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Sounders vs. St. Louis, recap: St. Louis in misery

The Sounders weather the first half storm before thumping St. Louis 3-0.

Max Aquino / Sounder at Heart

SEATTLE — The Sounders hosted St. Louis City SC for the first time on Saturday night. The visitors made the game tough, but ultimately Seattle’s High Life Soccer proved too much as the goals overflowed in the second half and Seattle won 3-0. The win moves the Sounders clear into first place in the West with 16 points and a +12 goal difference through 7 games.

The first half was something of a knockdown-dragout affair with plenty of physical play and a handful of quality chances for both sides. The best chance of the half probably belonged to the visitors as Nicholas Gioacchini got to the end line and found João Klauss on the doorstep, but the forward’s shot hit the outside of the near post and went out for a Stefan Frei goal kick.

The second half was largely similar for the first 20 minutes; the game was back and forth as both teams created a couple of chances. Then in the 65th minute Josh Atencio changed everything. After taking a couple shots earlier to find his range, Atencio received a drop pass from Nico Lodeiro outside the box and unleashed a banger to beat St. Louis’s goalkeeper Roman Bürki.

A few minutes later it was Raúl Ruidíaz adding to the scoreline with his first goal of the season. Ruidíaz capitalized on an error from Bürki as the GK let a cross from Alex Roldan slip through his hands, and Ruidíaz finished from inside the 6-yard box. Seattle got another in the 89th minute when a dangerous Lodeiro corner led to a STL own goal.

Key moments

5’ — A little moment of excitement for everyone as Nico Lodeiro sends in a cross from the left that Roman Bürki seems to misjudge as it hits the post, but nothing comes from it.

14’ — Josh Atencio winds his way through the St. Louis defense before getting off a shot from just inside the box, but it’s hit right at the ‘keeper.

16’ — St. Louis nearly find their way onto the board as Klauss makes clean contact off of a low cross to the near post, but his shot hits the woodwork and goes out.

24’ — Cristian Roldan meets a corner from Lodeiro at the near post and his header is placed well, but Bürki makes the save once again.

25’ — Léo Chú finds Jordan Morris with a good ball out to the right wing, and Morris plays a centering ball for Lodeiro, but Bürki intervenes and Lodeiro puts it out for a goal kick.

44’ — Léo Chú gets in behind a defender and out on the run with Morris for company on the right. Chú had a look himself, but the shot was saved.

53’ — Atencio takes another look, taking an open shooting lane and pulling up from deep, but his shot runs wide.

58’ — The Roldans work the ball down the right side and Cristian Roldan sends in a dangerous cross that a defender clears out for a corner.

65’ — JOSH ATENCIO!!! Take a bow, kid. Atencio scores his first MLS goal with a blast into the back of the net from 20 yards out. Sounders take the lead 1-0!

70’ — Raúl Ruidíaz is back, baby! A cross from Alex Roldan slips through Bürki’s hands and Ruidíaz is there on the doorstep to put it away and double the lead! 2-0 Sounders

88’ — Nico Lodeiro nearly finds Ruidíaz for another goal, but a defender’s outstretched leg denies the striker and the ball goes out for a corner.

89’ — That’s three! Nico Lodeiro sends in a dangerous corner that Jordan Morris heads into Jake Nerwinski, who put it into his own goal. 3-0 Sounders

Quick thoughts

Riding the hot hand: After a week’s worth of speculation about whether another productive game from Léo Chú and Jordan Morris would keep Raúl Ruidíaz on the bench, Brian Schmetzer only changed one player from last week’s Starting XI as Nouhou returned to the lineup and João Paulo missed out due to injury. The high-flying duo struggled to find the same success they had in the previous two weeks as St. Louis made life miserable with their press and “physical” play, although they did create some dangerous opportunities. With Ruidíaz finding his way to the scoresheet I’d expect him to retake his starting spot, but Josh Atencio’s performance may provide Schmetzer with another hot hand to ride.

Josh Atencio, folks: Josh Atencio first rose to prominence in early 2021 with the Sounders first team, but had since struggled to reach the same heights. That’s all in the past tense after tonight. Atencio was dynamic in every phase of the game, helping to break St. Louis’ press with both his dribbling and passing. He racked up interceptions and recoveries, was clean with his tackles, and after a couple of dangerous shots he scored his first MLS goal when he BLAMO’d the ball into the back of the net to beat Bürki from distance. Out of the competition for spots in the Sounders midfield, Atencio has blossomed.

Fort Lumen: The Seattle Sounders have made being hard to beat at home a stated goal for this season as part of their effort to put 2022 and the season’s failures behind them. They’ve been undeniably successful in that endeavor, as they’ve given up zero goals at Lumen Field through four games, with three wins and a scoreless draw against LAFC. Those four shutouts mean the team has already equaled their total of home shutouts from last season.

Did you see that?!?

Have a hit, kid!

He said what?!?

One stat to tell the tale

3 — The Sounders have won three straight MLS games for the first time since a four-game streak that ended with a 4-1 win over the Vancouver Whitecaps on Oct. 9, 2021.


Man of the match

This poll is closed

  • 94%
    Josh Atencio
    (1362 votes)
  • 1%
    (21 votes)
  • 0%
    Raúl Ruidíaz
    (6 votes)
  • 3%
    Nico Lodeiro
    (53 votes)
1442 votes total Vote Now

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