USATSI_18628335

Few seasons have tested the Seattle Sounders’ depth quite as much as 2022.

At the halfway point of the campaign, the Sounders have already played 26 matches across the MLS regular season, U.S. Open Cup and the Concacaf Champions League. In order to have success on multiple fronts, the entire roster must make meaningful contributions.

That ethos was on full display on Saturday night as a heavily rotated Sounders side secured a dominant 2-0 win on the road against Toronto FC.

“It was really just 'next man up' mentality for all of us because we’ve been given the opportunities,” said Homegrown Player Dylan Teves, who scored the game-winning goal in his first MLS start. “You’ve just got to take it. That’s the thing that [Head Coach] Brian [Schmetzer] really enforces in all of us. Every single one of the players are just grateful to be out there.”

Fielding a team with six starters under the age of 24, the Sounders picked up three massive points away from home, jumping into fourth in the Western Conference.

While it might not have been a first-choice lineup, all the players on the squad have bought into the belief that they’re capable of helping the team win games. That conviction was evident from the opening whistle.

“Everybody feels part of the club,” said goalkeeper Stefan Cleveland, who posted six saves and a shutout in his fifth start of the season. “There’s a very ingrained culture across First Team, Tacoma \[Defiance\] and Academy… Whenever we need somebody to step on the field, they’re comfortable.”

Saturday’s win over Toronto FC was another impressive milestone in the club’s commitment to developing young players. Danny Leyva (19) put in a solid two-way performance at the base of midfield, while Teves (22) and Léo Chú (22) combined for the opening goal and were consistently dangerous. Center back Jackson Ragen (23) continues to impress with his composed defending and quality on the ball, and youngsters Ethan Dobbelaere (19) and Reed Baker-Whiting (17) provided a spark off the bench.  

The young players certainly stepped up, but the veterans on the squad provided the foundation for them to succeed. The leadership of Fredy Montero and Lodeiro brought out the best of Chú and Leyva, while Yeimar and Nouhou provided covered for Ragen at the back.

CHAMPIONS OF CHAMPIONS CELEBRATION

CHAMPIONS OF CHAMPIONS CELEBRATION

Join us as we drop another banner from the rafters in celebration of winning Concacaf Champions League! Don’t miss limited quantity giveaways, exclusive merchandise, and a special musical performance.

Montero, who now has six goals and an assist across all competitions this season, was particularly influential.

“I am so pleased that we were able to keep Fredy," said Schmetzer. "He did so much for us in Champions League. Tonight’s game was very, very good. Not just because of the goal, but for all of the defensive work he did against Michael Bradley in the middle of midfield. I thought Fredy was excellent tonight.” 

The Sounders will look to maintain this momentum heading into next weekend as they host the Portland Timbers (1:30 p.m. PT; FOX, FOX Deportes, 93.3 KJR FM, El Rey 1360AM | TICKETS) on Saturday in the club’s CCL Champions Celebration match at Lumen Field.

SUMMER WITH THE CHAMPS

SUMMER WITH THE CHAMPS

A Concacaf Champions League celebration, theme matches, and a long home stretch make Sounders matches at Lumen Field your perfect Seattle summer destination.

SINGLE MATCH TICKETS

SINGLE MATCH TICKETS

Watch the Kings of Concacaf take on the rest of MLS this season! Get your single match tickets today.