SEATTLE — While it wasn’t without positives, Monday night’s 1-1 draw between the Seattle Sounders and the visiting LA Galaxy was a frustrating 90 minutes of soccer. The tie against the Galaxy in the final regular-season home game would have been frustrating no matter how it came, but LA’s goal came from Chicharito somehow finding himself completely unmarked in the box on a corner, and the Sounders had plenty of chances to take more from the game but couldn’t find the back of the net beyond Raúl Ruidíaz’s Panenka.
There were things to like about this performance, chief among them some returns from injury. Nicolás Lodeiro — who played against LAFC as a sub — started and played 73 minutes; Jordan Morris made his first Sounders appearance of the season in the 60th minute and looked pretty good for not having played in over eight months; Raúl Ruidíaz also started this game after missing time to injury, but appeared to come off with some sort of knock to make way for Morris.
The point from this game moves Seattle back into first in the West, one point ahead of SKC who have two games remaining, and the Colorado Rapids who have one left. The Sounders have one more chance to change their fortunes before the start of the playoffs when they head up North to face the Vancouver Whitecaps on Sunday.
11’ — Cristian Roldan plays a ball across goal from the right wing after some 1-2s with Nico Lodeiro and Alex Roldan, but it’s easily grabbed by the LA goalkeeper.
19’ — GOAL! A corner from LA finds its way to Chicharito inside the area, and he flicks it behind himself and beyond Stefan Frei to open the scoring. 0-1 LA
32’ — With Alex Roldan in pursuit, Stef Frei slides out to put an end to a 1v1 with an attacker before it poses any real danger.
45’+3 — The Galaxy get off a shot from near the penalty spot, but Frei dives to his right and palms the ball out for a corner.
50’ — GOAL! Cristian Roldan runs onto a ball from João Paulo and gets sliced down by Oniel Fisher in the area for a penalty. Raúl Ruidíaz steps up and panenkas the penalty to tie it! 1-1
59’ — Ruidíaz dives and makes contact with a gorgeous cross from Kelyn Rowe at the back post, but his header misses high and wide. Ruidíaz comes off after the play and Jordan Morris enters the game in his place!
68’ — Cristian Roldan nearly gives Seattle the lead when he pulls up from outside the box, but his shot hits off the post and the ‘keeper before going out for a corner.
90+4’ — João Paulo serves in a beautiful corner kick, allowing Xavier Arreaga to put full power behind. But Jonathan Bond is able to get just enough of it to hit it off the crossbar.
Welcome back, Jordan: That game was a bummer, but you know what wasn’t? Seeing Jordan Morris, wearing a Sounders uniform, out on the field in a real game. Seeing him hit a sprint, beat his man, and put in a cross. Would it have been better with a goal or an assist? Yeah! Absolutely, but let’s not lose sight of how good it was to have Jordan Morris back. Cherish these good things.
Who got cursed, and how do we undo it? Not to be hyperbolic, but it feels like the Sounders have hit the frame of the goal a million times in the last few weeks. They probably hit the woodwork 100 times today, and Cristian Roldan probably had 80 of those (OK, it was three times and Roldan had two). Sure, Seattle only took 11 shots tonight, but that’s not the point. A weird bounce or four off of the crossbar or a post have stood between the team and a whole lot more joy and a few more points recently, and it’s time we start talking about why. It seems safe to assume that it’s a curse or a hex of some sort. Should the team burn sage in all of the players’ boots? Is there a root or herb that they could throw into the laundry when they wash the kits next? I don’t know, I’m just looking for answers. I’m hurting; we all are.
The runway to the playoffs is getting shorter: When the Sounders step on the field against Vancouver it will have been nearly a month since their last win — a 4-1 home win against the Whitecaps on Oct. 9. Seattle have played five games in that time, losing three and drawing two, and giving up the first goal in each of those games. After that game the squad’s got almost two or three weeks before their first playoff game, depending on how they finish, due to the international break. That doesn’t leave Brian Schmetzer and his staff a ton of time to address the set-piece and defensive issues plaguing the side, or for the players to figure out the spacing and chemistry issues that have made it all the more difficult to play through opponents who are protecting a lead. There’s not a lot of runway left for this squad to be able to take flight, but if anyone can get them in the air it’s Brian Schmetzer.
Did you see that?!?
Raúl Ruidíaz loves a panenka, and now he’s only a goal behind in the Golden Boot race with one game left to go.
He said what?!?
Morris: ‘it was a special moment. That’s what you think about when you’re in a long recovery. Some chills and goosebumps when I came on.’— Jeremiah Oshan (@JeremiahOshan) November 2, 2021
One stat to tell the tale
254 — It had been 254 days since Jordan Morris was injured playing for Swansea City on Feb. 20.
Man of the match
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