The Seattle Sounders moved back into first place of the Western Conference, beating Los Angeles FC for the second time in about three weeks on Friday. The Sounders got two penalties from Nicolas Lodeiro and a golazo from Raúl Ruidíaz to finish off a 3-0 win.
Both penalties came in the first half and while neither was egregious, the Sounders played well enough that they could at least talk themselves into deserving the halftime margin of 2-0. LAFC dominated most of the second half and seemed mostly likely to score the next goal until Ruidíaz unleashed his lethal finish that effectively put the game away.
8 — The Sounders started off flying with their best chance coming off a João Paulo cross following a short corner. João Paulo’s pass found Jordan Morris unmarked at near post, but he failed to connect cleanly and the ball skimmed off his head and shoulder before Pablo Sisniega saved it. The chance was worth a rather astounding .32 xG.
14 — The missed chance almost came back to haunt the Sounders a few minutes later when Diego Rossi got in behind the defense. His shot was saved but fell to the feet of Bradley Wright-Phillips, who was correctly ruled offside.
29 — The Sounders went ahead on a Lodeiro penalty. VAR awarded it after Dejan Jakovic was ruled to have handled the ball after lifting his arm. 1-0.
33 — Lodeiro added a second goal, again converting a penalty. This time Sisniega was able to get a hand on it, but not enough to keep it from hitting the back of the net. The penalty had been given after Latif Blessing undercut Yeimar Goméz Andrade on a free kick. Lodeiro is now 14-for-14 on penalties sin the regular season. 2-0.
55 — The Sounders caught a bit of a break on a potential penalty when Goméz Andrade had a Mark Anthony Kaye header come off his outstretched arm after deflecting off his belly.
78 — Cristian Roldan kept a ball in-bounds and then put Morris into space along the right wing. Morris put in a quality cross that found Ruidíaz, but he was unable to beat Sisniega after a quality first touch.
81 — Ruidíaz collected a pass from João Paulo near the top of the penalty area, controlled it with his left foot and then somehow generated enough power with his left to beat Sisniega at the near post. 3-0.
Raul is a magician: There are definitely higher paid forwards in MLS and I’m not quite ready to declare Ruidíaz the absolute best, but I’m not sure I’d be willing to swap strikers with anyone at this point. I’m not sure there’s another player in the league who can score a goal quite like that one and he’s now got eight goals through 11 matches. It’s not at all out of the question that he could break the Sounders’ team record of 17 goals in a season despite the season being only 23 games. He also seems to come up big against the Sounders’ biggest opponents, scoring 11 goals in 10 career matches against the Timbers and LAFC.
Solid in the back: The one negative mark from the win over the San Jose Earthquakes was the late goal they allowed to ruin the shutout. There was no such let down in this one. Stefan Frei only needed to make two saves while the defenders had six blocks. LAFC ended with nearly 60% of possession, but the Sounders did a good job of limiting the dangerous chances. It was also good to see Xavier Arreaga turn in another solid performance against a tough opponent.
No more bogey team: It’s funny to think about it now, but the Sounders had never beaten LAFC at home or in the regular-season prior to this year. They’ve now done that twice in the span of less than three weeks by a combined score of 6-1. This is not quite a full-strength LAFC, it’s still one with plenty of talent.
Did you see that?!?
This is low-key possibly more impressive than the golazo he scored against Atlanta United last year.
Ruidiaz makes it 3-0. We're feeling better than bob tonight. pic.twitter.com/Ti7REi9DJL— Sounder At Heart (@sounderatheart) September 19, 2020
He said what?!?
“I think we’ve figured out a way to play against [LAFC] that seems to be working. We actually planned for Bob to change how he plays because we’ve had some recent success. It turned out they didn’t really change.” - Schmetzer
The game in one stat
4 — The Sounders now have four wins by at least three goals this year. That’s the same number of three-goal wins they had over their previous two seasons. The Sounders’ goal-difference of +16 is the best is the best in the league and the highest it has ever been through 11 matches.
Man of the Match
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