Kelyn Rowe and Raúl Ruidíaz supplied the goals for Seattle Sounders FC, as the Rave Green (8-0-5, 29 points) defeated Houston Dynamo FC (3-4-6, 15 points) by a final score of 2-0 in front of 27,421 inside Lumen Field. With the win, Sounders FC sets a league record for the best start to a season in MLS history. Dating back to 1996, no other club has started a campaign unbeaten through 13 contests. Additionally, the 13-match unbeaten run is now tied for the longest single-season streak in team history at any point in a sole campaign. Tonight’s win also moves Seattle back atop the Supporters’ Shield and MLS Western Conference standings, with the Rave Green leading Sporting Kansas City by three points in both sets of standings.
Rowe put Seattle on the board in the 62nd minute, tapping in a cross from Alex Roldan for his first goal since October of 2018. It was the Federal Way native’s 30th career regular-season goal across 10 MLS seasons. It marked the third assist of the season for Roldan, who leaves to join El Salvador for the Concacaf Gold Cup following tonight’s match.
Ruidíaz made it 2-0 in the fourth minute of second-half stoppage time for his 10th goal of the season, tied with the LA Galaxy’s Javier Hernández for the lead in the MLS Golden Boot. The action began with Fredy Montero playing Brad Smith down the left flank, where the Australian sent in a low cross to Ruidíaz for an easy conversion into the back of the net. It was the third assist of the season for both Smith and Montero.
With more than a third of the MLS season complete, Seattle now heads into a brief international break as the Concacaf Gold Cup begins play this coming weekend. The Rave Green return to league action on Sunday, July 18 at Minnesota United (11:00 a.m. PT / ESPN, 950 KJR AM, El Rey 1360 AM).
- With the win, Seattle becomes the first team in MLS history to begin a campaign unbeaten through 13 matches. Four clubs had previously reached the 12-match unbeaten mark.
- Dating back to the club’s inaugural MLS season, the 13-match unbeaten run is now tied for the longest single-season streak in team history at any point in a sole campaign. Sounders FC also achieved this feat during the 2017 season.
- With Sporting Kansas City not playing midweek, Seattle made up its game in-hand on SKC, using tonight’s victory to vault back atop both the Supporters’ Shield and Western Conference standings by three points.
- Going back to last season, Sounders FC now has a 14-match home unbeaten streak (10-0-4) in regular-season action, with the club suffering its last loss at Lumen Field on September 6, 2020. The current streak matches a franchise record set from March 16 – September 29, 2013. Including postseason play, the club’s current home unbeaten run is at 17 games (13-0-4) after winning all three of its 2020 Audi MLS Cup Playoff matches at Lumen Field.
- Scoring in second-half stoppage time, forward Raúl Ruidíaz bagged his 10th goal of 2021, good for his 52nd career MLS goal for the Rave Green (regular season and playoffs). He is now tied with the LA Galaxy’s Javier Hernández for the MLS Golden Boot.
- In the MLS era, Raúl Ruidíaz is officially the fastest Sounders FC scorer to reach 10 goals (13 games in 2021). Former forward Obafemi Martins reached the double-digit mark in 14 games in 2014.
- Kelyn Rowe netted his first goal as a Sounder in the 62nd minute, converting a right-sided cross from Alex Roldan. For the Federal Way native in his first year in Rave Green, it was his first strike since October 18, 2018 while playing for the New England Revolution. Rowe now has 30 regular-season goals dating back to his rookie year in 2012 with the Revolution.
- Alex Roldan’s assist to Kelyn Rowe was his third of 2021, and his sixth overall for Seattle dating back to his 2018 rookie season. Fredy Montero and Brad Smith both earned assists on Raúl Ruidíaz’s second-half goal, giving all three players three helpers in 2021. João Paulo leads Seattle with five assists on the season.
- Midfielder João Paulo captained Sounders FC for the first time on Wednesday night. The Brazilian stepped into the leadership role with Cristian Roldan away on international duty with the U.S. Men’s National Team, in addition to injuries to regular captain Nicolás Lodeiro and vice-captain Stefan Frei.
- Starting goalkeeper Stefan Cleveland made his eighth start of 2021, recording his third shutout in the process. Since Stefan Frei departed the lineup due to injury, Cleveland is 4-0-4 in goal for Seattle.
- Sounders FC is 11-4-6 all-time against Houston in MLS regular-season action, in addition to a 2-1-1 record in the postseason. The Rave Green are unbeaten in 13 home MLS fixtures against Dynamo FC (10-0-3), including an eight-match winning streak overall dating back to March of 2017 (including postseason).
- Xavier Arreaga returned to the starting lineup following his return from international duty with Ecuador in Copa America, replacing the recently injured Shane O’Neill (left hip flexor strain). Arreaga has featured in eight games for the Rave Green in 2021(seven starts).
- Sounders FC today signed Tacoma Defiance midfielder Juan Alvarez to a Short-Term Agreement, making him available on the bench for the match vs. Houston. International callups and injuries to players on Seattle's roster made the club eligible for Extreme Hardship. As a result, the Rave Green signed the 16-year-old Alvarez from the club's USL Championship affiliate to a short-term loan for Wednesday’s match.
Seattle Sounders FC 2 – Houston Dynamo FC 0
Wednesday, July 7, 2021
Venue: Lumen Field
Referee: Robert Sibiga
Assistants: Chris Elliott, Diego Blas
Fourth Official: Lukasz Szpala
VAR: Sorin Stoica Attendance: 27,421
Weather: 72 and clear
SEA – Kelyn Rowe (Alex Roldan) 63’
SEA – Raúl Ruidíaz (Brad Smith, Fredy Montero) 90’+4’
SEA – Yeimar Gómez Andrade (caution) 33’
SEA – Danny Leyva (caution) 51’
HOU – Fafa Picault (caution) 80’
LINEUPS & STATS
Seattle Sounders FC – Stefan Cleveland; Alex Roldan, Yeimar Gómez Andrade, Xavier Arreaga, Abdoulaye Cissoko, Jimmy Medranda (Brad Smith 84’); Danny Leyva (Josh Atencio 83’), João Paulo, Kelyn Rowe; Fredy Montero, Raúl Ruidíaz
Substitutes not used: Spencer Richey, Ethan Dobbelaere, Reed Baker-Whiting, Juan Alvarez, Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez
Total shots: 19
Shots on goal: 6
Houston Dynamo FC – Marco Maric; Adam Lundkvist, Zarek Valentin, Tim Parker, Sam Junqua; Memo Rodriguez (Darwin Quintero 59’), Joe Corona, Derrick Jones (Darwin Ceren 60’), Matias Vera; Fafa Picault (Mateo Bajamich 84’), Maxi Urruti
Substitutes not used: Alejandro Fuenmayor, Ethan Bartlow, Jose Bizama, Michael Nelson, Ian Hoffmann
Total shots: 11
Shots on goal: 4