Seattle’s big 3 help secure 3 points on Decision Day in the MLS, as the Sounders lock up 2nd place in the Western Conference playoffs.
Not much of anything occurred in the first half of this match. Seattle looked to be the better team in the opening 45 yet could not find the go-ahead goal. They won the possession battle 60-40 and out shot the Quakes 3-1. It was starting to feel like a classic match that ends scoreless despite a great effort by the Rave Green.
However, the second 45 brought on an entirely different match. One where goals came fast and often. The madness started in the 52nd when Nico took a free kick that San Jose could not clear out of their own box. Lodeiro got back on top of the ball and put it away for the lead. Not to be outdone, Raúl Ruidíaz added another one just seconds later after Christian Roldan had a brilliant run to pick up the assist.
— Seattle Sounders FC (@SoundersFC) November 9, 2020
San Jose did respond with a free kick straight out of FIFA in the 57th to cut the lead in half and put more pressure on Seattle. Unfortunately for the Quakes, they made too many mistakes down the stretch for their lone goal to matter. A careless turnover in the 74th led to Morris goal and an own goal in the 80th signed, sealed and delivered this match for the Sounders.
52’ SEA – Nicolás Lodeiro
54’ SEA – Raúl Ruidíaz (Assist: C. Roldan)
57’ SJ – Marcos López
74’ SEA – Marcos López (OG)
The win ends a mediocre stretch for Seattle over the past couple of weeks. A slide that saw the Sounders go from the clear favorites in the west to a team that was struggling to even get results. Some of that can be chalked up to an international break that took away key pieces or the fact that the injury bug caught up to them a bit. But the team was able to ride the wave and secure the 2nd seed in the west playoffs.
Some may view the 2nd seed as a more difficult assignment compared to the 3rd that the Timbers received. The reason for that is the opponent who lines up against the 2 spot, LAFC. The California club is anything but a 7 seed, as they have also had to deal with injuries and an up and down season. They were the team that ended Seattle’s run in the ‘MLS is Back’ tournament and they will be surely looking for revenge from last seasons playoffs. Last season’s Supporters Shield winners also get back Carlos Vela, a player that knows how to score.
The path to MLS Cup has never been easy, but with no fans at CenturyLink and tough opponents standing in their way, this might be the toughest yet.
Russell is the Content Director for the Eli Network. He studied broadcast journalism at Eastern Oregon and North Dakota State University. Mostly covers soccer and basketball in the Seattle area and is the current play-by-play voice for Seattle Redhawks basketball. You can follow him @brussbrwn.