Match Recap

RECAP: Sounders stage another late comeback, secure 2-1 win over Chicago Fire

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The Seattle Sounders came from behind to defeat the Chicago Fire 2-1 at Lumen Field on Saturday night. Maren Haile-Selassie gave the Fire the lead in the 30th minute before two penalties from Albert Rusnák, including one in third minute of stoppage time, sent Seattle to its seventh win of the year.

The Fire had a big opportunity in the fifth minute when Brian Gutiérrez played a line-breaking pass in behind for Maren Haile-Selassie, but Sounders goalkeeper Stefan Frei came up with a huge leg save on the breakaway.

Chicago took the lead in the 30th minute when Haile-Selassie received a pass at the top of the box with his back to goal, spun around and beat Jackson Ragen and then fired a shot that beat Frei to his left.

The Sounders’ first chance came in the first minute of first-half stoppage time when Rusnák released Jordan Morris, whose shot forced goalkeeper Chris Brady into a save at the near post.

Seattle almost found the equalizer in the 54th minute when Morris played a cross to an onrushing Paul Rothrock at the far post, but it was just out of his reach. The play went to Video Review, however, and referee Joe Dickerson awarded Seattle a penalty and cautioned Fire defender Jonathan Dean for a hold on Rothrock.

Rusnák stepped up and buried the penalty in the 57th minute to level the match.

João Paulo was inches away from giving the Sounders the lead just two minutes later when his first-timed shot from outside the box fizzed past the post. The Brazilian had another great chance in the 62nd minute when his shot to the far post was parried away by Brady.

The Sounders had another penalty shout in the 65th minute when a shot from Rothrock appeared to have hit the hand of Rafael Czichos. Dickerson initially gave a penalty but rescinded it after Video Review.

Frei made a huge stop in the 71st minute when he used his left hand to push a strong shot from Allan Arigoni over the bar.

Brady made a great stop on Obed Vargas in the 82nd minute to deny the Homegrown midfielder his second goal of the year.

The Sounders earned their third penalty of the evening, and second enforced, in stoppage time when Mauricio Pineda fouled Morris. Rusnák stepped up again in the third minute of stoppage time and went to the same spot to beat Brady.

This is the third straight match that Seattle has erased a deficit. The Sounders have come from behind to take seven points from losing positions, including two stoppage-time winners at home over the last two weekends.

The Sounders will finish their three-match homestand next Saturday when they welcome the New England Revolution to Lumen Field (7:30 p.m. PT; MLS Season Pass on Apple TV, 93.3 KJR FM, El Rey 1360AM | TICKETS) for the first time since 2019.

THREE TAKEAWAYS

Rusnák delivers

Rusnák stepped up twice on Saturday when called upon, coolly converting both of his penalty attempts. The goals are the second and third of the year for the Slovakian.

Rothrock ignites

Head Coach Brian Schmetzer brought on Rothrock as a halftime substitute for Alex Roldan and it tilted the match in Seattle’s favor. Rothrock forced the penalty that led to Seattle’s goal and nearly forced another one.

Pedro de la Vega returns

De la Vega came on as a 76th-minute substitute on Saturday for the first time since May 18 while battling a nagging injury. It was a promising return as the Young Designated Player looks to work his way back to full fitness.

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