll get two more chances to break it, albeit both on the road.
Quote of the Day
“That was a pretty tremendous opening 10 minutes. They were up for the game, they played fast. The quality of the play was tremendous. I did expect us to score more goals — I won’t say how many — but, yeah, I thought we could get at least one more.” - Brian Schmetzer
Man of the Match
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