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Comeback kids: Sounders score dramatic victory

Jordan Morris brace includes 90+4 game-winner.

Last Updated
6 min read
Kayla Mehring / Sounder at Heart

SEATTLE – The Seattle Sounders erased a 2-0 deficit for the second time in four days, this time coming all the way back to win 3-2 over FC Dallas on Saturday. Jordan Morris scored a brace, including a dramatic 90+4’ winner that came off an absolutely perfect pass from Obed Vargas. Morris also scored the equalizer on an 88th minute header off a corner kick. Raúl Ruidíaz started the comeback with a 78th minute header, while Albert Rusnák provided assists on the first two goals.

The dramatic ending could hardly have been foretold based on the first 65 minutes. At that point, it was 0-0 with the Sounders mostly controlling play.

But then a sloppy pass by Jackson Ragen gave FC Dallas life. Logan Farrington picked it off, and immediately whipped in a cross to Patrickson Delgado who was able to sneak in unmarked.

Just four minutes later, another defensive breakdown allowed Dallas to add a second goal. This time, it was Delgado playing provider, working a 1-2 with Peter Musa that seemed to catch the Sounders flat-footed. Musa blasted his close-range shot past Stefan Frei fro a 2-0 lead.

At that point, the Sounders looked pretty much dead.

Instead of accepting their fate, however, the Sounders clawed their way out of the hole. The comeback may have started when Rusnák ripped a shot from the edge of the penalty area to force Maarten Paes into a save. From there, the Sounders maintained the pressure until Rusnák floated a cross into the box that Ruidíaz headed into the goal, the exact type of goal he hasn’t been scoring all year.

Ruidíaz celebrated by pointing to the name on his jersey, a move head coach Brian Schmetzer surmised was a sign to coaches to “don’t forget about me.”

Just a minute later, the Sounders had a pretty solid penalty shout when Paul Rothrock’s shot deflected off Omar Gonzalez’s leg and then arm.

That only served to raise the energy in the stadium, which absolutely exploded in the 88th minute when Morris scored the equalizer off Rusnak’s corner kick. It was the Sounders’ first goal off a corner kick this season and Rusnák’s ninth assist.

It was also only a precursor for easily the most exciting moment of the season.

With Dallas pushing numbers to push for a game-winner of their own, the Sounders won possession near midfield. Vargas, who only minutes earlier was looking for a sub after a hard tackle, had the ball at his feet and immediately spotted Morris making a run. The perfectly weighted pass hit Morris in stride and although he wasn’t able to create much separation on the defenders, he still managed to hit a perfect strike into the upper 90 to secure the come-from-behind win.

That marked the first time since the 2020 Western Conference finals that the Sounders have won a game after trailing by two goals.

Key moments

6 – Obed Vargas makes a nice move to get himself into the box but his shot is blocked.

7 – João Paulo makes an interception deep in Dallas territory and plays in Albert Rusnák. Léo Chú appeared to be open to left, but Rusnák shoots and has his shot blocked.

8 – Another João Paulo interception leads to the first real chance of the game when he drives into box only for hist tight-angle shot to go just wide.

8 – Yet another interception in Dallas’ end, this time with Danny Musovski being the beneficiary. He plays a 1-2 with Vargas and has Jordan Morris streaking in, but he can’t get it out of his feet and the chance is cleared.

16 – João Paulo gets an open look from 25 yards only for his shot to hit the post.

17 – Dallas gets their first dangerous look of the match when Peter Musa drives in on Jackson Ragen, who defends it well and Cristian Roldan sweeps in to clear the danger.

21 – João Paulo makes a wonderful pass to put Jordan Morris in a foot race with Nkosi Tafari. Morris wins the battle for the ball, but can’t get a clean shot off and Tafari recovers to block it.

36 – Albert Rusnák forces Maarten Paes into a nice diving save on a shot from about 20 yards out.

37 - João Paul plays in Vargas but his shot is off side netting.

56 – Peter Musa gets two decent looks from inside the box. The first is blocked and the second is shot right at Frei.

61 – Logan Farrington gets out on break as soon as he enters the game and forces Frei into a spectacular save. It turns out he was offside, anyway.

64 – Rusnák plays Chú in on the wing and Chú whips in a cross through the box but Raúl Ruidíaz can’t get there and it goes out for a corner.

66 – Goal, Dallas. Under no pressure, Jackson Ragen plays a poor pass that is picked off by Logan Farrington. He then whips in a cross to Patrickson Delgado who sneaks behind the defense for an easy volley. 1-0, Dallas.

70 – Goal, Dallas. With a set defense, Delgado plays a relatively simple 1-2 with Peter Musa who gets an open look from about eight yards out. Frei gets a hand to it but can’t keep it out. 2-0, Dallas.

78 – GOAL! Raúl Ruidíaz rises up to head in a perfect Albert Rusnák cross. 2-1, Dallas.

87 – Obed Vargas forces Maarten Paes into a diving save and it goes out for a corner.

88 – GOAL! Jordan Morris rises above the defense to bang a header in off the underside of the crossbar from an Albert Rusnák corner. 2-2.

90+2 – Raúl Ruidíaz gets in on goal when Paul Rothrock shanks a shot. The rebounds comes out to Rothrock whose shot deflects off Omar Gonzalez’s arm.

90+4 – GOAL! Jordan Morris, again. Obed Vargas plays an absolutely beautiful ball. Morris doesn’t create much separation but perfectly places his shot.

Quick thoughts

Jordan Morris is back: It’s been a weird year for Jordan Morris, but at this point it’s pretty hard to deny that he’s rounding into form quite nicely. With his brace tonight, Morris now has seven goals for the season, six of which have come in his last seven games. While that has mostly coincided with his move to the No. 9 spot, it’s notable that both goals came when he was ostensibly playing as a winger. At this point, where he plays is less important than how he’s used. Get him into space and let him cook.

Raúl Ruidíaz isn’t finished, yet: After scoring his goal, Ruidíaz made quite a show of pointing to his jersey while running past the Sounders bench. When asked about it, Schmetzer sort of laughed it off and made sure to point out that the coaches haven’t forgotten about their all-time leading scorer. I don’t think this suddenly means Ruidíaz should start, but it is a good reminder that he still has something to offer. I will also note that this is the exact kind of goal that Ruidíaz hasn’t been scoring this year, coming on a run into the box and just a few minutes earlier he had been just a step slow after a wonderful cross from Léo Chú.

João Paulo looks like his old self: It was only a few weeks ago that João Paulo openly admitted that he wasn’t playing up to his standards. Ever since, he’s been pretty darn close. Tonight, I’d say he fully was. João Paulo was everywhere in this one, completing 90 of 99 passes – 24 of them entries into the final third – making nine recoveries and winning 6 of 8 duels. He also hit a shot off the post. This was as close to vintage João Paulo as we’ve seen in roughly two years.

Notable quote

Player spotlight

Albert Rusnák: The player of the game was probably Jordan Morris. The best player was probably João Paulo. But let’s not overlook the play of Rusnák, who had the primary assist on the first two goals and helped keep the play alive on the game-winner. Rusnák hasn’t been great this year, but he does have nine assists with six goal contributions in his past six games. With a little better luck he’d have had at least one goal of his own tonight as well. Rusnák might not be the ideal No. 10, but he sure is doing his best to look like one lately.