KANSAS CITY, KANSAS – Sounders FC (0-3-1, 1 point) earned a crucial point on the road on Sunday afternoon, battling to a 2-2 draw with Sporting Kansas City (4-1-2, 14 points) in a cold, back-and-forth affair at Children’s Mercy Park. Will Bruin and Cristian Roldan each opened their 2018 scoring accounts, as Seattle earned its first point of the season and snapped a three-match losing streak to open the campaign. Brian Schmetzer’s side returns home ahead of next Sunday’s clash with Western Conference rival Minnesota United FC on the Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field (1:00 p.m. PT / ESPN, YouTube TV, 950 KJR AM, El Rey 1360 AM).
Johnny Russell continued his strong form for Sporting KC, raiding Seattle’s defensive third throughout the first half, culminating in spot-kick that the Scotsman earned in the 33rd minute of play. Nouhou was whistled for the foul inside Seattle’s area, with Sporting’s Ilie Sanchez converting the ensuing penalty a minute later to give the home side a 1-0 lead.
Sounders FC striker Will Bruin bagged the equalizer with the final kick off the first half, two minutes into stoppage time. The forward hit the post moments earlier charging through Sporting’s six-yard box, only to be denied by the woodwork. Bruin’s second attempt found the back of Tim Melia’s net, with Nicolás Lodeiro providing a long throw-in that was flicked back to the center of the area by Chad Marshall.
Seattle looked to have won the go-ahead opportunity in the 58th minute, when Sporting defender Jimmy Medranda was whistled by referee Drew Fischer for a handball, with Jordan McCrary playing a pass that looked to have found Medranda’s hand. However, after video review, Fischer waived the initial call by deeming the ball had not in fact hit the defender’s hand.
Nevertheless, Sounders FC was not going to be denied a second goal on the afternoon, with Cristian Roldan sealing the go-ahead strike in the 73rd minute, with the former University of Washington star finding the far post to give his side a 2-1 lead. Will Bruin provided the assist at the top of the eighteen-yard-box after being played into an attacking position by Alex Roldan. For the younger of the two Roldan brothers, it was the former Seattle University midfielder’s first professional start.
Veteran fullback Graham Zusi equalized for Sporting Kansas City just five minutes later, leveling the match at the eventual final score of 2-2. After receiving a long over-the-top ball from Medranda, Zusi dribbled up the right flank deep into Seattle’s 18-yard-box before chipping Stefan Frei for his second goal of the season.
Following today’s match in the Midwest, Seattle returns to the Pacific Northwest for another nationally televised match, this time against Minnesota United on the Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field. ESPN is once again set to carry the contest, with kickoff slated for 1:00 p.m. PT. YouTube TV is carrying the match regionally, as are radio affiliates 950 AM KJR and El Rey 1360 AM.
- With the result, Sounders FC earns its first point and moves to 0-3-1 on the season, with the next MLS match coming next Sunday, April 22 at home against Minnesota United FC on the Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field (1:00 p.m. PT / ESPN, YouTube TV, 950 KJR AM, El Rey 1360 AM).
- Sounders FC captain Osvaldo Alonso made his 2018 debut when he came on for Handwalla Bwana in the 68th minute. Seattle’s all-time leader in appearances, starts and minutes had previously been out with a right quad strain and had yet to make an appearance this season.
- Will Bruin scored Seattle’s first goal of the 2018 campaign in second-half stoppage time, leveling the match at 1-1 on assists from Nicolás Lodeiro and Chad Marshall. It marks Bruin’s 12th goal for Sounders FC since joining the club prior to the 2017 campaign. With 61 career MLS regular-season goals, Bruin is tied for eighth among active players. Bruin also recorded an assist on Roldan’s goal in the second half.
- Cristian Roldan scored a go-ahead goal in the 73rd minute for his first strike of the 2018 campaign. It marked the 11th career MLS regular-season goal for Roldan, who tallied a career-high six last season.
- Chad Marshall recorded his first assist of the season on Bruin’s strike, giving the center back 16 in 374 career appearances.
- Nicolás Lodeiro’s assist on Bruin’s first-half goal was the first of the season. The Uruguayan now has 21 career regular-season assists in just 48 appearances since signing with Sounders FC in July of 2016.
- Rookie Alex Roldan made his MLS start on Sunday alongside his brother Cristian, marking the seventh time in league history that brothers have started a match together (11th time that siblings played in the same match). With Alex recording an assist on Cristian’s goal in the 73rd minute, the pair became the fifth brothers in MLS history to combine for a score. The last time this occurred was August 1, 2015 when Shaun and Bradley Wright-Phillips combined for a New York Red Bulls goal.
LINEUPS & STATS
Seattle Sounders FC – Stefan Frei; Jordan McCrary, Román Torres, Chad Marshall, Nouhou; Gustav Svensson, Cristian Roldan, Alex Roldan (Magnus Wolff Eikrem 88’), Nicolás Lodeiro – captain, Handwalla Bwana (Osvaldo Alonso 68’); Will Bruin
Substitutes not used: Bryan Meredith, Tony Alfaro, Jordy Delem, Lamar Neagle, Henry Wingo
Sporting Kansas City – Tim Melia; Graham Zusi, Ike Opara, Matt Besler – captain, Jimmy Medranda; Roger Espinoza, Ile Sánchez, Yohan Croizet (Cristian Lobato 74’); Johnny Russell (Gerso Fernandes), Khiry Shelton, Daniel Sallói
Substitutes not used: Adrián Zendejas, Seth Sinovic, Emiliano Amor, Jaylin Lindsey, Diego Rubio