BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. – The Seattle Sounders shot out to another fast start, getting goals from Víctor Rodríguez, Jordan Morris, Raúl Ruidíaz and a penalty kick tally from Nicolás Lodeiro before staving off a second-half comeback effort, eventually grabbing a 4-2 victory over the Chicago Fire at SeatGeek Stadium on Saturday.
Raheem Edwards and Fabian Herbers netted for Chicago in the second half, but Ruidíaz came through with a late insurance tally to seal the 4-2 scoreline.
It was the first road match of the season for Seattle, which opened the season with victories over FC Cincinnati and the Colorado Rapids, moving the club to a perfect 3-0-0 on the young season with the result.
The Sounders came out firing from the opening whistle, with Rodríguez opening the scoring in just the eighth minute after Morris found him in front of goal with a pinpoint cross, allowing the Spaniard to tap in an easy finish for the 1-0 lead.
Morris then doubled that just seven minutes later, trapping a gorgeous feed from Lodeiro and slotting home a highlight reel finish past Chicago goalkeeper David Ousted to give Seattle the 2-0 advantage it would take into halftime.
Lodeiro then added the Sounders’ third of the day, his first of the season, just after second-half kickoff after Rodríguez was taken down in the Chicago box, drawing a penalty kick whistle from referee Joseph Dickerson. The Uruguayan's shot drilled the crossbar but crossed the line to push the lead to 3-0.
The hosts pulled one back, however, just minutes after Lodeiro’s goal after Edwards got free in the box and cashed home a wide-open headed finish from point-blank range, cutting Seattle’s lead to 3-1. Herbers made the last few minutes interesting with another tally to make to cut it to a one-goal lead, but Ruidíaz’s late insurance tally would seal the three-point result.
The Sounders’ red-hot starts were a key talking point coming off their victories over FC Cincinnati and the Colorado Rapids, and the question coming into Saturday was whether they could sustain the trend in their first away match of the season. That question was answered emphatically, as Rodriguez struck just eight minutes after kickoff, after Leerdam opened the scoring in just the fifth minute last week against the Rapids. With Morris’ golazo in the 15th, the Sounders were on the front foot again, before Lodeiro’s PK afforded them the three-goal cushion.
FREI STEPS UP
The front four is rolling at the moment and will rightfully garner most of the headlines, but spare a thought for Stefan Frei, who paved the way for the result with a pair of massive saves in the first half, including a highlight-reel diving denial of Chicago midfielder Przemyslaw Frankowski late in the first half off a curling strike that would have cut Seattle’s lead in half. The Sounders’ 32-year-old backstop looks locked in through the club’s first three contests.
MORRIS MAKES A CASE
With three goals and one assist through three games, Morris isn’t just dominating at the club level. He’s making a strong case for a feature role on the U.S. national team, which he left to join for camp in Orlando immediately following Saturday’s game. It might be an unexpected developed for the 24-year-old to find himself back in the mix for Gregg Berhalter’s crew this quickly, but he’s looked nothing short of dynamic three MLS games. With a strong camp, Morris only stands to strengthen the case.