Seattle Sounders start 2023 MLS season with back-to back strong performances


After missing the playoffs in 2022 for the first time in their 14-year MLS history, the Seattle Sounders were determined to re-establish themselves this season as one of the league’s elite. Despite winning Concacaf Champions League, Seattle never found its footing domestically last year, and righting that ship was a huge point of emphasis in the offseason.

Two matches into 2023 and the Sounders are not only playing in midseason form, but they are playing some of the best, most fluid soccer this franchise has ever seen. After blanking the Colorado Rapids 4-0 in the season-opener, the Sounders earned another clean sheet in a 2-0 win over Real Salt Lake on Saturday night at Lumen Field.

“The team was really good,” said Head Coach Brian Schmetzer. “It was only 2-0. It was a shame that we didn’t score again, but some of the passing and one-touches, that was some of the best soccer the Seattle Sounders have played in a very long time. It reminded me a little bit of some of the stuff that [Obafemi Martins] and Clint [Dempsey] used to do.”

Seattle was electric in the attacking third, pinging one-touch balls left and right. The Sounders controlled 60% of possession, outshot RSL 8-2 on target and won the duels battle 57-46. All in, they had 2.6 xG to RSL’s 0.4.

“Some of that play in the second half, I almost wished I wouldn’t have subbed,” said Schmetzer. “I had to compliment the staff. This was another super good week at training, [they did] a great job preparing the team. All of the hard work that they did showed up within the players.”

Schmetzer credits the fast start to the MLS season to how focused the team was during preseason as it prepared for the FIFA Club World Cup in Morocco. The group was competing at a high-level from the get-go in 2023, and that level of commitment has translated into two excellent performances to start the campaign.

“It’s confidence, it’s the amount of work that those guys did to prepare for the Club World Cup,” said Schmetzer. “You’re seeing some of the benefits of that. That team was laser-focused to try and do well in that tournament. It didn’t pan out, but they had the base of a good preseason.”

More than anything, the Sounders look like they’re truly enjoying themselves on the pitch. Not making the postseason combined with no additional CCL matches this year means that the players have had ample time to rest and recover, and a healthy and fresh Sounders side is one of the most talented and dangerous in North America.

“It was definitely a fun game to be a part of, and that’s what happens when this group plays up to its potential,” said veteran forward Jordan Morris, who now has three goals in his first two contests this season. “The quality we have, we showed it the first couple games, but we can’t rest on that. We have to keep moving."

Every Match. Every Screen.

Every Match. Every Screen.

Catch every Seattle Sounders FC match on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV.



Grab your tickets and celebrate our 50th Anniversary Season!

2024 Pick ’Em Plan

2024 Pick ’Em Plan

Pick your matches and unlock exclusive benefits such as on-field experiences, upgrades, pre-sales, and more!