SEATTLE — The Seattle Sounders hosted FC Cincinnati on a Tuesday night in what was essentially a must-win game, only to settle for a 1-1 draw. Cincinnati took the lead in the 24th minute when some pretty bad defending left Brenner running in with only Stefan Frei to beat. AB Cissoko put in a challenge on the ball to Brenner, but couldn’t do enough to keep the forward from getting to it and he ultimately beat Frei fairly easily.
The two sides split possession for much of the game, each side pushing for the second goal, but it was ultimately the Sounders who scored next. Kelyn Rowe pushed into the middle channel and found Fredy Montero in a pocket of space with an excellent pass. From there Montero hit a rocket into the corner to level the game.
Rowe nearly added a second assist when he connected with Cristian Roldan on a cross in the 60th, but his night would be over just 10 minutes later after being called for a DOGSO foul and shown a red card. There were opportunities for either side to find a winner, but ultimately the job proved to be too much.
This result leaves Seattle in 9th place in the West on 40 points, with 5 points between them and the playoff line and two games to go. The season’s not over yet, but they’ll need quite a bit of help from around the league to keep the playoff streak alive.
16’ — After a giveaway in the defensive third, a great tackle from Jackson Ragen in the Sounders box and a clever move from Kelyn Rowe get Seattle out of pressure.
21’ — Albert Rusnak goes directly for goal on a free kick from around 25 yards out, but the shot is caught easily enough by Roman Celentano.
24’ — Brenner scores first as Yeimar and Ragen both get pulled out of position and AB Cissoko makes a sliding intervention, but not enough to keep the ball away. 1-0 Cincinnati
35’ — Will Bruin nearly levels it, as he puts his header off of a Danny Leyva cross down towards the corner but the GK makes a great diving save to keep it out.
58’ — Fredy Montero ties it up with a rocket! Kelyn Rowe makes a great read to spot him, and he fires it in from outside the box! 1-1
60’ — Cristian Roldan leaps up to meet a Rowe cross and heads it down towards the far post, but the attempt goes wide.
70’ — Kelyn Rowe is shown a red card for denial of a goalscoring opportunity at the top of the box. The ensuing free kick is hit wide of goal. The Sounders are down to 10.
76’ — Stefan Frei, with two attackers on the doorstep, comes up big with a pair of saves to keep the game level.
Seeing red: Kelyn Rowe’s red card tonight was Seattle’s fourth ejection of the season, and Rowe’s second. Coming into this year, the team hadn’t received a single red card since 2019. I don’t think this really means anything, but it feels like it should. Playing down a man certainly changed the game, but the team still created opportunities to claim all three points.
The return of the Real Cristian Roldan: Having missed the previous six games, and not having looked particularly good for a while before getting surgery for a sports hernia, you could be forgiven if you’d forgotten just how good Cristian Roldan is. Although it took a few minutes for him to shake off some rust, Roldan’s introduction to the game in the 55th minute was both a welcome addition of quality and energy as well as a reminder of just what he offers when he’s anywhere near his best. It’s no fluke that he had three goals and five assists in his first 15 MLS appearances of the season, or that he added one goal and seven assists in CCL play. It’s hard not to think that if this version of Cristian Roldan had been available all season the Sounders’ spot in the table would be a bit different.
Trusting the kids: Brian Schmetzer and the players talked multiple times about how the young guys — Josh Atencio, Ethan Dobbelaere and Danny Leyva who all started, as well as Dylan Teves who came in for the last few minutes — did well to earn their minutes and justify their inclusion. Dobbelaere in particular was highlighted repeatedly for how he influenced the game from the right wingback position. Schmetzer was sure to note that the young players on the team are forcing him to make difficult decisions, suggesting that we could see some of them back on the field against Sporting Kansas City at the weekend. Putting them in important roles for important games has an inherent degree of risk, but the coach feels confident that he can trust his players.
Did you see that?!?
Fredy Montero can still do some really wonderful things with the ball at his feet.
SUPER FRED @_fredymontero with an absolute strike! pic.twitter.com/tsJdJCe0vY— Seattle Sounders FC (@SoundersFC) September 28, 2022
He said what?!?
Regardless of how the season ends, the team is aware that they’ve made this bed and they’ll have to sleep in it.
"There is no 'poor us.' This is the situation we put ourselves in. ... It's literally do-or-die now." - Will Bruin— Jeremiah Oshan (@JeremiahOshan) September 28, 2022
One stat to tell the tale
76 — Ethan Dobbelaere and Fredy Montero had a team-high 76 touches.
Man of the match
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