Coming off a gutsy 1-0 road win over the San Jose Earthquakes – which included a Cristian Roldangolazo and an Alex Roldan masterclass in emergency goalkeeping – and a convincing 2-0 win over LAFC, national pundits remain high on a Sounder side that leads the Supporters’ Shield standings through six matches.
“Who's going to stop the Sounders? Seattle's latest win, a 2-0 stroll vs. LAFC, matched their best-ever start to a season with five wins and one draw from their opening six games,” wrote ESPN.com’s Kyle Bonagura. “Brad Smith continues to impress, the attacking interplay is fluent and the defense looks untroubled: Stefan Cleveland, standing in for Stefan Frei between the posts, got his first career shutout.”
Seattle has adopted a Next Man Up mantra as the team navigates a grueling schedule while dealing with injuries to key players. Midfielder Kelyn Rowe and goalkeeper Stefan Cleveland have put in solid performances in the absence of Nicolás Lodeiro and Stefan Frei, respectively.
Operating as a part of a two-man forward system, Will Bruin has quietly pulled opponents apart with his linkup play and clever movement off the ball. Seattle’s wingbacks have been a revelation going forward, and the team is yet to concede a goal from open play through six matches.
Sounders FC returns to action on Sunday as it hosts Atlanta United (1:30 p.m. PT; FOX, 950 KJR AM, El Rey 1360 AM | TICKETS) at Lumen Field.