HIGHLIGHTS: Seattle Sounders FC vs. LAFC | May 16, 2021

The Seattle Sounders defeated LAFC 2-0 on Sunday night at Lumen Field. In case you missed it, here are 10 key takeaways from the match.

Different Stefan, same result

Sounders backup goalkeeper Stefan Cleveland stepped up and admirably filled the big shoes of club veteran Stefan Frei, who was injured last week and is expected to miss 4-6 weeks. His replacement recorded three saves and kept a clean sheet, earning his Sounders debut and his first MLS minutes since 2018 with the Chicago Fire.

Xavi bags his first

Sounders center back Xavier Arreaga scored his first Sounders and MLS goal in his 33rd match with the club after joining from his Barcelona SC in his native Ecuador in 2019. Arreaga flicked home a João Paulo corner kick in the 57th minute that ended up being the match-winner on the night.

Smith scores again

Up until a month ago, Sounders wingback Brad Smith hadn’t scored for the Sounders, nor in his professional career in five years. Against LAFC, he headed in his third goal in six matches to start the season, including his second against the Black and Gold in as many games.

Reed Baker-Whiting debuts

Sounders fans got a cameo of another promising Homegrown Player on Sunday when 16-year-old Reed Baker-Whiting, who was signed last week, made his debut for João Paulo in stoppage time. While there wasn’t much time to impact the match, he’ll surely have more opportunities moving forward.

Super Roldan Bros.

Smith’s goal came on the receiving end of a perfect cross from Alex Roldan, his wingback counterpart, who has also come out flying to start 2021. His brother, Cristian, was also influential on the night and throughout the season while he tries to fill the void left by injured captain and playmaker Nicolás Lodeiro.

Sounders run Team of the Week

It was a hearty Seattle affair on this week’s MLS Team of the Week, with Arreaga and both Roldan brothers joining Head Coach Brian Schmetzer. Cristian scored a golazo midweek that’s nominated for MLS Goal of the Week before Alex saved the day in goal, Arreaga kept two clean sheets and Schmetzer orchestrated a master class, helping lead the Sounders to their…

First nine-point week since 2018

Seattle went a perfect three for three this past week, earning road wins over the Portland Timbers and San Jose Earthquakes two Sundays ago and last Wednesday, respectively, before dispatching LAFC on Sunday. This was the first time the Sounders have done that since they accomplished it during their MLS-record nine-match win streak in 2018, when they defeated the Vancouver Whitecaps (Saturday), San Jose Earthquakes (Wednesday) and New York City FC (Sunday).

Tied club record for best start

The Sounders have equaled their record for the best start in their MLS history (2019), going 5-1-0 out of the gates. If they earn at least a point next Sunday at home against Atlanta United (1:30 p.m. PT; FS1, 950 KJR AM, El Rey 1360 AM | TICKETS), this 2021 edition will own the record outright through seven matches.

Ten takeaways from Seattle Sounders' 2-0 home win over LAFC on Sunday -

No goals allowed from open play

Incredibly, the Sounders have still yet to concede from open play this season. They’ve only given up two goals, each of which came directly off a free kick, and that defensive record is tied for the best in the league, despite having played an extra match.

Top of Supporters’ Shield

Their defensive prowess, combined with a league-best 13 Goals For as well, is why the Sounders head into Week 6 four points clear in the Supporters’ Shield standings.

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