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Talking Points: Late goal leads to disappointing tie

The Sounders created more than enough chances, but were too leaky defensively to get the win.

Max Aquino / Sounder at Heart

SEATTLE — The Sounders dropped two more points at home in an extremely chaotic match that featured six total goals, but could have easily had more. On the bright side, the team continues to create dangerous chances, and scored three goals for the first time since April. One of those goals came in the second minute, breaking a streak of 11 first halves without scoring. Conversely, the team gave up three goals for the second straight match. They’ve now given up eight goals in their last three home games — far from a winning formula.

Key moments

  • The move to start Jordan Morris down the left wing for the first time this season paid immediate dividends for the Sounders as the pacy winger notched an assist in the 2nd minute after receiving a divine ball from Jordy Delem. Harry Shipp provided a clean finish at the back post.
  • The Sounders came close to doubling their lead in the 25th minute when Xavier Arreaga nearly finished a free kick delivery from Nico Lodeiro. In the end, Arreaga was whistled for offside, but showed good aerial ability on the play.
  • Minutes after Arreaga’s chance, New England got on the board when Michael Mancienne headed home a Carlos Gil corner. The play was initially called back for a foul on Saad Abdul-Salaam, but was overturned by VAR.
  • Gustavo Bou scored his third goal in five MLS matches when he headed home a perfectly floated Edgar Castillo cross. Bou split Arreaga and Kim Kee-Hee to get free in the box.
  • The first half ended chaotically with three shots in stoppage time, including a Revolution goal the VAR quickly called off and a shot from Bou that hit the post.
  • The Sounders changed to a 4-4-2 diamond to start the second half and generated five shots in the first 15 minutes after the break. They failed to bury any of those chances, missing four shots from inside the box.
  • Seattle finally broke through in the 65th minute when Shipp finished off a floated cross from Joevin Jones on the back post. Curiously, the goal marked Shipp’s second headed finish of the season, an impressive mark for a relatively diminutive midfielder.
  • Only one minute after tying the game, Nico Lodeiro launched the Sounders into the lead with a low hard shot from outside the box. Revolution goalkeeper Matt Turner probably should have done better as he parried the ball into his own net. Though to be fair, even if he’d kept it out, Raul Ruidiaz was likely to score on the rebound.
  • The Sounders nearly put the match away when Roldan floated a ball to Ruidiaz that the striker sent back across the box. But it struck the post and stayed out.
  • After failing to convert on four more shots after taking the lead, the Sounders conceded a penalty on a Jordy Delem handball. The call was harsh as Delem was only a few feet from Carles Gil’s blasted shot when it hit his hand. Still, Delem’s arm was outside of his body, making the play essentially impossible to overturn.

Talking Points

There is still a Chad Marshall-sized hole in Seattle’s back line. In the months immediately following Marshall’s retirement, the defense essentially treaded water relative to the rest of the league, alternatively posting shut outs and conceding multiple goals a match. Now, after giving up six goals in two straight home matches, there is cause for deep concern. The defensive partnership between Kim and Arreaga has looked shaky at best. With both center backs playing a more aggressive style, they are often exposed by balls in behind. Roman Torres’ suspension only compounds the issue as the Sounders now lack depth and competition behind their two struggling starters.

The Sounders created two goals out of the 4-4-2 diamond formation. Though the team has flirted with that formation at various points over the last two seasons, they’ve usually opted for a 3-5-2 or flat 4-4-2 when playing two strikers. In this match, the diamond made a lot of sense as both Shipp and Cristian Roldan are well suited to the shuttler role, and the team was able to outnumber the Revolution 4-3 in the middle of the park. The central overload also helped free up space for the fullbacks to get down the wing. Moreover, playing two forwards gave the Revolution’s three center backs much more trouble than Ruidiaz could cause on his own in the first half. The potential downside of a 4-4-2 diamond is that a team can be exposed defensively if they commit too many numbers forward, but for chasing a goal late in a match, the formation looked very useful.

One point in the last three home matches is not good enough. The team now have to play three straight on the road and are in a real battle for not a home playoff match in the first round, but even qualifying for the playoffs. The obvious adjustment the Sounders must make is to stop conceding so many goals. Perhaps three games on the road, where strong defense will be a natural emphasis, can jumpstart the team’s backline into a strong run of form.

Did you see that?!?

Brian Schmetzer started Jordan Morris down the left for the first time this season. The move resulted in plenty of ran-right-by-him moments, including this excellent 18th minute run.

One stat to tell the tale

3.4 538.com credited the Sounders with 3.4 expected goals, easily beating their previous season high of 2.8 against Atlanta. To say that’s enough chances to win, especially at home, would be an understatement. The dominant attacking play may be the only silver from the match.

Quote of the Day

“We played a little like a youth team.” - Lodeiro talking mostly about the team’s inability to hold the lead or generally control the tempo.

Poll

Man of the match

This poll is closed

  • 29%
    Jordan Morris
    (169 votes)
  • 59%
    Harry Shipp
    (342 votes)
  • 7%
    Nicolas Lodeiro
    (45 votes)
  • 2%
    Jordy Delem
    (17 votes)
573 votes total Vote Now

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