SEATTLE – Chad Marshall scored a goal for the second straight match and Jordan Morris picked up his first career MLS goal as the Seattle Sounders beat the Philadelphia Union 2-1 on Saturday night at CenturyLink Field.
Marshall scored on a wide-open header off a corner kick in the 41st minute for the Sounders (2-3-1), who are unbeaten in their past three games after a sluggish start to the season. Morris added his goal in the 71st minute after the Union were reduced to 10 men, calmly finishing a ball over the top from midfielder Andreas Ivanschitz.
Union midfielder and former Sounders regular Sebastien Le Toux scored in the 73rd minute for the Union (3-3-0), who were left with an ultimately insurmountable hill to climb down the stretch after midfielder Roland Alberg picked up his second yellow card in the 53rd minute for a rough tackle on Sounders midfielder Cristian Roldan.
Ivanchitz picked up the assist on both Sounders goals, giving the veteran Austrian import three assists over the team’s recent unbeaten run.
Marshall’s goal was the 19th of his career, but Saturday marked just the second time the veteran defender has ever scored in back-to-back games, with the first coming while he played with Columbus Crew SC in 2009. Marshall scored a last-second equalizer in the Sounders’ 1-1 draw against the Houston Dynamo on April 10, his first-career MLS goal scored without using his head.
On Saturday things were back to normal for the 6-foot-4 defender, who drifted to the back post on Ivanschitz’s corner kick and calmly nodded the ball past Union goalkeeper Andre Blake.
Morris’ goal was a cathartic one for the Sounders, who had watched their prized Homegrown Player struggle to find the back of the net over the first five games of his debut MLS season. But after coming painfully close to his first goal early in the game, he coolly collected a long ball from Ivanschitz and slotted a right-footed shot past Blake for the eventual game-winner before celebrating in front of 39,620 fans. Morris checked out to a roar of applause from the fans in the 82nd minute.
The Sounders controlled much of the tempo and reeled off a season-best five shots on goal in the first 45 minutes of the match. Morris had the best early chance in the 17th minute after he corralled a ball over the top from Ivanschitz and muscled off Union defender and MLS SuperDraft No. 1 overall pick Josh Yaro, but his shot couldn’t beat Blake.
The Sounders almost found the net again in the 35th minute, but a volley from Ivanschitz off a Tyrone Mears cross was bobbled and saved by Blake just in font of the goal line.
Part of the team’s success inevitably came down to the inclusion of 20-year-old forward Oalex Anderson, who made his first career start in place of veteran Nelson Valdez. Anderson was a constant threat on the left side before he gave way to Valdez in the 63rd minute after rolling his ankle.
Le Toux’s goal was his third in nine games against the Sounders since he left the club following Seattle’s 2009 expansion season. Union forward C.J. Sapong handled a ball over the top and headed it back to LeToux near the top of the box, and Le Toux placed a right-footed shoot past Sounders goalkeeper Stefan Frei for the goal
The Sounders return to action on the road against the Colorado Rapids on April 23.
Seattle Sounders FC 2 – Philadelphia Union 1
Saturday, April 16, 2016
Venue: CenturyLink Field
Referee: Drew Fischer
Assistants: Mike Rottersman, Claudio Badea
Fourth Official: Alejandro Mariscal
Weather: Cloudy and 62 degrees
SEA – Chad Marshall (Andreas Ivanschitz) 41’
SEA – Jordan Morris (Andreas Ivanschitz) 71’
PHI – Sebastien Le Toux (C.J. Sapong, Fabinho) 73’
PHI – Roland Alberg (caution) 32’
PHI – Fabinho (caution) 34’
PHI – Roland Alberg (caution; ejection) 53’
SEA – Dylan Remick (caution) 55’
PHI – Leo Fernandes (caution) 88’
SEA – Osvaldo Alonso (caution) 90’+5’
LINEUPS & STATS
Seattle Sounders FC – Stefan Frei; Tyrone Mears, Brad Evans – captain, Chad Marshall, Dylan Remick; Osvaldo Alonso, Cristian Roldan (Herculez Gomez 75’), Clint Dempsey; Oalex Anderson (Nelson Valdez 62’), Jordan Morris (Joevin Jones 82’), Andreas Ivanschitz
Substitutes not used: Tyler Miller, Zach Scott, Michael Farfan, Aaron Kovar
Total shots: 19 (3 players tied at 3)
Shots on goal: 8 (Ivanschitz/Morris, 3)
Fouls: 12 (Alonso, 5)
Corner-kicks: 3 (Ivanschitz, 3)
Saves: 2 (Frei, 2)
Philadelphia Union – Andre Blake; Fabinho (Leo Fernandes 82’), Joshua Yaro, Richard Marquez, Keegan Rosenberry; Warren Creavalle, Vincent Nogueira, Roland Alberg, Chris Pontius (Tranquillo Barnetta 63’), Sebastien Le Toux – captain (Fabian Herbers 75’); C.J. Sapong
Substitutes not used: Matt Jones, Brian Carroll, Anderson, Raymon Gaddis
Total shots: 13 (Sapong, 4)
Shots on goal: 3 (3 players tied at 1)
Fouls: 15 (Alberg, 5)
Corner-kicks: 7 (Alberg, 4)
Saves: 7 (Blake, 7)