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Sounders vs RSL, recap: Don’t let it slip

Sounders hold on for what ended up a close win over RSL.

Max Aquino / Sounder at Heart

The Seattle Sounders maintained their grasp on first place in the West with a 2-1 win over Real Salt Lake on Wednesday night. Without international players Xavier Arreaga, Raúl Ruidíaz and Gustav Svensson the team made a few changes from the side that beat the LA Galaxy over the weekend. Will Bruin, Jordy Delem and Shane O’Neill started in place of the absent players and acquitted themselves well, with Bruin playing a crucial role in the opening goal.

The Sounders looked like the better team throughout the first half, but only had Jordan Morris’ goal to show for it as they went into halftime. They’d had chances to stretch their lead, and made sure that Stefan Frei’s first 45 minutes were quiet, but still only had a one-goal lead.

A set-piece goal that saw Yeimar Gómez Andrade emphatically finish a Nico Lodeiro cross just over an hour into the game proved to be the winner, but Nouhou made things tense when he redirected an RSL cross beyond Frei’s reach. RSL created plenty of trouble before and after the own-goal, but the Sounders saw the game out and nearly got an insurance goal in the final moments of stoppage time. The team are back in action on the road against LAFC on Sunday at 4 PM.

Key Moments

1’ — Jordan Morris appeared to have put the Sounders ahead early when he got on the end of a Kelvin Leerdam cross, but he was ruled to have been offside.

28’ — After some nice play down the right side, Cristian Roldan got the ball into the area and hits it toward the 6-yard box where Morris confidently put it away with the help of a Will Bruin “dummy.” 1-0

32’ — Bruin and Morris nearly connected to double the lead, but Bruin’s touch across the box was just beyond Morris’ reach.

49’ — Roldan found himself only needing to redirect the ball on frame to make it 2-0 off of a beautiful cross from Lodeiro, but his attempt ends up wide of the goal.

55’ — Lodeiro put in another great cross, this time finding a leaping Will Bruin who makes a good connection but the ‘keeper makes a nice save to maintain the score line.

61’ — Yeimar Gómez Andrade finds himself all alone and meets a perfect Lodeiro cross from a set piece to double the lead. 2-0

69’ — Maikel Chang put in a dangerous cross, but it appeared to be heading out of bounds when Nouhou redirected back toward goal. 2-1

93’ — The Sounders had a golden chance to put the match away when Lodeiro again found Roldan, this time streaking on a run deep from his own end. Despite being in on goal, Roldan tried to find Morris, though, and had his pass broken up.

Quick thoughts

Roldan on the right: Cristian Roldan’s production as the player on the wing opposite Morris has been in question throughout the season, but his performance against RSL from that spot was yet another mark in the midfielder’s favor. He set up the opening goal with a good run and great vision, and created all kinds of problems for the backline. If he can continue to produce and draw attention from his attacking partners the Sounders offense will be in good shape.

Bruin does everything but dance: Will Bruin’s minutes have been limited by the simple fact that Ruidíaz has been hard to take off the field for Brian Schmetzer. With the Peruvian striker away on national team duty, Bruin’s got his hands on the starting spot for a stretch of games. While he hasn’t found his way onto the score sheet yet — he may have had a slight touch on the ball for Morris’ goal — his presence and work rate are clearly leading to success for his teammates. He nearly got a goal of his own tonight, and it feels like just a matter of time before the Bear dances again.

Pastor Gómez Andrade’s flock: The Sounders have lacked a dominant presence in the middle of their back line since Chad Marshall’s retirement, and the certainly seem to have found it in Gómez Andrade. The center back is a serious physical presence, capable of not only holding his own, but out-muscling even the most physical of forwards in the league, and beyond that his ability to win 1v1 battles with well-timed tackles and smart positioning makes him a nightmare for attacking players to deal with. His passing and skill on the dribble help him to lead from the back when the team’s in possession. As the cherry on top, he’s also become a serious threat as a target on set-pieces. Gómez Andrade guides his flock, and he protects them from the wolves.

Did you see that?!?

The Sounders definitely deserved this win but they could’ve sealed the deal if Cristian Roldan had scored here.

He said what?!?

Lodeiro was involved in just about every positive attacking moment that the Sounders had against RSL, always showing up where and when the team needs him most.

Stat of the game

2.0 — The Sounders have now averaged 2.0 points per game over their last 68 regular-season matches, the equivalent of two full seasons.


Poll

Man of the Match

This poll is closed

  • 46%
    Yeimar Gómez Andrade
    (270 votes)
  • 6%
    Jordan Morris
    (36 votes)
  • 41%
    Nico Lodeiro
    (243 votes)
  • 5%
    Cristian Roldan
    (34 votes)
583 votes total Vote Now