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Sounders vs. Red Bulls, recap: A much-needed victory

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Sounders pull it out after blowing 2-0 lead.

Max Aquino / Sounder at Heart

SEATTLE — In what may go down in history as one of the stranger games at CenturyLink Field, the Seattle Sounders found a way to claim the three points they needed so badly with a 4-2 win over the New York Red Bulls on Sunday.

What made the match so strange was how they achieved the result. The match featured two lengthy stoppages for video review — the second of which overturned a previously disallowed Sounders goal — a blown 2-0 lead for the second straight Sounders home game and the second half being played without the largest supporters group’s chanting.

In the end, the Sounders got their first multi-goal victory in nearly six months, moved up to second in the Western Conference, will be at least six points clear of the playoff line at the end of the weekend and are now fourth in the Supporters’ Shield standings.

Key moments

  • The Sounders got off to a rip-roaring start with Jordan Morris scoring before the match had even reached two minutes. Nicolas Lodeiro placed his corner well, allowing Gustav Svensson to head it toward goal where Morris kneed it into the goal. It was Morris’ ninth goal of the season and the first time the Sounders had scored off a corner since the season’s second game.
  • Morris was a huge part of the second goal as well, picking up his seventh assist of the season in the process. Cristian Roldan hit a cross that looked a bit too strong, but Morris was able to head it back toward the goal despite his momentum taking him to the endline to set up Lodeiro for what turned out to be an easy volley for a 2-0 lead.
  • That seemed to wake up the Red Bulls a bit. Just four minutes after Lodeiro’s goal, the Red Bulls got on the scoreboard through a Aaron Long header off a Micahel Amir Murillo cross. The Sounders had failed to clear a Red Bulls free kick, allowing them to hold possession before the cross.
  • At halftime, an ECS capo was ejected after waving the Iron Front flag for much of the first half and throughout halftime. Much of the ECS sections walked out in solidarity.
  • The Sounders nearly got off to a dream start in the second half when Roldan was able to put a shot around Luis Robles, who had come way off his line, but his shot went just wide.
  • Victor Rodriguez made his Sounders return, replacing Jordy Delem in the 66th minute.
  • Almost immediately after the sub, the Red Bulls found the equalizer, capitalizing on a tactical shift the Sounders made. Daniel Royer got loose on the wing and set up Kaku for a wide open shot in the box that Roldan was late to track. It was the second straight home game in which the Sounders gave up an equalizer after leading 2-0.
  • Just as they did the last time that happened, the Sounders managed to retake the lead. This time it was with a bit of help from the Red Bulls defense, but Rodriguez deserves credit for putting Sean Davis in position with a clever pass and creating the own-goal.
  • The Sounders then put the match away in stoppage time when Roldan got behind the Red Bulls backline. He centered the ball to Rodriguez, who got a slight touch on it before Lodeiro beat Robles to the near post. The play was originally ruled out for offside — and Robles seemed to give up on the play — but was allowed to stand after a lengthy video review.

Talking points

Man on fire: There might not be anyone in MLS playing better than Morris right now. Morris now has nine goals and seven assists for the season, equaling his offensive output from his Rookie of the Year campaign in 2016. Five of those goals and six of those assists, however, have come in the last 10 games since he returned from the Gold Cup. Morris is playing with confidence and swagger that we’ve never really seen from him.

Can’t keep blowing 2-0 leads: This was the third time in four games that the Sounders built 2-0 leads and the second straight game they’ve done it at home. Notably, the Sounders have won all three games, but they’ve not made it easy on themselves in any of them. Against the Timbers, they were forced to hold on for dear life and in the last two at home they’ve needed to rebuild leads after blowing them. In some ways, those are first-world problems but it’s also a highly inefficient — and unnecessarily nerve-racking — way to play.

Welcome back Victor: That the Red Bulls equalized almost immediately after Rodriguez entered the match may not have been entirely coincidental — maybe Delem does a better job of preventing that goal than Roldan — but he more than made up for it by helping set up both of the Sounders’ final two goals. On the first, it was his pass that deflected off Davis and into the net and it was his clever run and even smarter dummy to let the ball roll to Lodeiro. It’s still not entirely clear how he fits onto this team when he’s fully fit, but he after 10 matches without him it’s nice to at least have him as an option off the bench.

Did you see that?!?!

Jordy Delem was having himself a nice match before he got pulled. But this was probably a personal highlight for him.

He said what?!?!

“I’m an ECS member. I don’t like to see that end of the stadium empty. I hope both sides find a solution.” - Brian Schmetzer in an opening statement about the walkout

One stat to tell the tale

27 — The Sounders’ previous multi-goal victory was 27 matches ago, back on March 16 when they beat the Chicago Fire 4-2.

Poll

Man of the match

This poll is closed

  • 79%
    Jordan Morris
    (762 votes)
  • 11%
    Nicolas Lodeiro
    (115 votes)
  • 3%
    Gustav Svensson
    (38 votes)
  • 4%
    Cristian Roldan
    (47 votes)
962 votes total Vote Now