SEAvRSL Recap Cover Team Celebration 6-23-21

The Seattle Sounders defeated Real Salt Lake 2-1 at Lumen Field on Wednesday night behind a 58th-minute goal from Cristian Roldan and an 88th-minute penalty from Raúl Ruidíaz


The Sounders dominated from the opening whistle at home, being first to every loose ball and keeping RSL on their heels. They were unable to find a breakthrough in the first 45 minutes, but nearly opened the scoring five minutes before halftime when Ruidíaz tapped a ball around RSL goalkeeper David Ochoa, but had his pocket picked before he could get a shot off.


Roldan broke the deadlock with his second goal of the season when he tapped home a rebound on a shot attempt from Will Bruin. Roldan deftly cushioned a Ruidíaz cross into the path of Bruin, whose shot was saved by Ochoa and fell to the feet of Roldan, who coolly slotted home from six yards out.


RSL found an equalizer in the 79th minute when goalkeeper Stefan Cleveland was whistled for a foul on Rubio Rubín. Albert Rusnák deposited the penalty to Cleveland’s right.


Seattle found the match-winner two minutes from full time after RSL was whistled for a handball in their own 18-year box. Ruidíaz stepped up and calmly converted a Panenka to score his eighth goal of the season, staying level with the LA Galaxy's Javier “Chicharito” Hernández for first in the MLS Golden Boot race.

The Sounders will look to complete their second nine-point week of the season on Saturday when they welcome Cascadia rival the Vancouver Whitecaps to Seattle (6 p.m. PT; JOEtv, Prime Video, 950 KJR AM, El Rey 1360 AM | TICKETS)




THREE TAKEAWAYS


Roldan rising


Roldan has played at an MLS Best XI-level so far this campaign, and he added another goal to his stat sheet. Filling in for captain Nicolás Lodeiro is no easy feat, but the 26-year-old veteran has played some of the best soccer of his career in a more advanced role in Head Coach Brian Schmetzer’s 3-5-2 formation.

Medranda steps up


Left wingback Jimmy Medranda earned his first start of the season and logged an impressive shift, going 66 minutes before being replaced by Brad Smith. The Colombian had only played 49 minutes across three matches before Wednesday evening, but his strong showing allowed Smith to get a bit of a rest in a three-match week. Medranda was active in attack, and it was his defensive challenge that led to Roldan’s opener.


Still unbeaten


The Sounders stay atop the MLS Supporters’ Shield standings and remain the lone undefeated team in the league. Seattle has still yet to allow a goal from the run of play, posting 900 minutes of shutout soccer on non-set piece goals.

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