The Seattle Sounders went on something of a rollercoaster ride as they drew 3-3 on the road against LA Galaxy, a game that saw the Sounders go down 2-0, come roaring back to take a 3-2 lead and ultimately concede a stoppage-time penalty.
LA came storming out of the gate, generating a good chance for Chicharito inside Seattle’s penalty area that Stefan Frei saved easily in the 9th minute, then a minute later Chicharito was on the ball inside the box again. This time around he left no doubt as he created space for himself with a couple of touches and finished into the far side of the goal to take the lead.
The Sounders followed this up with a couple of good looks including an apparent goal from Jordan Morris in the 16th minute, but the play was called back for offside. As halftime approached, the Galaxy doubled their lead via something of a fluke goal from Victor Vazquez as his cross fooled Frei and found its way into the top corner, and the Sounders looked like they might be cooked.
Coming out for the second half, Seattle looked like a different team, a team that remembered that it was good at soccer. Less than 10 minutes into the half the Sounders had pulled one back.
Raúl Ruidíaz drove towards the endline inside of the Galaxy area and cut a ball back through the box to a waiting Kelyn Rowe, who curled his shot into the net to halve the deficit. From there the Sounders were off to the races. In the 61st minute, Ruidíaz tied the game up, heading home a cross from Nico Lodeiro after an objectively hilarious sequence of events that involved Albert Rusnák hitting both the crossbar and the post on separate shots within a matter of seconds, and a couple of failed clearances.
About 12 minutes later it was Jordan Morris’s turn to grab a goal, this time cleaning up the spilled rebound from Galaxy goalkeeper Jonathan Bond who could only block a header from Yéimar.
It seemed like the Sounders had finally done enough to grab a win after a frustrating string of games, but then VAR intervened. A somewhat innocuous seeming play that ended in an easy enough catch from Stefan Frei was reviewed and Xavier Arreaga was judged to have committed a handball and the Galaxy were awarded a penalty. Dejan Joveljic stepped up to the spot and slotted it home to end the game tied 3-3. The point from the draw leaves the Sounders above the playoff line for the night, at least.
9’ — The first dangerous look of the game comes for LA, as Chicharito puts a slight touch on a cross but the ball goes directly into the arms of Stefan Frei.
10’ — A minute after his first look was saved by Frei, Chicharito finishes off a quick build-up through the Sounders with a couple touches in the box and shot to the far post. 1-0 LA
16’ — Jordan Morris appears to have leveled the game with a header on a cross from Nico Lodeiro, but the play is called back for offside.
21’ — Morris nearly does it again, but his shot after a layoff from Lodeiro in the box goes wide as he shoots with his left from a tight angle.
42’ — Victor Vazquez doubles the lead for LA. Vazquez takes a shot/cross from outside the corner of the box that fools Frei and sinks into the far top corner. 2-0 LA
53’ — Kelyn Rowe pulls one back for Seattle! Raúl Ruidíaz dribbles into the box towards the endline and cuts the ball back for Rowe, who curls it into the top of the net! 2-1
60’ — Albert Rusnak strikes both the crossbar and the goal post within a matter of seconds, but can’t find the back of the net despite the chaos.
61’ — Ruidíaz ties it up! “The Flea” leaps up to meet a Lodeiro cross near the penalty spot and beats Jonathan Bond with a header. 2-2
73’ — Jordan Morris snags the lead! Lodeiro sends in a great cross that’s headed by Yéimar but the shot is saved, and Morris knocks the rebound home from the doorstep. 3-2 Seattle
90 + 1’ — Xavier Arreaga is called for a questionable handball in the box, and LA have a penalty. Dejan Joveljic hammers it home. 3-3
The first one’s free: Following last week’s loss, Brian Schmetzer talked about how the high number of crosses in that game, something that’s become a pattern for the Sounders recently, is certainly not the plan but a result of going behind and having to chase for a goal. Well, for the third consecutive game and the 7th time in the last 10 games the Sounders gave up the first goal against the Galaxy. They’ve won 3 of those 10 games, and lost 6 of 7 in which they gave up the first goal. It’s clearly, objectively harder to win a game when you give up the first goal, and I’d like the Sounders to stop doing it so often.
Fixing half of the equation: Over the last 10 games, the Sounders have been pretty bad at both scoring goals and preventing the other team from scoring goals. Ideally, you want to be good at scoring goals AND be good at stopping teams from scoring goals. The answer to the goal-scoring problem has seemingly been just on the horizon the whole time, and now it looks like it may finally be here as Ruidíaz seems to be nearing 90-minute fitness. Against the Galaxy, Ruidíaz started and had a goal and an assist, and all three Sounders goals were scored during his 83 minutes on the field. If the team can keep creating and finishing off chances, now they’ll just need to work on the other half of the problem.
Speaking of the attacking output: This game featured Ruidíaz’s first primary assist of the season — in fact the first primary assist of any Sounders forward — coming on Kelyn Rowe’s beauty of a goal. The dribble and pass may have been the best proof that Ruidíaz is really and truly back. His goal was his first in over two months, with his last coming in the 4-0 win over the Vancouver Whitecaps on June 14. Morris’s goal was his first since the 2-1 win over the Colorado Rapids on July 23, nearly a month ago, and marked the first time that two Sounders forwards have scored in the same game, arguably, since Morris and Will Bruin both scored against Sporting Kansas City on June 25. The result’s a little disappointing, but there’s still some good.
Did you see that?!?
He said what?!?
Schmetzer cont.: "I couldn’t be any prouder of the way the guys dug down deep against a team that was desperate too. That’s a massive positive."— Jeremiah Oshan (@JeremiahOshan) August 20, 2022
One stat to tell the tale
2 — This was the first time this season that the Sounders claimed points from a game in which they were in a 2-goal deficit.
Man of the match
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