FULL-TIME: The Seattle Sounders moved within two points of Supporters’ Shield-leading LAFC by beating Orlando City 2-1 on Wednesday. The Sounders got goals from Raúl Ruidíaz and Handwalla Bwana and probably should have had at least one or two more, while facing what was almost a fully second-choice opponent.
Unlike the Sounders who rolled out a lineup almost exactly the same as they had on the weekend, Orlando opted to fully rotate their squad including their goalkeeper. Of their 11 starters only Sacha Kljestan had started as many as half their previous games.
SOUNDERS 2, ORLANDO 1: Handwalla Bwana gave the Sounders a seemingly comfortable 2-0 lead when he finished off a Nicolas Lodeiro cross in the 68th minute. Play was delayed for several minutes, though, while it was reviewed by VAR. But after referee Dave Gantar took a formal look — inspecting a potential handball on Lodeiro — the goal was upheld.
Bwana's goal stands!!!!!! 2-0 Seattle pic.twitter.com/cBQEzzFWNY— Sounder At Heart (@sounderatheart) May 16, 2019
Any momentum had, though, was seemingly lost due to the lengthy review process and almost immediately after play resumed Chris Mueller rifled in a shot to cut the deficit to 2-1.
MORRIS INJURY: Shortly after halftime, Jordan Morris pulled up while the Sounders were on a counter-attack, immediately grabbed his left hamstring, punched at the air and yelled an expletive. He then went to the ground, clearly in pain. He was immediately pulled and replaced by Handwalla Bwana.
SOUNDERS 1, ORLANDO 0: It took a bit for the Sounders to settle in, but around the 10th minute the started to get ahold of the game and made the work pay off in the 19th minute. Harry Shipp did a solid Victor Rodriguez impression, putting Brad Smith in on goal. Smith then found Raúl Ruidíaz with a well-placed cross in front of goal for an easy tap-in.
Smith and Raul combine for a GORGEOUS team goal. Seattle up 1-0 pic.twitter.com/cm4KpQfbKS— Sounder At Heart (@sounderatheart) May 16, 2019
LINEUPS: The Sounders and Orlando City are taking completely opposite approaches to tonight’s short-rest affair. While the Sounders are effectively using the same lineup they did over the weekend — Harry Shipp replaces the injured Victor Rodriguez — Orlando completely turned over theirs. Yes, completely all the way from striker to goalkeeper.
Greg Ranjitsingh and Benji Michel will both be making their first career MLS starts, while Dillon Powers and Josue Colman are making their first starts of the year. Sacha Kljestan is the only player in the starting lineup who has started as many as half of Orlando’s games.
The Seattle Sounders will take on Orlando City SC tonight. The two teams are at opposite ends of their conference standings. Through 11 games, the Sounders have collected 22 points. That’s almost double what Orlando has been able to collect in the same time frame.
Absences: Injury, international duty and suspension
Out: Victor Rodríguez (left hamstring strain) and Gustav Svensson (left hamstring strain)
Questionable: Chad Marshall (right knee inflammation)
Questionable: Carlos Ascues (quad) and Nani (calf)
REFEREE: David Gantar
AR1: Jeff Hosking
AR2: Jeremy Kieso
4th: Farhad Dadkho
VAR: Daniel Radford
AVAR: Cameron Blanchard
Keys to the Game:
- This will be the Sounders’ second match in a string of three in eight days. With the injuries the Sounders have at key positions, it’s vital they control the tempo of this match. A comfortable 2-0 win would be just fine.
- Orlando played in Atlanta on Sunday. They play in Seattle tonight. Then they play again in Orlando on Saturday. That’s a lot of travel. Expect some rotation.
How to Watch
Match date/time: May 15th at 7:30pm
Venue: CenturyLink Field
Local English TV: JOEtv (Costigan, Keller, Zakuani)
Local Radio: 950 KJR-AM Seattle (Johnson, Webber)
Local Spanish Radio: El Rey 1360 AM (Rodriguez, Maqueda, Tapia)
Local Spanish TV: KUNS-TV Univision-Seattle
Highlights will be posted as the match progresses.
This is Seattle Sounders vs. Orlando City; watch with us
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