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Sounders vs. Atlanta United: Highlights, stats and quotes

Sounders set a new franchise record with 17 points through 7 games.

Despite allowing a late goal and dropping two points, the Seattle Sounders still managed to set a franchise record for best-ever start by claiming their 17th point of the season through seven games.

In many ways, though, this was their toughest. The Sounders lost the possession battle decisively and only managed seven shots. They did get Raúl Ruidíaz’s sixth goal of the season on João Paulo’s fourth assist, however, but allowed just their third goal on a Josef Martinez penalty. Notably, none of those goals have come from open play.


Seattle Sounders FC 1 – Atlanta United FC 1

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Venue: Lumen Field

Referee: Kevin Stott

Assistants: Mike Rottersman, Chris Elliott

Fourth Official: Ramy Touchan

VAR: Younes Marrakchi

Attendance: 11,011 (limited capacity)

Weather: 61 and cloudy


SEA – Raúl Ruidíaz (João Paulo) 6’

ATL – Josef Martinez (penalty) 86’


ATL – Erik Lopez (caution) 2’

SEA – Nouhou (caution) 31’

ATL – Emerson Hyndman (caution) 32’

SEA – Xavier Arreaga (caution) 68’

ATL – Matheus Rossetto (caution) 90’+1’

SEA – Alex Roldan (caution) 90’+2’

ATL – Franco Ibarra (caution) 90’+3’


Seattle Sounders FC – Stefan Cleveland; Alex Roldan, Yeimar, Nouhou, Xavier Arreaga, Brad Smith; Kelyn Rowe (Fredy Montero 81’), João Paulo, Cristian Roldan; Will Bruin (Danny Leyva 70’), Raúl Ruidíaz

Substitutes not used: Spencer Richey, Ethan Dobbelaere, Jimmy Medranda, Reed Baker-Whiting, Abdoulaye Cissoko, Shane O’Neill

Total shots: 7

Shots on goal: 2

Fouls: 19

Offside: 2

Corner-kicks: 4

Saves: 1

Atlanta United FC – Brad Guzan; Anton Walkes, Santiago Sosa, Miles Robinson; Brooks Lennon, Franco Ibarra, Emerson Hyndman (Matheus Rossetto 88’), George Bellow, Marcelino Moreno, Erik Lopez (Jake Mulraney 46’); Josef Martínez (Erick Torres 88’)

Substitutes not used: Ben Lundgaard, Ronald Hernandez, Alex De John, George Campbell, Mikey Ambrose, Jackson Conway

Total shots: 10

Shots on goal: 2

Fouls: 16

Offside: 3

Corner-kicks: 3

Saves: 1



On whether this was a bad defensive game:

“No, I wouldn’t say it was a bad defensive game. I mean you have to give credit to Atlanta, they had big possession numbers in their previous five games, that’s just the way they are set up to play. But, yeah, you fall asleep for one half a second and you know, that’s where you get burned. We were actually just watching, digesting that play on the penalty you know in the coach’s office. You know there are some things that we can correct and fix so yeah, the positive there is we haven’t given up a goal from the run of play, but it sure puts a bad feeling in your mouth having to give up a goal after they had put so much work into the game.”

On anything Atlanta did that surprised him:

“Well, I don’t know if it was different than what we showed them on the film. They had a couple when [George] Bello was coming inside, and their winger went outside. I mean there were some certain movements, but the deal for me was I don’t think we surprised them. We played true to who we were. We played some good transition moments where, again, the final movement, the final pass just didn’t allow us to get the second goal. Had we got the second goal then thing would have been different.”


On the rough second half:

“Yeah it seemed we had trouble playing out of the back a little bit, they committed one more guy forward in the press. So we elected to play more direct. We couldn’t get any real second balls. Maintain possession and then in the final third we just weren’t sharp today. It’s really unfortunate to give up the PK but like I said them committing one more guy into the press, us not having the quality to play out of the back and essentially the final third pass as well.”

On the passes lacking accuracy:

“Well like I said they committed an extra in the press. You know essentially it felt like it was man to man at times, playing a 5-4-1, matching up essentially throughout the whole field made it difficult for us especially playing out of the back. I felt like our wing backs were pinned back, they pushed their wing backs extremely high so it made it difficult for us to really establish or build pressure. They did a lot of things right and like I said we had some half chances to maybe go up another goal but they did a good job pinning us back with their wing backs staying so high.”


On coach’s message when he got sent in:

“I mean coming on every game he just wants me to bring a lot of energy as a young kid I think that’s part of our job, bringing the energy. In the center of the midfield, I think a big part of it is keeping the ball and dictating the tempo so I think that’s what coach wanted me to do, get in there, maintain some possession because like Cristian [Roldan] said we were getting pinned back a lot. We were trying to force the ball forward a bit too much and we weren’t sustaining enough possession, so I think that was kind of one of the objectives to do and obviously to be a tough player to play against in the midfield and win some duels.”

On the mood in the locker room after this game:

“I think it says a lot about the team not giving up a goal in direct play I think we’ve done well adjust to the new formation this season and the first games as a team we have done really well to help each other out as a team, have each other’s backs and try to adjust the best we can to this formation. We’ve done well, the games we’ve played together, and we just got to keep continuing that form. Obviously today was a tough result, giving up the PK but sometimes it’s going to be like that, and you just have to bounce back and go for the next game.”

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