SEATTLE – The Seattle Sounders conceded the opener but got a highlight-reel equalizer from Nicolás Lodeiro and a game-winning header from substitute Magnus Wolff Eikrem, pacing the Rave Green to a 2-1 victory over D.C. United at CenturyLink Field on Saturday night.
D.C. forward Darren Mattocks opened the scoring in the 53rd minute with a rebound finish. But Lodeiro struck back with a brilliant distance tally in the 57th and Eikrem added the winner in the 83rd, moving Seattle to 3-7-2 on the season.
It was the first goal of the season for both Lodeiro and Eikrem in Lodeiro’s first game back with the club since returning from camp with the Uruguayan national team.
The visitors opened the scoring shortly after second-half kickoff, after D.C.'s Paul Arriola lashed a shot on goal that was deflected away by Sounders goalkeeper Stefan Frei. The ball bounced straight to Mattocks, though, and the veteran cashed home the close-range finish to give D.C. the 1-0 lead.
Lodeiro would level the affair just four minutes later, however, after a throw-in from Kelvin Leerdam deflected to him, allowing the Uruguayan to lash a distance finish from just outside area past the outstretched arms of diving DC ‘keeper David Ousted and into the net. Eikrem then found the match-winning tally in the 83rd, redirecting a screaming cross from Cristian Roldan past Ousted to give Seattle the 2-1 lead that would hold as the final.
The Sounders attack had struggled mightily while Lodeiro was sidelined with his recent toe injury and away with Uruguay, and the star midfielder showed what makes him so valuable with his second-half leveler. It was a class finish, and exactly the type of play Seattle had sorely lacked during their recent offensive slump. Sounders Head Coach Brian Schmetzer was hoping Lodeiro’s early return would give his team a badly needed shot in the arm, and that’s exactly what he provided on Saturday.
Nico Lodeiro connects for the Sounders first goal against D.C.United | Jane Gershovich
THE WOLFF STRIKES
Wolff Eikrem didn’t start the game, but he certainly finished it off in grand fashion with his late game-winner. The Norwegian did well to get his head to Roldan’s bullet cross, and even better to finish it, giving him his first MLS goal and first across all competitions since he scored against Santa Tecla in CONCACAF Champions League play back in February.
Sounders midfielder Víctor Rodríguez hasn’t been able to play much this season due to a lingering knee injury, but it looks as though he’s finally set to work his way back into the fold. The Spaniard started and went 65 minutes on Saturday, and while he’s still not yet at 90 minutes fitness, it was nonetheless a positive sign for Schmetzer to see another cog in his attack progress. It also means that Seattle’s attack is about as close to full strength as it has been all season in what has so far been an injury-ravaged campaign.
DCU - Darren Mattocks 53'
SEA - Nicolás Lodeiro 57'
SEA - Magnus Wolff Eikrem (Cristian Roldan, Osvaldo Alonso) 83'
SEA - Osvaldo Alonso (Unsporting Behavior) 70'