Will Bruin scored in the 25th minute, Handwalla Bwana got his first MLS goal in the 54th and the Seattle Sounders bagged a huge 2-1 road victory in an entertaining rematch of the last two MLS Cups at BMO Field on Wednesday.
Jonathan Osorio pulled one back for the hosts in the 40th minute, but Bwana’s finish in the 54th would prove to hold as the game-winner, moving Seattle to 2-4-2 on the MLS season.
Bruin struck first after he collected a pinpoint through ball from Magnus Wolff Eikrem and found himself with a breakaway opportunity against Reds’ goalkeeper Alex Bono. The veteran forward made no mistake with the finish, rifling a laser strike into the net and giving Seattle the 1-0 first-half advantage.
The hosts would pull one back 15 minutes later, however, after Sebastian Giovinco managed to lob a cross over Sounders’ keeper Stefan Frei and into the path of a charging Osorio, who calmly headed the ball into an open net to level the contest at 1-1, which would hold as the score through halftime.
Bwana would give Seattle the lead in the 54th after a nifty combination with Bruin that set the rookie in on goal, allowing him to slot a finish in through Bono’s legs and into the net for his first career MLS goal.
TFC would put on the pressure late, but couldn’t quite manage to thwart Frei and the Sounders back line, giving the Sounders a huge, much-needed three points on the road.
ROTATED LINEUP PAYS OFF
Sounders Head Coach Brian Schmetzer moved away from his customary 4-2-3-1 formation and played a 5-4-1 on Wednesday, as the Sounders elected to leave a couple of key faces at home due to fixture congestion, including Clint Dempsey and Osvaldo Alonso. The rotated lineup ended up performing admirably as the Sounders managed to bag the road victory with the pair of goals despite yielding 67.3 percent of the possession. Wolff Eikrem was especially impressive taking over playmaking duties from the injured Nicolás Lodeiro, setting up Bruin’s opener with an absolute dime.
Magnus Wolff Eikrem controls the ball against Toronto FC at BMO Field | USA Today Sports Images
BWANA GETS HIS FIRST
There was plenty of excitement surrounding Bwana after a standout preseason and the former Sounders Academy and Ballard High star showed why in bagging his first career MLS tally. He’s just 18, so to be able to have the composure and wherewithal to make that finish in a hostile environment is an apt demonstration as to why the Sounders think his future is so bright.
SWEET, SWEET REVENGE
This was surely an especially sweet victory for Seattle considering the opposition. It was just six months ago that the Sounders fell to TFC in MLS Cup 2017 at this very same BMO Field, where they also claimed their first-ever championship almost exactly a year prior to that. Seattle would certainly trade this regular season victory for a repeat championship but considering the Sounders’ tough start to the season and a huge rivalry fixture against the Portland Timbers coming up on Sunday, this isn’t a bad consolation prize for Schmetzer and his men in the meantime.
SEA - Will Bruin (Magnus Wolff Eikrem) 25'
TOR - Jonathan Osorio (Sebastian Giovinco, Víctor Vázquez) 40'
SEA - Handwalla Bwana (Will Bruin, Cristian Roldan) 54'
SEA - Tony Alfaro (Unsporting Behavior) 44'
SEA - Will Bruin (Not Retreating) 55'
TOR - Michael Bradley (Dissent) 81'
SEA - Jordy Delem (Unsporting Behavior) 88'
TOR - Sebastian Giovinco (Dissent) 90'