The Seattle Sounders drew 1-1 with LAFC on Saturday at Banc of California in Los Angeles.
Eduard Atuesta opened the scoring for the hosts just 85 seconds into the match off a free kick just outside the box. Cristian Roldan had the best chance of the first half for the Sounders when his shot from 25 yards out clanged off the far post.
The match went into halftime 1-0 before the Sounders equalized in the 54th minute on a goal from Brad Smith. Alex Roldan played a beautiful ball in for Raúl Ruidíaz, whose header was saved by goalkeeper Pablo Sisniega, but Smith was there to head in the rebound from close range.
The Sounders stay unbeaten through two matches to start the 2021 MLS season and have another crucial match next Sunday at home against the LA Galaxy (6 p.m. PT; FS1).
The Sounders went down almost immediately and responded admirably, showing their mettle and clawing their way back to earn a draw. Any road point at LAFC is a good point, especially considering Seattle was without captain Nicolás Lodeiro (left quad strain) for the second straight week, as well as Fredy Montero (left quad strain), who had a goal and an assist off the bench in Week 1.
Smith’s first club goal
Smith recorded his first Sounders goal on Saturday in his 38th MLS regular-season appearance. The tally was also just his second goal as a professional and could not have come at a more opportune time. The left wingback will have plenty more opportunities this season as well in Head Coach Brian Schmetzer’s 3-5-2 formation.
Atencio shines again
Josh Atencio stepped up yet again in Lodeiro’s absence, proving himself in the center of midfield like a season veteran. The 19-year-old Homegrown made the MLS Team of the Week bench last week and put in a great shift in Los Angeles, working alongside João Paulo to largely shut down any legitimate LAFC attacks.