Late PK by Ruidíaz secures Sounders win over RSL, 2-1

Russell Brown
Photo Credit: Jane Gershovich / Sounders FC Communications

SEATTLE, WA – Two penalty kicks in the final 20 minutes of action highlighted a 2-1 victory for Seattle over RSL on Wednesday. The win marked the 7th for the Rave Green this season and kept the club as the only unbeaten left in the league.

45 Minutes of Nada

The opening half of play consisted of the Sounders continually creating chances but coming up empty. It seemed as if they were just a little indecisive or too pass happy in situations. This was highlighted by an opportunity created by Raúl Ruidíaz in the 39th, where he beat the keeper outside of the box but was too slow to get a shot off at an empty net and the chance was spoiled by RSL’s defense.

The visitors did get a lone shot on goal, but never really appeared to be a threat in their attacking third. With no one wanting to score, we went into the locker room level.

Captain Cristian to the Rescue

If there has been an early candidate for team MVP this season, it has been Cristian Roldan. The midfielder came up big again tonight as he knocked home the opening goal of the match.

It started with Jimmy Medranda, who had a great game, getting a tackle in the midfield and springing Cristian and company towards goal. Roldan dropped it off to Ruidíaz who gave it right back inside of the box. Roldan then placed the ball at the feet of Will Bruin who had his shot blocked by David Ochoa. Cristian cleaned the deflection up and sent it into the back of the net.

Penalty Awarded… Again

The Sounders have yet to allow a goal in the run of play and that didn’t change tonight. However, they have allowed more than their fair share of penalties and that trend did continue tonight.

In the 78th minute, Seattle’s Stefan Cleveland challenged RSL’s Rubio Rubin inside of the box and swept his feet away without getting the ball. This led to referee Ted Unkel immediately rewarding a penalty. Despite outcries from the crowd, a VAR check was not used.

Albert Rusnák stepped to the spot and leveled the match at 1-1. It became the 5th PK conceded in ten matches.

Revenge is Best Served From the Spot

Before fans could truly get too upset about the lack of VAR mentioned earlier, the Sounders were drawing one of their own. In the 86th, Anderson Julio was called for a handball while trying to mark Ruidíaz in the box. Again Unkel called it right away, albeit in a very unique way. After a brief check, the penalty was confirmed and Raúl stepped up.

Seattle’s No. 9 finished cheekily with a Panenka style shot down main street. The flames went off and the Sounders secured a 2-1 victory.

Atop the West

The Sounders improved to 7-3-0 and kept them firmly in the driver seat of the west table with 24 points, four points clear of 2nd place Sorting Kansas City with a game in hand. Seattle also remains atop of the Supporters Shield table with one point separating them and New England.

Who Else Wants Some?

Cascadia rivals the Vancouver Whitecaps will come into town to due battle on Saturday. That match will kickoff at 6:00 pm PT and will be on the usual streaming platforms.

When it comes to the Cascadia Cup, the Rave Green already have a 2-1 win over Portland earlier in the season. So, taking down the Whitecaps would just put that much more separation between them and their northwest rivals.

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