Lined up alongside Albert Rusnák, João Paulo helped the Sounders control possession and dictate the tempo in the first half. With those two at the base of midfield, the Sounders repeatedly weaved their way through the Loons' midfield and back line, carving out a flurry of chances in the opening 45 minutes. The constant pressure paid off in the 38th minute as João Paulo made one his of trademark late runs from midfield before smashing a first-time shot into the top corner, putting the Rave Green 1-0 up on the road.
In Seattle's 2-1 win over the Loons, João Paulo posted one goal, three shots, one key pass, four successful tackles and two interceptions. It was the type of complete performance that fans have come to expect from the Brazilian midfielder.
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We take on reigning MLS Cup champions New York City FC on April 6 at Lumen Field in the Leg One of Concacaf Champions League semifinals. Get your tickets today!
On top of being recognized as one of the top performers across the league in Week 5, João Paulo has been nominated for Goal of the Week for his thunderbolt into the top corner. You can vote for his goal HERE.
João Paulo and the Sounders return to action on Wednesday as they host New York City FC (7:00 p.m. PT; FS1, TUDN, 1090 KJR AM, El Rey 1360AM | TICKETS) in Leg One of the 2022 Concacaf Champions League Semifinals. The winner of this two-legged series will face the winner of Pumas UNAM and Cruz Azul on the other side of the bracket in the CCL final, with a spot in the FIFA Club World Cup on the line.