SEAvLA Recap Cover Photo 5-2-21

The Seattle Sounders defeated the LA Galaxy 3-0 on Sunday night at Lumen Field to jump to the top of the MLS Supporters’ Shield standings after Week 3.


The Sounders struck twice three minutes apart in the first half to take a 2-0 lead into halftime. Raúl Ruidíaz scored in the 20th minute on a one-time finish from 12 yards out after a great buildup play from Will Bruin and Brad Smith, whose cross found the Peruvian for his third goal of the season. Smith then added a goal of his own in the 23rd minute when his initial shot off a cross from Cristian Roldan was saved by goalkeeper Alex Bond, but Smith stabbed the rebound in to double the lead. Ruidíaz then capped his second brace of the campaign when he finished a cross from substitute Jimmy Medranda in the third minute of stoppage time in the second half. 


The Galaxy’s best chance of the first half came in the 27th minute when Samuel Grandsir’s shot from close range was parried wide by Stefan Frei.


Galaxy manager Greg Vanney made three changes at halftime, and they came out energized and nearly pulled one back. LA’s best opportunity came in the 52nd minute when Víctor Vázquez picked out Chicharito, but his attempt went wide left.


The Sounders visit the rival Portland Timbers next Sunday (12 p.m. PT; ABC, 950 KJR AM, El Rey 1360 AM) in their first meeting of the season.




THREE TAKEAWAYS


LODEIRO RETURNS


The biggest storyline from Sunday night was the return of captain Nicolás Lodeiro, who missed the first two weeks with a left quad strain. Lodeiro entered for Bruin in the 66th minute, a promising sign for Seattle as its 2020 MLS Best XI attacking midfielder is back healthy.


SMITH THE SCORER


After not scoring a goal in almost five years, Smith has now scored twice in consecutive games. He’s the beneficiary of Head Coach Brian Schmetzer’s new 3-5-2 formation that has a larger onus on attacking wingbacks. He was up and down the left flank all evening and was rewarded with a goal and an assist.


DEFENSIVE LOCKDOWN


Chicharito entered the weekend as the hottest striker in MLS, leading the league with five goals through the first two matches. Seattle held him to only one shot on goal and kept a clean sheet, the team’s second in the opening three matches. Through three games, the Sounders have conceded zero goals from open play, with their only goal allowed coming on a free kick in Week 2 against LAFC.