Seattle Sounders defeat LAFC 2-0 behind goals from Xavier Arreaga and Brad Smith, finish perfect week with three wins in three

Xavier Arreaga celebrates goal vs. LAFC 2021-05-16  V2

The Seattle Sounders defeated LAFC 2-0 on Sunday night at Lumen Field in Seattle behind second-half goals from defender Xavier Arreaga and wingback Brad Smith.

The 26-year-old Ecuador international Arreaga headed home his first career MLS goal in the 57th minute off a corner kick from João Paulo. Smith scored his third goal of the season in the 73rd minute, capping a beautiful sequence that started in midfield with Alex Roldan getting out of pressure. Roldan then finished the play with a beauty of a cross that picked out Smith’s late run.

The Sounders defended for much of the first half, but earned the best chance of the first half when Cristian Roldan set up a streaking Smith, whose one-timed effort went wide left of Pablo Sisniega’s net.

Seattle finished off a perfect three-match week with three wins in three after back-to-back road wins at the Portland Timbers and San Jose Earthquakes. Seattle stays atop the early Supporters’ Shield standings, keeping its four-point lead over the LA Galaxy.

Of note, 16-year-old Reed Baker-Whiting made his MLS debut when he subbed on for João Paulo in second-half stoppage time.

The Sounders will play their first Eastern Conference opponent next Sunday when the Rave Green host Atlanta United (1:30 p.m. PT; FOX, 950 KJR AM, El Rey 1360 AM | TICKETS).


First Sounders start for Cleveland

For just the seventh time since 2014, the Sounders started an MLS match without veteran presence Stefan Frei in goal. Frei, who will miss 4-6 weeks with a sprained knee suffered midweek, was replaced by Stefan Cleveland, who impressed in his first Sounders appearance and first MLS start since 2018. He earned a clean sheet with three saves.

First MLS goal for Arreaga

Seattle’s goal came from an unlikely source on Sunday when Arreaga scored his first Sounders goal. The center back, who was playing in his 33rd MLS match, flicked home a deft header to secure all three points.

Defensive Lockdown

Through the opening six matches of the season, the Sounders have still yet to concede from open play. They lead the league with just two goals allowed, both of which came directly off free kicks.



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