Another trip to Texas with a strongly renewed starting XI, another 1-0 victory thanks to a golazo from Raúl Ruidíaz! The Seattle Sounders won all three points against FC Dallas thanks to the best of super substitutes.
The team weathered a storm as Dallas held just under 65% possession and landed 18 shots against 9, but for all the pressure Spencer Richey was only forced to make 2 saves while still getting his second shutout in as many starts. This is at least in part due to the performance of the players in front of the goalkeeper, as the Sounders blocked 6 shots including 2 inside the Seattle penalty area.
The Sounders remained seven points behind Supporters’ Shield leaders New England but edged Sporting KC in the Western Conference race.
The first half was pretty calm when both teams came in scoreless at half-time, but not for lack of effort. The two teams combined for a total of 12 shots in the first half, but the best half-time chance went to Kelyn Rowe who had an unmarked header which he sent well next to the goal at the 44th minute.
The game changed in the second half when Brian Schmetzer replaced João Paulo for Cristian Roldan at half-time, then brought in Nico Lodeiro and Raúl Ruidíaz in the 63rd minute. Seconds after entering the game, Lodeiro was on the ball in the third striker and found Ruidíaz with a precise pass. Ruidíaz’s initial shot was blocked, but he recovered his own rebound and sent an arched shot over the keeper who took off from the crossbar and far post and eventually into the back of the net. These were Seattle’s only two shots in the second half, and Dallas took 10 shots in the last 30 minutes, but found no joy as Seattle continued to choke them and hang on to take the three points. The Sounders now have a chance to complete a nine-point road trip when they face the Columbus Crew on Saturday.
8′ — Richey passed the ball to Xavier Arreaga inside the box and under pressure, and Ricardo Pepi recovered the pass. Arreaga hits the ensuing shot, sending him for a corner.
20′ — Jesus Ferreira fires a shot that Richey dives to avoid. The rebound falls in a dangerous spot, but Shane O’Neill erases it before anything happens.
32′ — Jimmy Medranda shoots a free kick from 20 yards and his left-footed attempt goes right past the near post.
44′ – Nico Benezet finds an open Rowe at the back post, but his head sails wide.
47′ — Richey comes up with another big save denying a clear look from Dallas. The rebound shot misses.
55′ –Will Bruin appears to give the Sounders a lead, scoring a Kelyn Rowe cross but is ruled offside.
63′ — Immediately after replacing the game, Nico Lodeiro finds Raúl Ruidíaz. His initial shot is blocked, but he immediately returns the rebound and hits it from the crossbar and far post to the back of the net! 1-0 Depth sounders
89′ — Dallas pushes forward and almost has a glance at goal, but Brad Smith pursues a defensive run and beats the striker with the ball to clear it for a corner kick.
Happy birthday Mr. Manager: Brian Schmetzer seems like the kind of guy who probably doesn’t think much of his birthday. Still, a road victory at a stadium his side haven’t won since 2014 – with a rotating squad, no less – is surely something he’ll be happy to celebrate. That the result came on his birthday is just a coincidence, but it’s a great excuse to celebrate the club’s steward who continues to plead for finally winning the Coach of the Year award. ‘he deserves so much. He manages to get the best out of his players than anyone else in the league, and he has guys like Ruidíaz and Lodeiro who seem happy to step off the bench if necessary as long as it helps the team. Happy birthday, Schmetzer, you deserve to celebrate it.
Raúl Ruidíaz continue: Raúl Ruidíaz suffered a crash that coincided with the Sounders’ downfall, scoreless as the team lost two and drew in all three of their home games. It was the longest streak he had had scoreless all year, only going one game without scoring another time. Since then, just as the Sounders changed things, so did Ruidíaz. He’s scored three goals in his last two games – including two absolute explosives – and leads the Golden Boot race with 14 goals in 20 appearances. Ruidíaz was a constant threat during his time in Seattle, but we hadn’t really seen him catch on fire before. It looks like the wait is over.
Josh Atencio is legit: The Sounders may have had to turn around a bit for this one, but they had to deal with something pretty close to the best Dallas lineup available. While Seattle had to bend under pressure from Dallas throughout the night, Atencio was key to making sure they didn’t break. From his position in midfield, he has always won contested balls in the air and on the ground, and has shown good quality in the future as well. On Will Bruin’s disallowed goal, as Rowe hit a fantastic ball that would have secured the assist, the whole play went down due to Atencio’s awareness and ability to find Rowe running. He led the Sounders with 14 matches and was only second in the game behind Bryan Acosta’s 18, and continues to show that the star turn he took to start the season was more than just a stroke. luck.
It’s GOLAZO SZN.
Schmetzer says the win was almost as heartwarming as Portland’s: “The Portland game lifted us up because it was an archive. But it was tough, determined and he has his place in a season. ” pic.twitter.com/sM6yH4Jgpu
– Heart Sounder (@sounderatheart) August 19, 2021
20 seconds – Raúl Ruidíaz was on the pitch for 20 seconds before opening the scoring.
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