SEATTLE — The Seattle Sounders hosted Sporting Kansas City on a truly beautiful June Saturday afternoon, and made it well worth everyone’s time with a decisive 3-0 win.
Will Bruin got the party started not even 10 minutes into the game. The Sounders moved the ball around the defense, until Jackson Ragen eventually saw what he was looking for: Alex Roldan moving into space on the right wing. He hit a perfect switch that Alex dropped back for Cristian Roldan, who played an inch-perfect cross for Bruin to run onto at the far post. Bruin sent his header back across goal to beat Tim Melia and give his side the lead. Both sides had chances, as the Sounders repeatedly found space down the wings, but neither goalkeeper had to work too hard to maintain the scoreline through the rest of the opening 45 minutes.
The second half saw the two sides continue to put pressure on and create opportunities, but it was the Sounders that made the most of them. In a five-minute stretch following the 70th minute Seattle broke the game open with well-worked goals from Jordan Morris and Cristian Roldan. First Morris headed home an excellent cross after Nouhou got all the time and space in the world to pick out his ball, then Léo Chú and Morris linked up to give Roldan a tap-in at the far post to make it a 3-0 lead for Seattle. The Sounders would get a few more looks, but nothing else was quite falling for them. The 3-0 win makes the Sounders record on this home stand 3-0-1, +8 through four games. They’ll close the home stand on Wednesday when they host CF Montréal.
8’ — Who else but Will Bruin? Cristian Roldan sends in a beauty of a cross and Will Bruin hits a sweet header at the far post to finish back across goal. Sounders lead 1-0!
34’ — SKC have what seems like their best look of the game, getting a shot from inside the penalty area that clangs off the underside of the bar, but it’s ruled offside.
35’ — Nouhou gets beat for pace and crossed up by Johnny Russell, but his sliding, last-minute intervention blocks a cross and gets the Sounders out on the run.
38’ — Kelyn Rowe makes a great play, jumping on a ball and running through KC’s defense, but Jordan Morris can’t do enough with his cutback.
45’ — Graham Zusi sends in a dangerous cross from the right side, but Alex Roldan steps in at the far post to head the ball out for a corner.
47’ — Cameron Duke drives down the Sounders’ right side, putting in a shross as he approached the near post, but it goes out for a goal kick.
52’ — Jordan Morris gets a shot off after a Cristian Roldan cross and it deflects off of Will Bruin before making contact with Graham Zusi’s hand, but no penalty is given.
71’ — Jordan Morris makes it two! Nouhou sends in a looping cross and Morris heads it from the edge of the 6-yard box into the top of the net! 2-0
76’ — Cristian Roldan! Léo Chú tears up the left side and releases Morris into space. Morris plays the ball towards the far post where Roldan sends it home. 3-0
80’ — Morris picks up the ball in SKC’s half and is in on goal. His shot is saved, setting up a series of comical missed opportunities in front of Tim Melia.
The Great Plains Giroud: Will Bruin will probably forever be remembered by the biggest of MLS nerds as one of the best domestic forwards during the league’s adolescence. It’s something, but it’s far less than he deserves. Bruin probably goes under-appreciated because of the era in which he came of age, and the kind of team he played on before coming to Seattle. With the Sounders, though, he’s seemed to come most alive when he’s been able to work with the technical players around him, showcasing a deceptively soft touch and a high soccer IQ. Beyond his goal, Bruin was frequently playing teammates into space and causing trouble with his movement as he made the most of his opportunity with Raúl Ruidíaz sidelined.
Everybody’s eating: Raúl Ruidíaz’s absence due to his hamstring injury may have raised concerns for some about where the goals might come from, and the resounding answer after this game was: everywhere. In the 3-0 win, Seattle had three different goal scorers, and six different players were credited with assists. Cristian Roldan and Jordan Morris both had a goal and an assist, while Will Bruin’s goal opened up the scoring. With or without their star striker, the Sounders are going to win the way they always do: as a team. If there’s food on the table, everybody’s eating in this squad.
Defense wins championships: A 3-0 win is great, everybody loves it. It’s probably easiest to get excited about 3 goals, but for the Sounders right now that shutout feels particularly good. Coming into this 5-game home stand Seattle had only kept one clean sheet in league play this season, allowing 15 goals in 11 games. During the 4 games of this run at home the Sounders have added two more clean sheets and given up only two goals as they’ve outscored opponents 10-2 and gone 3-0-1. They’ve swung their goal difference to a +6 and are putting themselves in good position to climb the standings thanks to improved defensive performances and dominant play at home.
Did you see that?!?
A great play from start to finish to open the scoring, courtesy of Will Bruin’s noggin.
He said what?!?
Everyone loved Tim Melia getting booed.
“We enjoy it, it’s fun. It amps us up.” Morris on the players’ perspective with the fans booing Tim Melia after the choke slam incident last year— Defensa y Boosticia (@timostlundfoss) June 25, 2022
One stat to tell the tale
6 — Including secondary assists, 6 different players were credited with assists on the Sounders 3 goals.
Man of the match
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