Cristian Roldan Alex Roldan celebration SJvSEA 5-13-21

The Seattle Sounders defeated the San Jose Earthquakes 1-0 in a wild match on Wednesday night. There’s a lot you might have missed, so here are the top 10 takeaways from the first midweek match of the 2021 MLS season.

Cristian Roldan golazo

We have to start here. The game’s lone goal came on a screamer from Roldan in the 18th minute when he settled an attempted clearance with his right foot before unleashing a laser with his left that left JT Marcinkowski helpless in goal. The tally was the first of the season for Roldan, who seems to have a penchant for firing wonder strikes.

Unfortunate injuries

The Sounders’ victory might ultimately end up being a costly one, as both Jordy Delem and Stefan Frei exited with apparent leg injuries. Delem went down inside three minutes on a tackle and forced Head Coach Brian Schmetzer into an early sub. Things got worse for Seattle in stoppage time when goalkeeper Frei went up for a cross and landed awkwardly. Out of substitution windows and unable to make a change, the Sounders had to close out the match with 10 men and led to...

Alex Roldan in goal

Unfortunately for Alex Roldan, he drew the short stick and grabbed a goalkeeper kit, trying to close out a 1-0 lead late on the road. All he did was make three saves and send the Sounders home with a valuable three points. Roldan’s cameo in between the posts was the first time an outfield player had played as a goalkeeper in the Sounders’ MLS history, and it was only the 12th time in the history of the league that it had happened.

Ten takeaways from Seattle Sounders’ wild midweek road win at San Jose Earthquakes -

New formation

In the first three-match week of the season, Schmetzer opted to rotate his lineup heavily, as well as trot out a different look. Rather than employ the 3-5-2 that he started the first four matches of the year in, he went with a 3-4-3 to try and maximize the talent in the depth that he has.

Starting two teenagers

Some of that depth was in the form of 18-year-olds Danny Leyva and Ethan Dobbelaere earning starts. It was Leyva’s first start since the 2020 season opener and only the second start of Dobbelaere’s MLS career. It also marked the first time in the Sounders’ MLS history that the club started two teenagers in a match.

Reed Baker-Whiting

Another teenager made the bench in 16-year-old Reed Baker-Whiting, who was signed by the club on Wednesday. He did not feature on the night, but he should get more opportunities as the season progresses.

Unbeaten streak vs. San Jose

The Sounders ran their unbeaten streak against the Earthquakes to 14 matches, which matches the longest undefeated run against a single opponent in the club’s MLS history (Chivas USA). Seattle hasn’t lost to San Jose in MLS regular season play since 2015.

Another clean sheet

Make that three clean sheets in five matches to start the year for Seattle. The Sounders still have yet to concede from open play, and the only two goals they have allowed both came directly off free kicks. They sport a league-best plus-nine goal differential, which is in large part why they’re…

Ten takeaways from Seattle Sounders’ wild midweek road win at San Jose Earthquakes -

Top of Supporters’ Shield standings

The Sounders head into the weekend four points clear at the top of the Supporters’ Shield race, taking 13 out of an available 15 points to start the campaign. This opening run of form…

Matches the best start through five matches in Seattle’s MLS history

The Sounders have started 4-1-0 once before, in 2019, perhaps not so coincidentally the year they won their second MLS Cup. If the Sounders defeat LAFC on Sunday (6:30 p.m. PT; FS1, 950 KJR AM, El Rey 1360 AM | TICKETS), they will match that 2019 team’s start of 5-1-0. Of note, the Sounders started 2-1-2 in 2014, the year they won their only Supporters’ Shield trophy.



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