Equalizing goal a cathartic moment for Seattle Sounders’ Jimmy Medranda, whose confidence, form continue to grow

Jimmy Medranda’s beautiful half-volley equalizer salvaged a point in a 2-2 draw with the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday night, but the goal was even more cathartic for the player himself.

The 27-year-old Colombian spent several years as a key cog at left fullback/midfielder for Sporting Kansas City, but injuries derailed his time there and he joined expansion side Nashville SC in 2020. More injuries ensued, and he played just eight minutes with Nashville before heading to Seattle in October in a deal that sent Handwalla Bwana to the Music City.

Medranda was still working his way back toward full fitness and joined a crowded left fullback crop that included Brad Smith, Nouhou and Joevin Jones. Medranda played just 12 minutes across two appearances during the regular season and an addition 13 minutes in the postseason.

Things have been looking up for Medranda recently, however. He earned his first Sounders start midweek in a 2-1 win over Real Salt Lake and made an instant impact off Head Coach Brian Schmetzer’s bench on Saturday.

“It’s been a tough 11 months because of many different reasons, the pandemic and injuries and things like that,” said Medranda. “It’s good to be getting back after all this. It’s the first year that I’ll be able to get more continuity. I’m happy to be able to score and the sequence of two matches, first on Wednesday and now today.”

His play is a promising sign for the Sounders, who now have some more flexibility on the lefthand side, especially during three-match weeks. Medranda can slot in for Smith at wingback as a like-for-like, or he has the ability to play higher up the pitch and show off some of the attacking quality the Sounders knew he had when they signed him.

“It’s well deserved,” Schmetzer said of Medranda’s goal. “You can just see him building confidence, you can see hm building strength, you can see him included in the group. He’s a very versatile player as well…He’s getting back healthy, and you saw his technical ability. We’re lucky to have him.”

The Sounders remain the last unbeaten team in MLS and finish the weekend first in the Western Conference, two points ahead of Sporting KC and with a match in hand. Seattle will head to Colorado next Sunday to take on the Rapids for the first time this season (6 p.m. PT; JOEtv, Prime Video, 950 KJR AM, El Rey 1360 AM).



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