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LA Galaxy vs. Seattle Sounders, Talking Points: Fast breaking to the top

Sounders exploit Galaxy’s high line.

MLS: Seattle Sounders FC at LA Galaxy Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

One has to wonder if LA Galaxy head coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto looked at the tape of the Seattle Sounders before game planning for this match. Like they have against virtually every other opponent who tried to press or play a high line, the Sounders exploited it.

Bouncing back from their midweek loss, the Sounders repeatedly found themselves running at the Galaxy goal and won a relatively easy 3-1 decision that probably wasn’t that close.

Lord help MLS if Morris starts connecting from distance

It’s hard to overstate how far Jordan Morris has come since his impressive rookie season with the Sounders. Known for pace and criticized for not having a left foot, his evolution from 2016 to now is clear to see, and why he’s likely to see major minutes with the USMNT — whenever they return to play. Tonight was another master class as he completes his transition from forward to winger. He repeatedly beat the Galaxy’s high line, getting in behind and creating dangerous chances for himself and his teammates. Besides his assist to Cristian Roldan, he calmly took his own chance, slotting the ball past David Bingham. Morris was also a bit unlucky not to get another couple of goals, showing off some long distance shooting. His late attempt hit the post so hard, it looked like might knock it down. If those start going in...

Nouhou rebounds

It was a rough outing for Nouhou against Portland, as his mistake was a major contributing factor to the goal, he picked up an early yellow and was subbed off at halftime. With Brad Smith coming back into the fold, competition will be fierce for playing time. The Cameroonian responded with a performance that give Schmetzer a tougher decision to make. Nouhou picked up his first assist of the season, sending a fine ball along the sideline to release Morris for what ended up being the Sounders’ first goal. His passing generally was solid, if not spectacular and his defense was back to what Sounders fans have been accustomed to, with physical one-on-one play and anticipating Galaxy passes to win back possession. Unfortunately, Nouhou left the game with a knock, but was able to leave under his own power.

Cristian Roldan reminds everyone what he can do

Roldan’s “jack-of-all-trades” skillset means he moves around on the pitch a lot, and while right-mid may not be his preferred position, he provided a reminder how well can play there. Roldan’s trademark tenacity and ball winning was on display as usual, but he showed off his goal-scoring ability in this one. He’d yet to get on the scoresheet this year, but with Raul Ruidiaz out serving a suspension, Roldan took up the mantle with some very Ruidiaz-like flair. His chipped goal was outrageous, while his earlier goal was a clinical weak side run to calmly finish off Morris’ cross. This was a game to remind you that Roldan has more to his game than you think.

DPs rounding into fine form

Possibly the best performance from the Designated Duo of the year, both Lodeiro and João Paulo put in excellent performances, holding possession, and transitioning from defense to attack. But the passing...oh the passing. With the Galaxy stubbornly sticking to their high-line, Lodiero and Paulo had a field day switching the point of attack, and sending long-balls forward to break their back line. Lodeiro served up what might be pass of the year when his bending switch cut out seven defenders and sent Morris through one-on-one with Bingham, while JP’s ball over the top led to Roldan’s audacious chipped finish.

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