Sounders FC (5-6-1, 16 points) rode a second-half comeback behind goals from Jordan Morris and Raúl Ruidíaz to defeat Charlotte FC (5-8-1, 16 points) by a final score of 2-1. Sunday’s matchup in front of 32,763 at Lumen Filed was the first-ever contest between the Rave Green and Charlotte, with Seattle now going 6-2-4 in initial meetings against MLS expansion sides. Most importantly, the win launched the Rave Green three spots up the Western Conference standings. Now in 10th position on 16 points, Seattle is only two points outside of a playoff spot with just 12 games played in MLS. Including tonight’s win, Seattle has won three of its past four league matches.
Charlotte FC got on the board first in the 21st minute courtesy of Ben Bender. When a free kick from just outside the area deflected off the far post, the ball fell right to the feet of Bender, who finished from point-blank range.
Morris leveled the score in the 72nd minute thanks to an Alex Roldan cross from the left flank that found the head of the Mercer Island native, who directed the ball into the back of the net. Eight minutes later Ruidíaz gave Seattle the lead with a world-class strike, turning on a dime from just inside the area and firing a blistering shot into the top right corner of the net for the 2-1 lead.
Following Sunday’s match, the Rave Green head into the June international break, with several Sounders set to represent their respective national team squads. Seattle next plays on Tuesday, June 14, with the club facing Vancouver Whitecaps FC in the first Cascadia Cup matchup of the season between the two old rivals. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. PT, as Sounders FC looks to retain its Cascadia Cup crown.
• Sounders FC is now 5-6-1 on the season and sits 10th in the Western Conference with 16 points. With multiple games in-hand on every other team in the conference due to fixture congestion in Concacaf Champions League play, Seattle is just two points outside of the postseason positions.
• Sunday’s contest was Seattle’s seventh match in the month of May across all competitions, the most games of any month in the 2022 season. Sounders FC went 4-2-1 in those contests, which includes the two games against Pumas that earned Seattle the Concacaf Champions League title.
• Seattle’s home record in 2022 moves to 3-2-0 in MLS play and 7-2-1 in all competitions this season (MLS regular season, Concacaf Champions League and U.S. Open Cup).
• Tonight marked the first-ever meeting between Seattle and expansion side Charlotte. The Rave Green are now 6-2-4 in first meetings with expansion clubs, with its most recent victory prior to tonight coming on March 2, 2019 vs. FC Cincinnati.
• Seattle forward Jordan Morris bagged his third MLS goal of 2022 in the 72nd minute of play, his sixth strike in all competitions.
• Raúl Ruidíaz’s match-winning goal in the 80th minute was the Peruvian’s sixth goal in all competitions in 2022, and his third in league play.
• Morris and Ruidíaz are tied for second in team scoring this season behind club captain Nicolás Lodeiro, who has seven total strikes in all competitions.
• With his second-half strike, Ruidíaz now has 67 career goals across all competitions since joining Sounders FC in 2018. He currently ranks second in club history behind teammate Fredy Montero, (73 goals).
• Fullback Alex Roldan assisted on Morris’ goal, good for this third regular-season assist of the season. The Seattle University product is now tied for the team lead in assists with Lodeiro, who also has three MLS assists to his name.
• Head Coach Brian Schmetzer made two changes to the starting XI from the squad that played at Colorado on May 22, with Nicolás Lodeiro and Alex Roldan replacing Kelyn Rowe and Jackson Ragen.
• Due to the upcoming FIFA international break, Seattle does not play again until June 14 vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC (7:30 p.m. PT / FOX 13+, Prime Video, 93.3 KJR FM, El Rey 1360 AM). The two Cascadia rivals have met 146 times since 1974, with Seattle leading the all-time series 71-50-25. No two teams have met more in the history of U.S. and Canadian soccer.
• Seattle’s next match is also the club’s opening contest in the 2022 Cascadia Cup. Contested annually since 2004 between all three Pacific Northwest teams, the competition was founded by the biggest supporters groups for each of the clubs: Seattle’s Emerald City Supporters, Portland’s Timbers Army and the Vancouver Southsiders. After pausing Cascadia Cup play in 2020 due to the pandemic, Seattle has claimed the regional title in the last three attempts (2021, 2019, 2018).
Seattle Sounders FC 2 – Charlotte FC 1
Sunday, May 29, 2022
Venue: Dick’s Sporting Goods Park
Referee: Rosendo Mendoza
Assistants: Jeff Hosking, Mike Rottersman
Fourth Official: Victor Rivas
VAR: Edvin Jurisevic
Weather: 50 degrees and rain
CLT – Ben Bender 21’
SEA – Jordan Morris (Alex Roldan, Fredy Montero) 72’
SEA – Raúl Ruidíaz 80’
CLT – Joseph Mora (caution) 35’
CLT – Andre Shinyashiki (caution) 47’
SEA – Jordan Morris (caution) 87’
SEA – Nouhou (caution) 90’+2’
LINEUPS & STATS
Seattle Sounders FC – Stefan Frei; Alex Roldan, Yeimar, Xaiver Arreaga, Nouhou; Obed Vargas (Fredy Montero 62’), Albert Rusnák (Kelyn Rowe 87’), Cristian Roldan, Nico Lodeiro, Jordan Morris (Jimmy Medranda 87’); Raúl Ruidíaz
Substitutes not used: Stefan Cleveland, Jackson Ragen, Danny Leyva, Dylan Teves, Will Bruin, Léo Chú
Total shots: 16
Shots on goal: 3
Charlotte FC – Kristijan Kahlina; Guzman Corujo, Christian Makoun, Jaylin Lindsey, Joseph Mora (Christian Fuchs 81’); Jordy Alcivar, Brandt Bronico, Ben Bender (Sergio Ruiz 81’); Danial Ríos (Cristian Órtiz 81’), Andre Shinyashiki (Kerwin Vargas 66’), McKinze Gaines (Kamil Jozwiak 66’)
Substitutes not used: George Marks, Anton Walkes, Harrison Afful, Derrick Jones
Total shots: 11
Shots on goal: 3