Match Recap

RECAP: Sounders surge past St. Louis CITY SC to claim top spot in Western Conference

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The Seattle Sounders defeated St. Louis CITY SC 3-0 at Lumen Field on Saturday night behind goals from Josh Atencio, Raúl Ruidíaz and a late own goal.

With the win, the Rave Green jumped over CITY into first place in the Western Conference. 

It was an even matchup throughout the first half, with both sides putting up massive defensive efforts and creating multiple scoring opportunities against one another.

The Sounders challenged the visitor’s defense right away after Nicolás Lodeiro’s cross in the fourth minute clattered off the post. 

St. Louis’ João Klauss responded in the 16th minute with a shot off a driven cross from the left side, but barely missed after pinging the near post. 

Then in the 24th minute, Cristian Roldan redirected the ball with his head toward goal off a Lodeiro corner, but CITY goalkeeper Roman Bürki managed to get ahold of it. 

CITY midfielder Eduard Löwen made a last-ditch effort shooting from long range during extra time, but skied it over the net, keeping the score 0-0 to close out the half. 

The second half shifted to a more dominant 45 minutes for the Sounders as the team continued to penetrate toward goal.

The team’s pressure in the attack came to fruition in the 65th minute when Atencio scored his first MLS career goal in resounding fashion. The Homegrown Player struck a first-time effort from distance that rocketed into the top corner. 

While the ball was mostly on the Sounders’ offensive half prior to the goal, the momentum shifted even further away from St. Louis directly after Atencio’s banger. 

Just six minutes later, Ruidíaz tucked it away to double the advantage for the Rave Green. The ball trickled inside the six-yard box, then came through the fingertips of Bürki for Ruidíaz to tap it into the back of the net.

The Sounders solidified the win in the 89th minute after defender Jackson Ragen forced an own goal for St. Louis CITY off a corner kick deflection. 

Seattle returns to action on April 15 when the team visits the Portland Timbers (7:30 p.m. PT; MLS Season Pass on Apple TV app) in the first Cascadia clash of the 2023 season.

THREE TAKEAWAYS

Atencio makes a big impression

Beyond scoring an incredible game-winning goal, Atencio supported the team to victory through his contributions on both sides of the pitch. While controlling the pace of the game defensively, he also found ways to play out of pressure and continued to make himself an option throughout the duration of the match. 

Ruidíaz gets on the scoresheet

Ruidíaz immediately made an impact off the bench for the Rave Green, scoring the team’s second goal of the night with an instinctive finish. After subbing in for the team in the 60th minute, Ruidíaz made his presence known in the attack and brought a burst of energy the Sounders needed to take complete control of the game. 

Stefan Frei makes history

With the start Saturday tonight, Sounders FC goalkeeper Stefan Frei broke Osvaldo Alonso’s club record in the MLS era with 323 career starts across all competitions. The Sounders’ home win against St. Louis tonight marks Frei’s fourth shutout of the 2023 season so far.

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