The Seattle Sounders punished Sporting Kansas City on Saturday, as they unleashed a tornado named Jordan Morris on their way to a 4-1 win.
SKC took an early lead, with Willy Agada claiming a rebound from a Stefan Frei save in the 5th minute. After some early dominance from Kansas City, though, the Sounders worked their way into the game.
In the 23rd minute Morris put Seattle on the board and leveled the score. Nico Lodeiro played a ball behind Graham Zusi for Léo Chú, who worked his way around the defender and found Morris with an early cross that perfectly split the SKC center backs and goalkeeper and Morris slid in to power the ball into the back of the net. The Sounders continued to press for a second goal as the half progressed, but the two teams went into halftime tied 1-1.
Less than 10 minutes into the second half, Chú and Morris combined again to give Seattle the lead. Pressure from Yeimar kept KC pinned in their end after a Seattle free kick and eventually forced an errant pass intercepted by João Paulo, who found Chú at the top of the box. Chú drew defenders before finding Morris with a little slip ball to put him in behind and Morris took care of the rest.
In the 69th minute, Morris rounded out his hat trick nicely, connecting with a cross from Nico Lodeiro at the far post to once again beat John Pulskamp and give Seattle a two-goal lead against the 10-man SKC side.
Morris would claim a fourth goal, finishing off yet another Chú cross to give the winger his third assist and putting an exclamation point on Seattle’s first road win of the season.
5’ — SKC opens the scoring, as Frei dives to his right to make a save but William Agada is first to the rebound and smashes it in. 1-0 SKC
23’ — Morris ties it up! Chú takes a good touch beyond a defender and hits an early ball across to Morris who slides to hit it first-time beyond John Pulskamp. 1-1
27’ — Seattle drives towards Sporting’s goal; Nico Lodeiro plays a ball centrally that Morris clips along to Albert Rusnák, but he can’t keep his shot from the top of the box down.
54’ — Morris again! And yet again, it’s a Chú assist! This time a turnover forced by Yeimar’s pressure leads to a clever slide pass and a perfect finish. 2-1 Sounders
59’ — Chú nearly grabs a goal of his own, pulling up from about 20 yards out on a breakaway, but Pulskamp tips it over the bar.
63’ — SKC go down to 10 men after Ben Sweat, already on a yellow card, lines up Chú and takes him out at midfield to prevent a breakaway and earns a second yellow.
69’ — MORRIS AGAIN!!! Another slip ball from Chú puts Lodeiro in space on the left and his cross is met by Morris at the far post for another first-time finish! 3-1 Sounders
77’ — Again, again, again, again. Jordan Morris is unstoppable, and once again it’s Chú with the service to set it up. 4-1
89’ — Stefan Frei makes a big save to keep Seattle’s lead at 3-goals, swatting a deflected shot away from the top corner.
Léo Chú’s coming out party: Morris is going to deservedly receive the bulk of the praise for his four-goal performance — the first for a Sounder in MLS — but Chú’s performance deserves some flowers as well. He assisted on three of Morris’ four goals, and was a key part of the other as his clipped pass to Lodeiro set up the third goal. He also forced a quality save on a good look from range, went 2 for 3 on tackles, and won 5 of 9 duels. He’s drawn praise from Brian Schmetzer throughout the young season, and against a team that has given Seattle problems over the years and took an early lead he put it all together in a nearly perfect performance. If this is the player that Chú has become, the Sounders may have two of the best left wingers in the league.
Yeigen? Ragmar? The Sounders seem locked in on their CB pairing of Yeimar and Jackson Ragen. After five games they’ve only given up two goals — and to be fair, Ragen should have been more aware of the rebound on the goal today — and their comfort on the ball and ability to find their teammates up the field have been an important part of Seattle’s approach. Against SKC the two CBs completed a combined 93 of 100 passes, and Ragen had a 100% completion rate on his 47 passes. The tandem is only getting better together, and it’s probably worth coining their celebrity couple name sooner rather than later.
Legit, Elite, Lodeiro: Nico Lodeiro is only credited with one assist from this one, but after weeks of Jeremiah Oshan assuring us all that Lodeiro seems to be back at his best he had an absolute gem of a game on the road against SKC. He created two chances, had 11 passes into the final third, completed 48 of 57 passes, and went 4 for 4 and 8 for 8 on tackles and duels, respectively. It did seem like Lodeiro may be entering the twilight of his career at times last season, but so far in 2023 he looks like a more than deserving focal point Designated Player No. 10. Long may he reign.
More, more, Morris! Jordan Morris stepped in at striker with Héber still returning from injury and Raul Ruidíaz away with the Peru national team, and while some may have questioned the move before the game no one is questioning Schmetzer’s decision in the aftermath. Morris was absolutely unstoppable in his four-goal outing, also creating four chances to go with his goals. His hat (with a little feather in it) trick was his second for the Sounders, and the first time a Sounder has scored four in a game in MLS. He now stands alone in the front of the Golden Boot race with seven goals, having more than doubled his already impressive output through the first four games of the season.
Did you see that?!?
Four goals. That’s a hat trick plus one. It’s two braces.
JORDAN MORRIS. FOUR GOALS. pic.twitter.com/LQHaQvPeyC— Seattle Sounders FC (@SoundersFC) March 26, 2023
He said what?!?
You keep counting, Jordan.
Jordan Morris on his counting celebration: "I feel a little bad about the celebration. That’s not really me, but they’re a tough fanbase. They were jeering us all game. That sort of just came out of me."— Jeremiah Oshan (@JeremiahOshan) March 26, 2023
One stat to tell the tale
264 — The last time the Seattle Sounders won a road MLS game was July 4, 2022, 264 days before this win.
Man of the match
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