The Seattle Sounders bounced back after their loss to LAFC on Saturday, hosting FC Dallas on a lovely Seattle Tuesday evening. The 1-0 win was the team’s first shutout since the road win against Toronto FC, and the first clean sheet at home since the win over Sporting Kansas City back on June 23. The Sounders started creating challenges for Dallas’s defense early, with a decent look from Nico Lodeiro saved by the Dallas goalkeeper, Maarten Paes, in the 4th minute. Seattle kept most of the possession, playing the ball around and creating a handful of quality chances leading up to the 37th minute when Jordan Morris got in behind the defense and rose up to take the ball out of the air inside the box with his chest, but Paes took him out while coming for the ball. Nico Lodeiro stepped up to take the penalty and did exactly what you’d expect, hitting the ball to his left and sending the ‘keeper the wrong way to give Seattle the lead with just over 5 minutes left in the half.
That proved to be all they needed. Dallas did their best to apply pressure in the second half, and got plenty of shots off, but neither side really created much danger after the opening goal. Arguably the best chance of the second half came in the 86th minute when Nico Lodeiro hit a ball intended for Jordan Morris that the winger couldn’t get to. Fortunately Nouhou was making a run from the defender’s blindside and picked up the ball and drove at the ‘keeper. Unaware of his running mate, Raúl Ruidíaz, available for a tap-in, Nouhou went for the shot and was kept off the scoresheet by the diving GK. The win moves the Sounders into 6th place and playoff position. They’ll be back in action on Saturday, August 6 at noon as they travel to face Atlanta United.
4’ — The Sounders get the first good chance of the match, with Jordan Morris showing some good control to take the ball down and play in Nico Lodeiro, but his shot is saved.
7’ — Léo Chú shows off a little bit of speed and an excellent touch or two to keep the ball in play and create a dangerous chance from the right side, but Dallas puts it out for a throw-in.
37’ — Morris rises up to control with a cross, but he gets cleared out by Dallas goalkeeper Maarten Paes. Penalty for the Sounders.
39’ — Nico Lodeiro steps up to the spot and hammers it to his left, sending the GK the other way! Sounders goal! 1-0
44’ — Fredy Montero gets taken out near the top of the box, and Lodeiro steps up to take the free kick. His shot is hit hard and placed well, but the GK gets over well to save it.
54’ — Morris nearly doubles the lead, running up on a loose ball and smashing the ball from the D, but his shot goes just wide of the post.
86’ — Nouhou gets as close as he’ll ever be to opening his Sounders account as he runs onto a ball from Lodeiro, but his shot is stopped as the GK drops on it.
The return of Raúl Ruidíaz: He only had 5 touches, and none of them were shots, but Raúl Ruidíaz was back on the field for the first time since coming off with a hamstring injury against the Portland Timbers on July 9. He played just about 30 minutes, made some good runs, and didn’t pull up with another muscle injury. I’m counting that as a win! If the Sounders are going to get hot and make some noise in the playoffs, they’re going to need Ruidíaz, so getting him back on the field, healthy and in rhythm is essential.
A little backbone in the midfield: Cristian Roldan and Albert Rusnák aren’t going to magically become hard as nails destroyers, but against Dallas they showed that they can still provide some toughness through the middle when the game suits them. The two only combined for 3 tackles - on which they had a 100% success rate - but they went 4 for 6 and 3 for 4 respectively on duels, and pitched in a combined 3 interceptions and 15 recoveries as they helped the team boss possession and control the middle of the park.
Perfection: It’s hard to overstate the value of perfection. In any circumstance, doing something perfectly is something to be cherished, no matter how small. When perfection becomes the norm, though, it’s easy to overlook it. To take it for granted. Nico Lodeiro is firmly in that territory. He has, somehow, never missed a penalty in regular season play. His PK tonight was his 18th such penalty. It is invaluable having the comfort and confidence of knowing that, if Lodeiro’s in the game and the boys win a penalty, it’s going in the back of the net. Long may the streak last.
Did you see that?!?
He said what?!?
"No, I think that's a negative take, because Jordan would have scored had the goalkeeper not ******* crushed him." Schmetzer on the team not scoring from the run of play— Defensa y Boosticia (@timostlundfoss) August 3, 2022
One stat to tell the tale
18 — Nico Lodeiro is 18 for 18 from the penalty spot in MLS regular season play
Man of the match