SEATTLE — The first 60 minutes went according to plan. The Sounders sat deep, restricting space to the Galaxy midfield and cutting off service to danger-man Zlatan Ibrahimovic. They had a two goal lead and it even looked like they’d fixed their defensive woes — and then all hell broke loose. First the Galaxy tied the game off a corner and a fluky bounce. Then the Sounders regained the lead, lost it again, and finally produced the game winner in the 89th minute. The game was nothing if not entertaining, even it did take a few years off the life of most Sounders’ fans.
· The first twenty minutes of the game went by without many chances for either team. The Sounders sat back and ceded possession which the Galaxy were unable to use to their advantage. Finally, in the 24th minute, the game saw its first real chance when Cristian Roldan slid Jordan Morris in on goal. Galaxy goalkeeper David Bingham came off his line well to save Morris’s shot on goal.
· The Sounders were forced to insert new TAM signing, Emanuel Cecchini, earlier than expected when Jordy Delem had to come off for a head injury after colliding with teammate Xavier Arreaga. Thankfully, Seattle were able to maintain a clean sheet playing a man down for a handful of minutes as Cecchini prepared to come on.
· Stefan Frei came up with a big save in the 45th minute to keep Zlatan Ibrahimovic from getting on the score sheet to end the half. Frei got down quickly to stop Ibrahimovic’s low shot to the back post.
· The Sounders quickly capitalized on Frei’s save by scoring in first half stoppage time. Nicolas Lodeiro keyed the goal by pouncing on a second ball in LA’s box and coolly slipping a pass across the six-yad-box to find Raul Ruidiaz wide open on the back post.
· The Sounders dominated the opening 15 minutes of the second half and were rewarded with a 55th minute goal from Cristian Roldan. The midfielder controlled a failed clearance by the Galaxy at the top of the box, took a few nifty touches, and struck the ball cleanly with his left foot.
· 10 minutes after the Sounders scored their second, the Galaxy got a goal off a corner of their own. The goal was a typical Ibrahimovic finish as he overpowered two or three Sounders to head the ball home.
· The Galaxy tied the game in the 75th minute when Uriel Antuna capitalized off a fortunate bounce off Ibrahimovic to find himself clean in on goal. After a great opening 60 minutes, the Sounders had given up a lead for the second straight game at home.
· Seattle quickly regained the lead when Ruidiaz and Morris combined to knife through the middle of the Galaxy back line. Morris showed class on the finish as he slotted the ball past Bingham with composure.
· The Sounders somewhat shockingly gave up the lead once more in the 76th minute, this time allowing Galaxy left back Jorgen Skjelvik to get behind their backline. The goal was another in a long list of mental errors that have plagued Seattle’s defense this year.
· Just as it seemed the Sounders were going to have to settle for their second straight 3-3 home draw that featured two blown leads, Roldan saved the day with a back post finish to snatch all three points. Brad Smith played an excellent cross to notch his sixth assist of the season.
The Sounders defense was almost good. Through 65 minutes, the Sounders had shut out a team with Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Cristian Pavon, two of the best attackers in the league. In the first 60 of those minutes, the Galaxy only had one really good look on goal. Unfortunately, “almost” is still not good enough, and the team will surely be frustrated to have given up three goals in less than 30 minutes. If the backline can put together a full game as good as the first 60 minutes of this match, Seattle may still have hope of regaining their once famous defensive prowess.
Cristian Roldan has three goals in two games as a winger. The decision to move Roldan to the wing last year spurred a historic run for the Sounders and the move has paid dividends once again this year as the Sounders have snatched six points from their last two games. Not only has Roldan’s nose for goal given the team a boost up top, his ability to cover the ground defensively helps the team stay compact without the ball. With Emanuel Cecchini integrating into the team, Roldan may find himself out wide for much of the remaining season.
A home playoff match is looking a lot more likely now. After taking a 3-0 walloping from Real Salt Lake a few weeks ago, the Sounders felt closer to the red line than they were to second place. Now, with two straight wins and three unbeaten, all against teams close to them in the Western Conference, the Sounders sit atop of the seven team pile up between second and eighth place in the West. Most importantly, their a full game clear of fifth place, putting them in the drivers seat of the playoff race.
Did you see that?!?
The Sounders had some famous new owners in the house who clearly enjoyed the comeback. We’re not sure if Russell Wilson’s moves are good enough to get him into a Ciara music video any time soon, but they’re definitely good enough for an excellent gif.
Russ approves. pic.twitter.com/agiNwHlLer— Sounder At Heart (@sounderatheart) September 2, 2019
One stat to tell the tale
3 - The Sounders have given up three goals in three straight home games. Thankfully, they’ve also scored nine goals over the same stretch. Whether they can clamp down on defensively over the home stretch will likely define their season.
Quote of the Day
‘Not sure we used possession since we barely had any.’ - Schmetzer when asked about having 40 percent of possession— Sounder At Heart (@sounderatheart) September 2, 2019
Man of the match
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