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Winners & Losers: Sounders 1, Whitecaps 0

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The Sounders pick up their first win since May 15th.

Max Aquino / Sounder at Heart

Just how you drew it up, eh? The Sounders are back on the winning side of things, and they used all 90 minutes (plus a little extra) to figure out a way to win the match.

Winners

Danny Leyva

What were you doing at 16 years old? I can say with some certainty you probably weren’t starting in a Major League Soccer. I know I wasn’t. I wasn’t even starting for my high school varsity team. When Danny Leyva started for the Seattle Sounders against the Vancouver Whitecaps, he became the third youngest player to ever start in an MLS game. Not only did he feature in the match, he arguably was the best player on the field. Oh, he also do this:

In his postgame press conference, Sounders head coach Brian Schmetzer said that he, “...would congratulation Danny on his first goal.” And you know what? So am I. What a first goal to score, indeed. However many goals Danny goes on scoring, we can always add one more. This goal absolutely should have counted and it’s an absolute travesty that it doesn’t.

There’s a lot that Danny did right, but I want to focus on one attribute of his game that I thought he excelled at. He’s only 16 years old, remember, but he reads the game like a seasoned pro already.

Take this play for example. It doesn’t turn into anything, but his ability to read where the opponent is passing and his awareness to try to start a counter in that instance was very, very impressive. I think it’s okay to expect big things from this kid.

Literally winning

The Sounders hadn’t won a match since May 15th. That’s 45 days. 1,080 hours. AKA a long freakin’ time ago. I wouldn’t necessarily say that the match against Vancouver was literally a must win match, but it’s about as close to that. Wasn’t pretty. Didn’t have to be. But all that matters is the three points, and that’s what Seattle will take home.

Good Fullbacks

If you had told me at the beginning of the season that Kelvin Leerdam would be second in scoring on the team at the end of June with five goals, I don’t know what I would’ve said to you. If you would’ve told me that Brad Smith was second on the team with five assists, I would’ve believed. It’s not the craziest thing in the world, Kelvin is clearly dangerous in the final third and Brad’s offensive output is why he’s here, but them as a pair is great to have. The days of defensive first fullbacks is long gone, and may the production that Kelvin and Brad are putting up continue.

Losers

Alan Kelly/Video Assistant Referee/PRO Referees/Having to write about the damn refs every week

Seriously, where do I begin? This is seriously one of the worst calls I’ve ever seen. But it feels like I say that every week. I used to be a man of principles. I used to never talk about the referees. I used to not think that it was a big deal. I used to think that VAR would improve the game. I used to be innocent. Boy oh boy, how I long for the days of that blissful ignorance.

I can’t really dissect this call. Every time I think about it my knuckles lock up and I start shaking. It’s garbage. It’s awful. Alan Kelly is a coward. How does that man sleep at night knowing that he robbed a child of such a wonderful moment? If God is real, and I have my doubts, he’d punish Kelly eternally for this atrocious sin. It’s never a foul. In a million years it would never be a foul. Worthless. Why do I have to write about these damn referees every week? God. Why.

Victor Rodriguez’s injury record is definitely becoming a thing

Look, I hate ragging on players for getting injured. It sucks. It sucks for us and it sucks even more for the players. This is their livelihood we spend an inordinate amount of time dissecting, so for a player to get hurt as often as Victor has, it just sucks. A lot of debate has happened around whether or not Rodriguez is “injury prone” or whatever. I’m not interested in rehashing any of that, but it definitely needs to be said; Victor Rodriguez’s injuries are becoming A Thing this season. And it sucks.

The Pride Match curse

Entering into this match against Vancouver, the Sounders not won any of their “Pride Match” matches. This was the first one that Seattle has ever won. Move over Curse of the Bambino, a new giant curse has been lifted from a team.