SEATTLE -- Midfielder Cristian Roldan scored a second-half brace in a two-minute span and Kelvin Leerdam added another in just his second game with the club, pacing the Seattle Sounders to a 3-0 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes at CenturyLink Field on Sunday night.
After a scoreless first half, Roldan opened the scoring in the 54th minute with a headed finish off a flicked header from Gustav Svensson off a long throw-in from Leerdam. The third-year University of Washington product then added his second in the 56th after he dispossessed San Jose defender Victor Bernardez in front of the Earthquakes’ goal and cashed home another finish past goalkeeper David Bingham to double the lead.
Leerdam then added the insurance in the 65th with an easy tap-in finish off a corner kick from Joevin Jones, sending the Sounders to the blowout result.
Welcome back, kid – Since getting his first cap with the U.S. men's national team on July 12, Roldan has been on a tear, scoring the game-winning goal in Seattle’s wild 4-3 comeback against D.C. United on Wednesday before Sunday’s brace. Roldan has been one of Seattle’s most important players for a while now, but we might just be seeing the next phase of his progression.
New guy looks good – Kelvin Leerdam hasn’t even been a Sounder for a month yet, but he’s already making quite the impression. The Dutch fullback cashed home his first career MLS goal in just his second game and has also made an impact with his long throw-ins, one of which set up Roldan’s second tally on Sunday. If any of that is a sign of things to come, the Sounders may have indeed found the solution to the right back conundrum that has been a theme throughout this season.
Shorthanded side comes through – Sunday’s result was all the more impressive for Seattle considering they were playing without the services of a score of key contributors. Clint Dempsey, Jordan Morris, Osvaldo Alonso and Nicolas Lodeiro were all unavailable for the contest due to a combination of national team duty, suspensions and injuries. The Sounders will likely have to make due without Dempsey and Morris for at least one more match as they continue to serve U.S. national team duty with the CONCACAF Gold Cup Final this Wednesday evening in California, but it’s also not long until Seattle will have a more full-strength squad at its disposal.