Sounders at SKC recap
Nick Smith

Seattle Sounders settle for 2-2 draw at Sporting Kansas City

Will Bruin and Cristian Roldan scored a goal apiece and the Seattle Sounders got their first MLS point of the season, drawing Sporting Kansas City 2-2 at Children’s Mercy Park on Sunday.

Illie Sanchez opened the scoring for SKC with a first-half penalty kick but Bruin managed to level the contest at 1-1 with a tap-in finish on the stroke of halftime. The Sounders were in good position to take all three points after Roldan put them up 2-1 with a 73rd-minute golazo, however, SKC’s Graham Zusi managed the equalizer just five minutes later to seal the 2-2 scoreline.

The hosts grabbed the lead in the 34th minute after Sounders left back Nouhou was whistled for fouling SKC’s Johnny Russell in his own penalty box, allowing Ilie to convert the opener past goalkeeper Stefan Frei.

It looked like that 1-0 scoreline would hold into halftime, but Bruin managed the equalizer in dramatic fashion after a wild sequence that started with the 28-year-old striker blasting a header off the crossbar off a free-kick from Nicolás Lodeiro. After the ball went out for a throw-in, defender Chad Marshall set Bruin up in front of the SKC goal with a flicked header that he tapped home past Tim Melia, improbably leveling the contest.

Roldan got his first goal of the season in highlight-reel fashion in the 73rd after he cashed home a layoff from Bruin past Melia, but Zusi’s bounding run and finish past Frei in the 78th ensured the game would end on level terms.

THREE TAKEWAYS

YOUNGER ROLDAN IMPRESSES

His brother got the goal, but Sounders rookie midfielder Alex Roldan got his first career MLS start on Sunday, and the circumstances weren’t exactly easy in one of the tougher venues in MLS against an always-tough Western Conference-leading SKC side. The Seattle University product showed that he also possesses the mental toughness that has become a hallmark of his older brother’s game, however, playing a steady match throughout and doing well to contribute to the Sounders’ attack. Maybe it’s the genetics.

Alex Roldan, making his first MLS start, controls the ball against Sporting Kansas City's Roger Espinoza at Children’s Mercy Park | Nick Smith

RETURN OF OZZIE

Sounders captain Ozzie Alonso hadn’t played yet in 2018 as he worked his way back from a quad injury and finally saw the field as a second-half substitute on Sunday. It’ll take some time for him to work his way back to full fitness but it’s hard to overstate the impact the franchise stalwart can have on games when he’s fully healthy. Look for Alonso to resume his status as a regular fixture in Seattle’s starting XI shortly.

OFF THE SCHNEID

It’s no secret the Sounders were struggling with injuries and form coming into the match, with no goals or points to their name so far in the 2018 campaign. The pair of goals and road point don’t mean that a turnaround is fully completed, but just seeing the ball go in the net has to be a psychological boost for a team that sorely needed one. They’ll hope a return home can help keep it rolling against Minnesota United on Sunday, April 22.

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