The Seattle Sounders secured a massive 2-1 win over Sporting Kansas City at Children’s Mercy Park on Sunday.
Seattle opened the scoring in the 31st minute of a relatively cagey first half . Midfielder Josh Atencio did well to pick off a pass in SKC’s half, dinking the ball to Brad Smith in space. The Australian wingback duly slid a pass into space for Cristian Roldan, who dispatched his second goal in consecutive games to take the lead.
Sporting came flying out of the gates in the second half, forcing goalkeeper Stefan Frei into a string of important saves. The Sounders capitalized on the missed chances in the 55th minute as Will Bruin pounced on a loose ball inside the box to head home his second goal of the season.
Kansas City pulled one back in the 60th minute, with Johnny Russell blasting a close-range shot inside the near post.
Both teams traded chances for the final 30 minutes of the match, with Raúl Ruidíaz coming closest in the 71st minute when he broke free on goal, only to be denied by Tim Melia from point-blank range.
Despite SKC’s persistent pressure in the final stages of the match, the Sounders held on for all three points, leapfrogging their opponent into the top spot of the Western Conference with a game in hand.
The Sounders return to action on Wednesday as they visit the San Jose Earthquakes (7:30 p.m. PT; FOX 13+, Prime Video, 1090 KJR AM, El Rey 1360AM).
Roldan is certainly hitting his stride during the business stretch of the season.
On Wednesday, the veteran Sounders midfielder bagged the opener against Liga MX side Club León. Roldan followed up his sterling performance in midweek with a nearly identical goal at Children’s Mercy Park, picking out the back of the net off a late run into the box from midfield.
The Boys Bounce Back
Speaking of the Leagues Cup, Head Coach Brian Schmetzer spoke this week about the resiliency of this group and the need to immediately respond after falling short in a final. That mentality was on full display on Sunday as they picked up three massive points at a difficult venue in a match that will have massive implications for playoff seeding.
Winning at Children’s Mercy Park is no easy in feat. In fact, it had been six visits to SKC’s venue since the last time the Rave Green came away victorious, with former assistant coach Djimi Traore scoring a late winner. That Seattle snapped its winless streak to retake first in the West is just the cherry on top from Sunday’s performance.