Brian Schmetzer will be relieved with the result as the Seattle Sounders head home following a late 1-1 draw away against the LA Galaxy. Seattle’s head coach made a number of changes to the starting lineup, keeping Kelvin Leerdam, Jordan Morris, João Paulo and Cristian Roldan on the bench. His rotated squad did well enough to keep things level through the first half, and even had a solid shout for a penalty on a hand ball courtesy of a shot from Ethan Dobbelaere, but couldn’t find the break through.
Schmetzer started making changes around the 55th minute, bringing on Morris and Roldan for Dobbelaere and Jones, and Morris immediately looked dangerous. Schmetzer continued to strengthen with his subs, bringing in João Paulo in the 74th, and Will Bruin and Jimmy Medranda. Medranda made his first appearance for the Sounders since joining via trade from Nashville SC in the 86th minute. As the Sounders pushed for the opening goal, the Galaxy hit them on a counter and took the lead via Chicharito in the 78th before Raúl Ruidíaz eventually evened things up in stoppage time.
The Sounders are back in action for their final game before the playoffs on Sunday, November 8, when they host the San Jose Earthquakes at 3:30 PM with playoff positioning on the line.
9’ — Dobbelaere’s first real involvement comes as he takes a shot that hits Steres in the hand, but the Sounders are given a corner instead of a penalty.
15’ — Alex Roldan clears a Galaxy header off the line, and Dobbelaere knocks the ball out of danger after Frei mishandles the service into the box.
49’ — Jones forces a save, pulling up from outside the area, after Lodeiro forces a turnover in LA’s defensive end. Nothing comes from the rebound.
69’ — Not long after taking a shot from the top of the box, Cristian Roldan gets a great look on goal as Lodeiro finds him with a cross inside the area, but he can’t beat Bingham with his header.
78’ — Pavon starts a counter from deep in his own half, and it leads to a Chicharito goal after he and Alvarez pass through the Sounders defense. 1-0
90+4’ — Morris finds Ruidíaz as the Sounders move through the Galaxy defense and into the box. Ruidíaz’s shot is met by Bingham, but the ‘keeper can’t keep the ball from finding its way into the back of the net. 1-1
Squad rotation: Schmetzer rested several starters against the Galaxy, and that rotation was clearest on the right side of the field for the Sounders. Ethan Dobbelaere and Alex Roldan started at right wing and right back, respectively, and did plenty to make sure the coach didn’t regret that decision. Both players helped to create a bit of danger in the attack, but their most important contribution may have come as the two combined to clear what would have been a sure Galaxy goal off the line.
Playing the kid(s): Speaking of Dobbelaere, there’s been plenty of discussion of Schmetzer’s willingness to give meaningful playing time to young players this season. It’s seemed counterintuitive, with such a congested schedule, to often leave the team’s teenagers off of the game day roster, or to bring them in for just the final few minutes when they do see the field. In just short of an hour’s work, Dobbelaere proved himself willing and able to do the kind of work required of any player pulling on the Rave Green as he put in solid defense, made good runs, showed some skill in his passing, and helped the Sounders keep possession.
What’s momentum?: The idea of momentum in sports is a pretty contested concept. Confidence is an important part of soccer and how players perform, but it’s hard to say whether, or to what extent if any, that confidence leads to actual results. If momentum matters, maybe grabbing a late draw in Carson will help, but the Sounders haven’t won consecutive games in a month as they head into their final game of the 2020 regular season on Sunday against San Jose. Can they improve their form before the playoffs start?
Did you see that?!?
This is spectacular stuff. pic.twitter.com/8iYxUwKOik— Sounder At Heart (@sounderatheart) November 5, 2020
Ruidíaz couldn’t have saved the game if Alex Roldan and Dobbelaere hadn’t saved it first.
He said what?!?
"I'm trying to drive an extra 3-5% out of a team that gives a great effort. You have to find something extra to win championships. ... If you say you're satisfied with a draw, you're never going to win a championship." - Schmetzer— Sounder At Heart (@sounderatheart) November 5, 2020
One stat to tell the tale
3 — This marked the third time the Sounders have changed the result with a stoppage time goal in 2020. (2-1 vs Chicago, 1-1 vs Portland)
Man of the match
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