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Realio’s Ratings: Rusnák deals Sounders a five-goal straight

The Sounders’ 10 earned an early penalty before laying on a sublime assist late.

Last Updated
14 min read
Max Aquino / Sounder at Heart

Boy, did it feel good to watch the Sounders match last weekend, as finally the potential and expectations of the season were met, for at least one game. The 5-0 shellacking of visiting CF Montreal was a celebration and release of frustration, as Seattle took their early-season woes out on a completely overmatched Canadian side. Across the board, the Sounders had excellent performances from their players, and it showed up on the scoreboard as the home team forced mistakes, created danger, and finished opportunities with composure all evening. Montreal kept the match close early on, but an irrepressible combination of dynamic offense, clutch goalkeeping, controlled midfield play, and clean finishing meant the Sounders dominated the night. The question wasn’t about Seattle winning, it was about how many goals they’d score. 


Stefan Frei – 7 | Community – 7.0

Frei earned his first shutout of the season and Seattle’s second. He did so behind a big save, some quality management, and clean play after the Sounders started to take over. Stef only had two saves, but was part of a strong defense that limited Montreal even before the red card. 

One thing I liked: In the 38th minute, the match was still very much up in the air, and it was Frei who put his stamp on the game. After a mis-header in the box, Joaquin Sosa had a wide open header from five yards out and just needed to place it somewhere Frei wasn’t. Unfortunately for him, Frei was everywhere, and his incredibly quick reflexes and ridiculous hand strength were enough to parry away the attempt, keep the 2-0 lead, and end any chance for a Montreal comeback. 

One thing I didn’t like: An attempted play out of the back in the 15th minute was central and not good, forcing Seattle to scramble. This was begging for disaster, and the Sounders were lucky not to have given up more of a chance. 

Going forward: We’ve been wanting Frei to step up with a signature play that reminds this team how good they are, and that great save galvanized the team. It was exactly what the captain of the defense needed to display after last week. 


Nouhou – 5 | Community – 5.3 (off injured 11’ for Baker)

Nouhou didn’t get a lot of time against Montreal, but he looked active and energetic in his short outing. He had eight touches and a won tackle before exiting in the 11th minute. 

One thing I liked: A 3rd minute run forward was some vertical pressure, ending in a cross. A beautiful looping ball up the wing found Jordan Morris forward in the 8th minute, right before the injury. 

One thing I didn’t like: The last thing this team needs is another injury. Nouhou tends to have this sort of thing every year where he pulls himself out of a game, so who knows?

Going forward: Seattle doesn’t have many left-footed options to replace him, but this deep team should be fine until he returns. 

Jackson Ragen – 7 | Community – 6.4 (off 79’ for Arreaga)

Ragen has struggled this season, but he had a steady match in the back against Montreal. His 65 touches returned 91 percent passing and he added two shots and a key pass as a force on set pieces.

One thing I liked: In the 20th minute Seattle opened the scoring thanks to a great Raúl Ruidíaz strike. That strike was possible because Jackson out-leaped three people on the back post and nodded a set piece back to Raúl, a beautiful lay off. Later he nearly scored, as a 47th minute set piece found his feet for a shot that Jackson lifted over. 

One thing I didn’t like: Ragen continued to struggle after getting forward, on multiple occasions dribbling into the attack and then turning the ball over. Right before half he got an unfortunate yellow card due to misjudging the ball on the sideline. 

Going forward: Ragen looked better this match, like the entire team did, and he was a consistent facilitator of moving the ball safely from the back to the front. With the offense clicking, there was less need for him to be aggressive with his passing, and he adjusted well to the game state. 

Yeimar – 6 | Community – 6.7

Yeimar continued a great start to the season, adding another match where he was a great defensive presence and solid possession contributor. His two interceptions and four clearances highlighted the defensive side of the field, and he was a consistent outlet on the right to funnel the ball forward, completing 91 percent. 

One thing I liked: In the 30th minute Ragen and Cody Baker were beaten by Matias Cóccaro, who split them and got an open header. The Montreal striker nodded down to Josef Martínez, who had a wide open look from the six yard box, but a wild Yeimar appeared from nowhere, clearing the danger with excellent anticipation. 

One thing I didn’t like: In the 81st and 91st minutes Yeimar made some rough mistakes, passing across the middle and giving away the ball. Seattle was up a man and multiple goals, so there was no need for these risky plays.

Going forward: Yeimar has returned to the starting lineup and been Seattle’s best defender, showing up on both ends of the field and being his usual, dominant self.

Alex Roldan – 7 | Community – 6.8

After a slow start to the year, Alex Roldan burst onto the 2024 season, transforming the offensive shape with dynamic movement and combination, building off a solid effort last week. Roldan was incredibly active and impactful, leading the team with 104 touches, completing 88 percent while adding a key pass and scoring a goal. He also stood out defensively, with four tackles, three interceptions, and a clearance as he didn’t shirk his right back role. 

One thing I liked: In the 34th minute, Montreal looked to have multiple players breaking out and Alex calmly funneled the attack wide, shunting the entire counter attack to the sideline to fizzle. Speaking of calm, all his hard work to follow the play throughout the match led him to the right spot to calmly finish a perfect Albert Rusnák pass in the 81st. 

One thing I didn’t like: It was unfortunately Alex’s mis-header on a corner that went right to Montreal for their best chance of the night. He forced a 63rd minute shot with better options. 

Going forward: It’s no coincidence that Roldan looked his best this year, and Seattle was much improved, as he has an outsized impact on the Sounders’ offense. His understanding of shape and ability to get forward offensively and then execute through tight spaces was greatly improved and mirrored the team’s attack. 

Defensive Midfield

Obed Vargas – 7 | Community – 6.6

Obed quietly had one of his best matches as a Sounder, coming back from injury and showing more strength and control in the midfield than he had recently. His numbers were good: 79 touches, 91 percent completion rate, and two key passes, but his positional defense stood out. 

One thing I liked: Obed’s ball control is excellent, and it served him well on multiple occasions when forced into possession in tight places. Especially impressive was his strong physical presence in the 60th minute, fighting off three opponents and showing not just the ability but the desire to bang around with Montreal players, frequently getting the better of them. 

One thing I didn’t like: After some great defense in the 37th, he fumbled the ball out of bounds, conceding an unnecessary corner kick and undoing a strong effort. 

Going forward: Hopefully Obed feeds off this positive outing and gains more confidence in his ability. When he pushed the ball forward, great things happened, like creating a red card! And scoring a goal! He should continue to find this positive, aggressive play and balance it with his consistent safe choices. 

Josh Atencio – 7 | Community – 7.0 (off 79’ for João Paulo)

Again Atencio started in the middle and again was all over the entire field, continually pushing the ball forward on the dribble and pass. His 91 touches spanned sideline to sideline, and he added four won headers, a shot, a key pass, and a terrific five interceptions as a central defensive vacuum. 

One thing I liked: In the 33rd minute, Josh stole the ball and immediately found that man Ruidíaz for a shot, converting defense to instant offense. Another fun moment saw him clear a Montreal attack on the dribble, forcing four defenders to miss before winning a throw in near midfield after a spirited run up field. 

One thing I didn’t like: Josh consistently makes third man runs vertically up the field behind the defense, and if his team ever sees these runs, he’s going to create a lot of goals. They aren’t seeing them, though, and while Atencio does much-needed midfield work, he isn’t directly impacting the scoreboard.

Going forward: Atencio is a full-field presence who defends well and creates forward momentum for the entire team. Based on his play for the last year, it’s likely Josh will start next to João Paulo as the Sounders star returns.

Attacking Midfield

Jordan Morris – 7 | Community – 6.8 (off 79’ for Musovski)

Morris had a strong game on the left wing, stretching the field and pushing the Montreal defense deep to defend. Jordan’s 36 touches were direct on goal, leading to two shots and 90 percent passing, but more importantly, four key passes as Morris created so much push on the left.

One thing I liked: Skying high in the 25th minute, Jordan nodded a long ball in to Rusnák to create the PK. Going himself in the 48th minute, Morris again made a wonderful central run, and this time he got the service he has been starved for, finishing with a cheeky heel flick. 

One thing I didn’t like: There were a number of chances in the first half when Rusnák was looking for the wide Morris run but Jordan was tucked inside, and there seemed to be a little hesitancy when Ruidíaz got caught wide for Morris. 

Going forward: Morris looked comfortable on the width and created so much joy for himself and others with smart runs and movement. When everyone’s healthy, there will be an excess of good left wing options. 

Albert Rusnák – 8 (MOTM) | Community – 8.2 (MOTM)

Rusnák is back, healthy, and dealing. Against Montreal he was everywhere, creating chance after chance with his movement, touch, and vision. His 88 touches and 87 percent passing were across the attacking band, probing the opponent defense and constantly finding opportunity for Seattle. Albert had two shots and a team-high five key passes as nearly everything good for Seattle came through the Sounders’ attacking central midfielder. 

One thing I liked: Starting with the first goal that originated on a Rusnák set piece, and then earning the penalty himself seven minutes later, Albert pushed Seattle to a 2-0 halftime lead. He wasn’t done yet, and after combining in the buildup to a third goal, Snacks had a fantastic vertical run in the 82nd minute to rip apart the defense and throw an alley-oop to Alex for Seattle’s fourth. Rusnák was simply fantastic at creating and combining, influencing the play without forcing things, and creating the massive chances that have been missing this year. 

One thing I didn’t like: Rusnák has great vision, but at least twice he missed Atencio darting unmarked diagonally through the entire defense. This is a minor critique for someone who usually sees this movement. 

Going forward: Rusnák can be a force multiplier and he expertly was in this match. He also showed the ability to be in the right place to force directly on goal and create for himself and others, producing the two biggest chances of the night by smart movement and killer instincts. 

Cristian Roldan – 6 | Community – 6.9 (off 88’ for Teves)

Cristian was back on the right and for the first time this year looked comfortable. He started connecting with teammates in the areas where we’re used to seeing him thrive. Although he only had 54 touches, Cristian created multiple big chances, including his 48th minute assist. In the second half, the Roldan brothers were everywhere, reminding us how suffocating they can be when working together.

One thing I liked: His 48th minute assist ended any worries of a Montreal comeback, as Seattle scored their third to put the game away. Smart linkup with Obed Vargas got Cristian in behind, and his service to the onrushing run of Morris was perfect. 

One thing I didn’t like: It again took a while for Cristian to warm up into the match, and he had a number of early turnovers and cautious plays that were missing the necessary decisiveness that showed up later in the match. 

Going forward: As Seattle added more dynamic forward play, Cristian Roldan fit into this perfectly, as his tactical awareness has never been in question. More success on the ball will hopefully start an upward trend, as his slow start to this season fades.


Raúl Ruidíaz – 8 | Community – 8.1

Raúl strapped on his shooting boots last weekend, and then he activated them. After scoring twice early, he spent much of the rest of the match looking for the elusive hat trick, ending with an incredible 11 shots including six on frame. Somehow, while not earning a key pass, Raúl had a perfect 100 percent passing rate (33/33).

One thing I liked: In the 20th minute, Raúl was lurking with intent at the top of the box as a set piece was looped back post. When Ragen won an aerial duel to nod back into his path, Ruidíaz and his left foot did the rest. His deflected shot was hit so hard that it knuckled into the net. Set up at the spot seven minutes later, Ruidíaz finished clean. Even pressing, he still combined neatly with Rusnák in the 84th on a nifty give-and-go that created Seattle’s fourth goal. 

One thing I didn’t like: You can’t blame him, but of his 11 shots, maybe half were smart ones. Raúl was clearly forcing shots looking for the hat trick and this came at the expense of better scoring chances for others. 

Going forward: Raúl is one of the few players in the league who can attempt, let alone finish, that first chance. Having a deadly scorer doing just that is a good thing. A single open-play goal on the second-most shots in the league (31) is being hidden a bit by the overall goal numbers. 


Cody Baker – 6 | Community – 7.2 (on 11’ for Nouhou) 

Baker subbed in for the injured Nouhou on the left and performed well. He had a large number of touches (96), and his passing was very clean (91 percent) in mostly safe, possession-oriented passes. 

One thing I liked: Coming in cold, Baker had a strong and controlled game, not getting over-extended and doing well to push the ball forward to Morris and the midfielders. His 42nd minute spirited dribble through the middle forced the first yellow card on Nathan Saliba.

One thing I didn’t like: Baker’s defense was a little shaky at times, and Montreal had some first half luck attacking in behind him towards the corner, forcing Ragen wider than he likes to go.

Going forward: Baker had an early sub appearance and looked very comfortable, reminding everyone of his inspired play last year that led to his signing. The team played a more balanced attack against Montreal and Cody fit in well with the requirements of the gamestate, adding his steady presence which was exactly what was needed. 

João Paulo – 5 | Community – 6.4 (on 79’ for Atencio) 

Boy, was it nice to see João Paulo back on the field, playing 15 minutes at the end of an already-won match and up a man. He was everything you expected: 28 touches, 88 percent passing and a key pass. 

One thing I liked: Yes, he supported on the last goal, but it was a 92nd minute steal and quick counter movement that forced a transition foul (and yellow card) by Montreal. 

One thing I didn’t like: A bad header in the 96th was a small critique. 

Going forward: Seeing JP back is an uplift for Seattle Sounders fans, and he looked his usual impactful self in a short sub appearance. While likely not ready to start, João is a clear difference maker who impacts both sides of the field. The sooner he can be full-90 ready, the better Seattle’s chances to surge up the table. 

Danny Musovski – 5 | Community – 6.5 (on 79’ for Morris) 

Musovski got another late runout in this match and again was an instant impact player who created for himself and others. He was very efficient, with eight touches turning into two shots and an assist. 

One thing I liked: In the 91st minute, Danny nearly scored off a corner, again finding good spots for headers within the Sounders’ offense. Even better was his beautiful movement, dribbling, and vision to find Dylan Teves streaking on the wing for the fifth goal.

One thing I didn’t like: In the 84th minute, Danny was slow to get to the back post, missing a chance, and six minutes later he took a shot himself when there was a small opening to find Raúl. 

Going forward: Danny was completely absent in his first few outings but has been everything advertised and more in the last three, finding impactful moments in the attack in each game. His ability to directly change the score for the positive is an excellent option off the bench. 

Xavier Arreaga – 5 | Community – 6.0 (on 79’ for Ragen)

Arreaga got a run-out in the last 12 minutes plus stoppage, likely to earn some exercise and protect Ragen on a yellow card. He didn’t have a lot to do, but did have 22 touches while Seattle controlled possession late, and he returned a tidy 95 percent clip. 

One thing I liked: Good anticipation in the 92nd minute saved Alex Roldan from a miscue as he inexplicably crossed the ball in the defensive half across the middle, forcing the alert Arreaga to clear. 

One thing I didn’t like: In the 89th minute, Xavi played the ball back to Frei under pressure which seemed unnecessary when they were up four goals and a man. 

Going forward: Arreaga remains the odd man out on the back line, but he does his job well, keeps his smile on, and his shirt tucked in.

Dylan Teves – 6 | Community – 6.5 (on 88’ for C. Roldan)

After coming in and being a spark for Seattle last match, Teves again got some late time in a much different gamestate. He still was immediately impactful, using his great positioning and movement to support Seattle on both ends of the field, and finishing the scoring late. 

One thing I liked: Dylan made the most of his five touches, as he surged into the attack in the 96th minute and finished clean past the keeper for Seattle’s fifth goal of the evening. 

One thing I didn’t like: In the 95th minute Teves had a poor cross. 

Going forward: Teves isn’t given a lot of time, but has twice now shown the ability to bring some creative and smart movement in the box that has developed big chances for Seattle, something that should keep him in the Sounders’ substitution plans. 


Filip Dujic – 8 | Community – 6.4

This match wasn’t particularly physical, but the ref did an excellent job of ensuring that it stayed that way with smart whistles and legitimate cards. This allowed the game to progress fairly smoothly, and while there were a lot of fouls (19 Montreal, 9 Seattle), repeated infringement was carded. Ultimately, the game state was defined by each team’s willingness to play within the set parameters. 

One thing I liked: Two big game-changing calls were both spot on. The first was admitting he missed the penalty, consulting VAR, and giving the spot kick in the 27th minute. The second was carding Nathan Saliba both times, correctly sending him off after the repeated whistles and first card didn’t curb his fouling. 

One thing I didn’t like: A missed corner kick early and a few other whistles were head scratchers. The sending off was the right call, but it didn’t come until the SEVENTH foul by Saliba, which seems about twice as many as necessary.

Going forward: Dujic had only refereed a single Sounders match prior to this one, and was also excellent in that game, so we’ll be happy to see this name on the gameday sheet in the future.

CF Montreal MOTM

A split decision between a keeper who gave up five goals and “other,” which we have to assume represents some combination of the red card or the ref who gave it, is quite a choice by our readers. To be fair, we’re not sure where else this award could have gone after that drubbing. Maybe Ruan? He always seems lively.

Next up: See? Winning is easy. Time to get five more against Dallas.