Playing the third match of its current four-game road stretch, Sounders FC (14-5-6, 48 points) defeated Sporting Kansas City (13-6-7, 46 points) 2-1 on Sunday evening at Children’s Mercy Park. The matchup featured the top two sides in the West, as Seattle vaulted Sporting and returned to first place in the Western Conference standings. Seattle returns to action on Wednesday, September 29 with a midweek road matchup against the San Jose Earthquakes at Avaya Stadium (7:30 p.m. PT / FOX 13+, Prime Video, 1090 KJR AM, El Rey 1360 AM).
Seattle struck first in the 31st minute courtesy of Cristian Roldan, who found the net for the second time in as many games. Josh Atencio pounced on a loose ball in SKC’s half and chipped a through-ball down the left flank to Brad Smith, who crossed a pass into the 18-yard-box and found Roldan for a finish past Tim Melia. It marked Roldan’s third MLS goal of the season and his fourth across all competitions, after he scored the opening tally in Wednesday’s Leagues Cup Final vs. Club León. It marked the fourth assist of the season for Smith and second helper for Atencio.
Bruin made it 2-0 in the 55th minute when an errant pass lead to an interception by Raúl Ruidíaz, who got past two defenders near the six-yard box and attempted to play a ball to himself that was deflected to the head of Bruin, who lobbed it into the back of the net. It marked his second goal of 2021 and 73rd career strike in MLS regular-season play, good for 10th among active players.
Sporting Kansas City brought one back in the 60th minute when a free kick found the feet of Johnny Russel, who was able to take a touch and fire a low shot that found its way between the legs of Stefan Frei.
Brian Schmetzer’s side concludes its four-match road stretch across all competitions on Wednesday, September 29 with a trip to face the San Jose Earthquakes at Avaya Stadium (7:30 p.m. PT / FOX 13+, Prime Video, 1090 KJR AM, El Rey 1360 AM). The club then returns home on Sunday, October 3 to face the third-place Colorado Rapids at Lumen Field (7:00 p.m. PT / FOX 13+, Prime Video, 1090 KJR AM, El Rey 1360 AM).
• With tonight’s win, Seattle currently sits two points above Sporting Kansas City at the top of the Western Conference standings, with one game in-hand. Seattle has nine matches remaining to play in the 2021 MLS regular season.
• Sounders FC is now 10-8-4 all-time against SKC in regular-season play, including a 5-4-2 mark on the road.
• The result marks the first time the Rave Green have won a game in Kansas City since May 8, 2013.
• The win puts Seattle at eight road wins on the season, tying the most away wins since 2018 and second most all-time in club history (MLS era). The Rave Green also had eight road wins in 2014.
• Cristian Roldan recorded his third MLS goal of the season and 25th career strike in regular-season play. It marked the second tally in as many games across all competitions, after Roldan scored the opening goal in Wednesday’s League’s Cup Final against Club León.
• Will Bruin scored his second goal of the season to make it 2-0 in the second half. It marked his 73rd career MLS regular-season goal, ranking 10th among active players.
• Brad Smith’s assist on Roldan’s goal marked his fourth of the season (two shy of his career high), to go along with three goals in 2021.
• Josh Atencio recorded his second career assist (both in 2021) on Roldan’s goal.
• Head Coach Brian Schmetzer deployed a 5-3-2 formation this evening, featuring strikers Will Bruin and Raúl Ruidíaz above a three-man midfield of João Paulo, Josh Atencio and Cristian Roldan. Wingbacks Alex Roldan and Brad Smith flanked centerbacks Yeimar Gómez Andrade, Xavier Arreaga and Nouhou.
Seattle Sounders FC 2 – Sporting Kansas City 1
Sunday, September 26, 2021
Venue: Children’s Mercy Park
Referee: Joe Dickerson
Assistants: Adam Wienckowski, Matthew Nelson
Fourth Official: Silviu Petrescu
VAR: Daniel Radford
Weather: 84 degrees and clear
SEA – Cristian Roldan (Brad Smith, Josh Atencio) 31’
SEA – Will Bruin 55’
SKC – Johnny Russell 60’
SEA – Nouhou (caution) 16’
SEA – Yeimar (caution) 53’
SEA – Alex Roldan (caution) 86’
SKC – Graham Zusi (caution) 90’+4’
LINEUPS & STATS
Seattle Sounders FC – Stefan Frei; Alex Roldan, Yeimar, Xavier Arreaga, Nouhou (Shane O’Neill 69’), Brad Smith (Jimmy Medranda 69’); João Paulo (Danny Leyva 85’), Josh Atencio, Cristian Roldan; Will Bruin (Kelyn Rowe 72’), Raúl Ruidíaz
Substitutes not used: Stefan Cleveland, Spencer Richey, Léo Chú, Fredy Montero
Total shots: 8
Shots on goal: 3
Sporting Kansas City – Tim Melia; Andreu Fontas, Graham Zusi, Luis Martins; Ilie Sanchez, Roger Espinoza (Remi Walter 57’), Gadi Kinda, Jose Mauri (Nicolas Isimat 76’); Johnny Russell, Khiry Shelton, Daniel Salloi
Substitutes not used: Kendall McIntosh, Roberto Puncec, Amandou Dia, Grayson Barber, Cameron Duke, Kaveh Rad, Wilson Harris
Total shots: 14
Shots on goal: 3