Press Release

MATCH RECAP: Sounders FC Earns Second Consecutive Win to Open Season Following 2-0 Victory Over Real Salt Lake

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SEATTLE, WASH. – Sounders FC (2-0-0, 6 points) defeated Real Salt Lake (1-1-0, 3 points) 2-0 Saturday evening on the Emerald Queen Casino Pitch at Lumen Field. Jordan Morris and Héber each scored for the second consecutive match as the Rave Green open the 2023 MLS campaign with a pair of shutout wins. Brian Schmetzer’s side hits the road for next Saturday, March 11, facing FC Cincinnati (4:30 p.m. PT / Apple TV, 950 KJR AM, El Rey 1360 AM) in the club’s first-ever trip to TQL Stadium.

After scoring two goals in the season opener against Colorado, Morris added to his 2023 tally in the 35th minute. Alex Roldan sent in a towering cross that found the head of Morris, who directed it back across the face of goal and into the net for his third goal of the season.

Héber doubled the lead in the 58th minute, finishing a low cross from Roldan by sticking his foot out and directing the ball into the goal from point-blank range. After scoring in last weekend’s opener, Héber is the first player to score in his first two MLS regular-season appearances for Seattle since Fredy Montero in 2009.

Tonight marked the first multi-assist game of Roldan’s career. Stefan Frei also recorded his second clean sheet of the season, giving him 93 in his career, third in league history.

MATCH NOTES

  • Following tonight’s result, Sounders FC remains in first place in the Western Conference after two weeks of play. The Rave Green have taken the maximum six points from their opening two games, level with expansion side St. Louis on points in the West, but ahead of the Missouri-based club on both goals scored (six) and goal difference (+6 to St. Louis’ +3).
  • For the fourth time in club history, Seattle begins its MLS campaign with a 2-0-0 start. The Rave Green previously started the season with the maximum six points from two matches in 2009, 2012 and 2019.
  • Seattle’s 12-4-2 home record against Real Salt Lake is fourth-best in club history in fixtures played more than 10 times at Lumen Field.
  • In a rivalry defined by success for the home club, Seattle moves to 13-15-5 in regular-season play against RSL all-time.
  • Jordan Morris’ headed goal in the 35th minute of play was his third goal in two matches this season. With 55 career goals in all competitions for the Rave Green, Morris is now just one goal shy of tying club captain Nicolás Lodeiro for fourth in all-time scoring.
  • Alex Roldan’s assist on Morris’ strike was his 14th career regular-season helper, followed by his 15th career assist on Héber’s goal in the 58th minute. This marks Roldan’s first multi-assist match in his MLS career.
  • Saturday’s match was also Morris’ 125th MLS regular-season start. The Mercer Island native joined his hometown club as a Homegrown Player prior to the start of the 2016 season.
  • With his 58th-minute goal, Héber becomes the first Sounder since Fredy Montero (2009) to score in each of his first two MLS appearances for the Rave Green. The Brazilian now has 28 goals in league play between Seattle and New York City FC (regular-season and MLS Cup Playoffs).
  • Goalkeeper Stefan Frei recorded his second shutout of the season. With 93 career clean sheets, Frei ranks third all-time in MLS behind Nick Rimando (154) and Kevin Hartman (112).
  • Entering the match in the 81th minute of play, striker Raúl Ruidíaz made his 2023 MLS debut. The Peruvian returns from a right hamstring strain that forced him to miss the club’s opening MLS match vs. Colorado.
  • Head Coach Brian Schmetzer kept the same starting XI in place as the squad that defeated Colorado 4-0 in Seattle’s opening MLS match on February 26. Stefan Frei led a backline composed of Alex Roldan, Yeimar Gómez Andrade, Jackson Ragen and Nouhou, with Josh Atencio and Albert Rusnák anchoring central midfield. Cristian Roldan, Nicolás Lodeiro and Jordan Morris led the attack, with Héber playing forward.

MATCH SUMMARY

Seattle Sounders FC 2 – Real Salt Lake 0

Saturday, March 4, 2023

Venue: Emerald Queen Casino Pitch at Lumen Field

Referee: Victor Rivas

Assistants: Jeffrey Greeson, Mike Rottersman

Fourth Official: Elijio Arreguin

VAR: Jose Carlos Rivero

Attendance: 30,011

Weather: 40 degrees and cloudy

SCORING SUMMARY

SEA – Jordan Morris (Alex Roldan) 35’

SEA – Heber (Alex Roldan) 58’

MISCONDUCT SUMMARY

COL – Braian Ojeda (caution) 62’

SEA – Nouhou (caution) 73’

SEA – Léo Chú (caution) 86’

LINEUPS & STATS

Seattle Sounders FC – Stefan Frei; Alex Roldan, Yeimar, Jackson Ragen, Nouhou; João Paulo, Albert Rusnák, Cristian Roldan, Nico Lodeiro (Josh Atencio 80’), Jordan Morris (Léo Chú 80’); Héber (Raúl Ruidíaz 81’)

Substitutes not used: Stefan Cleveland, Reed Baker-Whiting, Kelyn Rowe, Danny Leyva, Dylan Teves

Total shots: 19

Shots on goal: 8

Fouls: 12

Offside: 0

Corner-kicks: 4

Saves: 2

Real Salt Lake – Zac MacMath; Andrew Brody, Bryan Oviedo, Justen Glad, Marcelo Silva; Braian Ojeda, Jefferson Savarino, Scott Caldwell (Diego Luna 72’), Maikel Chang (Carlos Gómez 60’); Damir Kreilach (Justin Meram 72’), Anderson Julio (Rubio Rubín 60’)

Substitutes not used: Danny Musovski, Bode Hidalgo, Erik Holt, Tomas Gomez, Moses Nyeman

Total shots: 7

Shots on goal: 2

Fouls: 9

Offside: 0

Corner-kicks: 5

Saves: 5

- SOUNDERS FC -

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