RECAP: Seattle Sounders secure resounding 5-0 win over Motagua, advance to SCCL quarterfinals

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The Seattle Sounders routed Honduran side F.C. Motagua 5-0 on Thursday night at Lumen Field to advance to the quarterfinals of the 2022 Concacaf Champions League. The Sounders won the two-legged series 5-0 on aggregate after a scoreless draw in San Pedro Sula in the first leg last week.

Captain Nicolás Lodeiro opened the Sounders’ 2022 account when he connected on a right-footed half-volley in the 33rd minute that snuck inside the near post.

The Sounders took a 1-0 lead into halftime before Cristian Roldan doubled Seattle’s lead just two minutes after the break when he got on the end of a Lodeiro cross and beat the goalkeeper from a few yards out.

Jordan Morris earned a cathartic third goal in the 56th minute when a ball from Roldan sliced through Motagua’s defense and Morris coolly slotted home the breakaway. The goal was Morris’ first since injuring his ACL a year ago while on loan with Swansea City.

The Sounders added a fourth in the 61st minute when Kelyn Rowe tapped home another Roldan pass at the far post. Rowe entered as a substitute just two minutes prior.

Léo Chú capped the scoring in the 73rd minute when his left-footed shot from the left side of the box found the far corner. Offseason acquisition Albert Rusnák earned his first Sounders point with the assist on his home debut.

The Sounders will take on Mexico’s Club León, who defeated Guatemala’s C.D. Guastatoya 3-0 on aggregate, in the CCL quarterfinals. Seattle will be familiar with León, as they defeated the Sounders 3-2 in the Leagues Cup Final last September.

THREE TAKEAWAYS

Lodeiro shines

After missing nearly the entire 2021 season, Lodeiro flashed his brilliance and reminded everyone that he’s still one of the league’s elite. The 2020 MLS Best XI selection scored and assisted inside 47 minutes, a promising start to what he hopes will be yet another productive campaign.

João Paulo returns

After missing the first leg in Honduras last week to improve his fitness after arriving late in preseason, João Paulo made his 2022 debut at halftime when he subbed on for Raúl Ruidíaz. The Brazilian was one of the best players in the league last year, earning an MLS All-Star Game nod, an MLS Best XI selection and an MLS MVP nomination.

Right back to business

The Sounders return to Lumen Field in three days when they host Nashville SC on Sunday night (5 p.m. PT; FOX 13+, Prime Video, 1360 AM | TICKETS) in their 2022 MLS season opener. Seattle will hope Thursday’s strong performance will carry over into its league debut before diving back into Champions League action in March.

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