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Sounders vs. LAFC: Highlights, stats and quotes

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Sounders have tied a franchise record by claiming 16 points in their first six games.

It all seems to be coming up Sounders these days. Their 2-0 win over LAFC on Sunday completed a rare nine-point week and gives them 16 points through six games, tying a franchise record for best-ever start. A win over Atlanta United on Sunday — which will be played in front of the biggest crowd since last March — would set a new standard.

This one saw Xavier Arreaga score his first goal since joining the Sounders in 2019 and Brad Smith bag his third goal of the year, effectively tripling his career output up until now.

They also did it without Nicolas Lodeiro, again, and with Stefan Cleveland starting in place of Stefan Frei. This was Cleveland’s first MLS start since 2018 and just his second competitive start since the start of 2020.

MATCH SUMMARY

Seattle Sounders FC 2 – Los Angeles FC 0

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Venue: Lumen Field

Referee: Joseph Dickerson

Assistants: Jeremy Hanson, TJ Zablocki

Fourth Official: Fotis Bazakos

VAR: Timothy Ford

Attendance: 7,173 (reduced capacity)

Weather: 78 and sunny

SCORING SUMMARY

SEA – Xavier Arreaga (João Paulo) 57’

SEA – Brad Smith (Alex Roldan, Raúl Ruidíaz) 73’

MISCONDUCT SUMMARY

SEA – João Paulo (caution) 45’

SEA – Yeimar (caution) 52’

LAFC – Jesus David Murillo (caution) 78’

LINEUPS & STATS

Seattle Sounders FC – Stefan Cleveland; Alex Roldan, Yeimar, Xavier Arreaga, Nouhou, Brad Smith (Shane O’Neill 83’); Kelyn Rowe (Danny Leyva 68’), João Paulo (Reed Baker-Whiting 90’+2’), Cristian Roldan; Will Bruin (Fredy Montero 84’), Raúl Ruidíaz

Substitutes not used: Spencer Richey, Ethan Dobbelaere, Jimmy Medranda

Total shots: 10

Shots on goal: 3

Fouls: 13

Offside: 1

Corner-kicks: 5

Saves: 3

Los Angeles FC – Pablo Sisniega; Jesus David Murillo, Tristan Blackmon (Kim Moon-Hwan 77’), Eddie Segura, Marco Farfan (Diego Palacios 77’); Latif Blessing, Mark-Anthony Kaye, Eduard Atuesta, Deigo Rossi, Jose Cifuentes (Carlos Vela 70’); Corey Baird (Danny Musovki 70’)

Substitutes not used: Francisco Ginella, Bryce Duke, Antonio Leone, Jordan Harvey, Tomas Romero

Total shots: 9

Shots on goal: 3

Fouls: 17

Offside: 1

Corner-kicks: 5

Saves: 1

POST-MATCH QUOTES: SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC 2 – LAFC 0

SOUNDERS FC HEAD COACH BRIAN SCHMETZER

On the process on selecting Stefan Cleveland and his performance tonight:

“He did great. Exceeded our expectations. We knew there were going to be some nerves, you know, he’s had a previous win against LAFC with a different team. He succeeded tonight in keeping a clean sheet. I think he did a lot of really, really good things. So, very pleased with his play. The decision-making process is always…Tommy Dutra is the best goalkeeper coach in MLS, I know I’m biased but he is, and so I lean heavily on him and his expertise. He was the one that guided me with that decision and Spencer [Richey] is a great goalkeeper, very good, he’s got MLS experience and we will just see how it plays out but tonight Stefan Cleveland was very good.”

On how they turned things around in the second half:

“It seems like we are not playing up to our potential in the first halves of games this season, and then we turn it around in the second half of games. In Minnesota the first game, this last game you know we didn’t play very well. You have to give credit to your opponents, I mean Bob [Bradley] had a full week’s rest, he had a full week of preparation. I know you saw this, but he changed his tactics, which you know, is kind of surprising. Normally he’s 4-3-3, so he matched us. And how did that play out? It worked out for him in many parts of the first half. Then we made some adjustments in the second half and we were able to find a few more extended possession spells, sequences. Brad [Smith] got on track. Not just because of his goal but we need Brad to stretch the field because Jordan [Morris] is not here. And I thought he was influential there. I thought Alex Roldan has a monster game. I thought he was tremendous on that goal sequence, the second goal. It was unbelievable… but the whole sequence for the goal was very, very good, for Brad’s goal, was very good.”

SOUNDERS FC DEFENDER XAVIER ARREAGA (VIA TRANSLATOR)

On his feeling about scoring:

“First I would like to thank God for the opportunity of being on the starting team and also having the opportunity to score the goal. It is always extremely important for somebody, especially for someone who plays in the back to score especially when it doesn’t happen every game. Having the opportunity to do it from time to time is actually very good and encouraging. I want to also thank all the people who always support me like my teammates and my family, my wife, my daughter, I’m very happy for this moment.”

On working with Stefan Cleveland this match:

“I’m very, very happy for the opportunity that [Stefan] Cleveland had to play in the [starting lineup]. He’s a very, very good player and he works very hard during the whole week. I’m very happy for him. During the week we have been communicating a lot, giving him confidence so he could come into the game feeling good and being positive about his participation on the team.”

SOUNDERS FC DEFENDER BRAD SMITH

On the success they are having going down the wings:

“The success is working really well because we have the guys at the back, the three center backs we have are doing an amazing job at keeping the ball out, I think it’s helping us so much to get crosses and win first balls, I think we won every first ball today and that allows the team to open up and go forward and when we know we’ve got the guys behind us it gives us more freedom for me and Alex [Roldan] to get forward and that’s what we are good at and it’s working pretty well at the moment and we just need to keep working on it because it is a new formation but the positive thing is that we are only learning and we are winning games and that’s an amazing feeling and we just need to keep improving and getting better each game.”

On the teamwork leading to the second goal:

“I think we work a lot on intricate passing and guys in the middle and balance and finding the numerical advantage out wide and that’s worked on that goal especially we were able to work it through the middle and get it out wide and just get it in the box. I got to try my best to be there and it was a great ball from Alex [Roldan] and I’m happy we could score again.”