Cookie Consent by Free Privacy Policy Generator Skip to content

Nervy but necessary

The Sounders rushed out in front and held on for dear life as they beat the Union 3-2.

Last Updated
5 min read
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Seattle Sounders returned to Chester, Penn. to resume their postponed game against the Philadelphia Union that originally started back on March 9. The Sounders managed their second win of the season, jumping out to a 3-0 lead before holding onto a 3-2 win to beat the Union.

Seattle looked solid from the restart in the 6th minute, but really got cooking when Raúl Ruidíaz jumped on a loose pass around midfield from the Union and took advantage of the goalkeeper Oliver Semmle’s positioning with his team having been in possession as the striker unleashed a shot from nearly 50 yards out that nestled cleanly into the back of the net in the 13th minute. The Sounders weren’t going to settle there, though. They kept pushing and created a couple of good moments leading up to an absolute golazo from Obed Vargas in the 22nd.

Vargas tallied his first MLS goal by cutting in from the left wing and shaping a shot that curved around center back Jakob Glesnes and the GK, and found the far side netting to put Seattle up 2-0 early in the first half. Not much more than 10 minutes later, and Vargas was involved in a big way yet again, this time drawing a penalty.

Ruidíaz stepped up to take the penalty, once again returning to the tried and true panenka approach and absolutely sending Semmle on his way to make it a 3-0 lead for the Sounders.

The second half started promisingly enough for Seattle, with the Sounders creating a couple of good chances early on. As the game approached the hour mark, though, a pair of goals in a matter of minutes got the Union right back into the game. First in the 55th Jack McGlynn notched a golazo off of a corner to match Obed Vargas. Then less than two minutes later Quinn Sullivan sent in a cross as the Union quickly turned a change of possession deep in their half into an attack, finding Daniel Gazdag for a pointblank header that beat Thomas.

It looked like the Union had leveled things, but an offside flag denied Gazdag a brace and maintained Seattle’s lead. Both sides had chances to add to their totals, but after a nervy final half-hour or so the Sounders still came away with their first road win and second win overall for the season. Seattle will now head home with their two-game roadtrip completed, with a chance to try to turn this win into a streak when they host the LA Galaxy on Sunday.

Key moments

13 - GOAL! Raúl Ruidíaz picks off a loose pass and unloads from deep with the goalkeeper off his line and puts it in the back of the net! Sounders lead 1-0

17 - Jordan Morris gets behind the defense on a nice ball from Alex Roldan and looks for a cutback, but Cristian Roldan runs onto it and sends it into the stands.

22 - GOAL! Obed Vargas cuts in from the left wing and curls his shot from the top of the box around Jakob Glesnes and Oliver Semmle, and into the side netting. 2-0

37 - GOAL! Ruidíaz again! This time from the penalty spot, returning to his typical panenka after the foul was won by Obed Vargas. 3-0 Seattle

45+4 - Philadelphia’s best look so far comes on a hard-hit shot from the top of the box from Julian Carranza, but Andrew Thomas dives to his left and catches it.

45+5 - Another dangerous moment as the Union attack plays some quick passes through the defense, but Thomas is out quickly to stuff the shot.

48 - A good look for Ruidíaz as Morris finds him with a ball from the end line off of a throw, but Ruidíaz’s shot is parried over the bar.

55 - Goal, Union. Jack McGlynn hammers a left-footed shot from the top of the box into the same side netting Vargas found earlier to pull one back. 3-1 Sounders

57 - Goal, Union. Daniel Gazdag this time, heading home a cross from Quinn Sullivan under no pressure from Yeimar. 3-2 Seattle

72 - Jackson Ragen almost adds a fourth for Seattle, but his header off of a corner is saved by Semmle who puts it off the post and offside is called.

85 - Philadelphia go close to leveling with a header from Julian Caranza that goes off the crossbar before Albert Rusnák clears it out of the area.

Quick thoughts

They dont have to be pretty: We are – and have been for some time – firmly in “it doesn’t matter how you get wins, as long as you get them” territory. This game wasn’t pretty. The first half was nice, what with the three-goal lead and all, but the second half felt like so many of the team’s losses so far this season with the only real difference between holding onto all three points and ending up with the kind of result that has been all too familiar this season being a bit of good luck. What matters right now is that they did manage to hang onto the win, but for the long-term hopes of the club and well-being of the fans they need to clean up the defensive errors – not for nothing that they once again gave up two goals within as many minutes – and start generating repeatable scoring opportunities. At some point the penalty pool will probably dry up, and we can’t count on multiple golazos a game to see us through the season.

Andrew Thomas bright future: Andrew Thomas drew plenty of praise for his performances in Stefan Frei’s absence to start the season, despite the team struggling to find results. The odd circumstances around this game meant that Thomas was once again between the posts and, combined with Frei’s now-rescinded red card against D.C. United, Thomas’ performance against the Union showed that while he might not be forcing his way into the starting spot just yet the Sounders will be in good hands when he eventually does. His quick reactions to close down a shot and come up with a kick save in the fifth minute of first-half stoppage time was of particularly note, particularly when compared to the play that saw Frei sent off over the weekend.

Rejuvenate Jackson Ragen: If at some point so far this season you’ve wondered, “has Jackson Ragen fallen under the effects of the aliens from Space Jam and had his powers stolen,” you are not alone. Ragen hasn’t necessarily been bad this season, but he hasn’t exactly been the potential Defender of the Year, Best XI-caliber player he has been previously. He’s more frequently found himself out of position and in circumstances where he has to make the best of a number of bad choices in front of him, and had less success with the ball at his feet than we’re used to. With plenty of games ahead, he can certainly play his way back into form, but maybe he could use a nice full-day spa trip, or a little shopping spree with his pals to build up his confidence. Whatever he needs to get back to his best.

Notable quote

Man of the match

Obed Vargas – He may have gotten lucky to not receive punishment for a collision with a Union player, but he was on fire for the rest of the game. His goal and drawing the penalty weren’t his only contributions, but they were the biggest.