SEATTLE – Víctor Rodríguez scored his first goal in Rave Green and Nicolás Lodeiro and Clint Dempsey added a goal apiece, pacing the Seattle Sounders to a 3-0 Cascadia Cup romp over the Vancouver Whitecaps at CenturyLink Field on Wednesday evening.
Rodríguez found the opener in the 17th minute after he managed to shift his way through a group of Vancouver defenders and sneak a left-footed shot past goalkeeper David Ousted to give the hosts the 1-0 lead they would take into halftime. Lodeiro would double the lead in the 62nd after he smashed home a finish off a feed from Joevin Jones, before assisting on Dempsey’s left-footed finish just seven minutes later to seal the blowout result.
Formation shift pays off
Sounders head coach Brian Schmetzer employed a bit of tactical tinkering for the match, pushing Dempsey up top as the lone forward in their 4-2-3-1 formation. Cristian Roldan – a defensive midfielder by trade – also moved up to the No. 10 position. The result was a true breakout performance for a Sounders side that had struggled to score goals in recent weeks despite a 13-match unbeaten run. With Jordan Morris still out with an injured hamstring, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Schmetzer stick with the same formula as the Sounders close out the regular season.
V-Rod gets his first goal
It was just a matter of time for Rodríguez, who was probably unlucky not to find the net in a couple of Seattle’s matches leading up to Wednesday. If the 28-year-old Spaniard can parlay that breakthrough goal into more production going forward, it can only mean good things for Seattle’s attack as they look to solidify Western Conference playoff positioning.
Wednesday’s match went about as well as the Sounders could have hoped for, but that excitement was tempered somewhat with star midfielder Osvaldo Alonso leaving the match in the first half with what the club said was a right quad strain. The extent of the injury isn’t yet known but Sounders fans will certainly be holding their breath for an update on the status of their team captain and club legend ahead of their next game – an Oct. 1 first road bout against the Philadelphia Union.