Cristian Roldan vs. Union 2019-05-18
USA Today

Seattle Sounders earn hard-fought road point in scoreless draw at Philadelphia Union

The Seattle Sounders and the Philadelphia Union battled to a scoreless draw at Talen Energy Stadium in Chester, Penn., on Saturday.

Each team had chances in the first half, but Will Bruin and Nicolás Lodeiro couldn’t convert, while goalkeeper Stefan Frei made an array of big saves to allow the visitors to see out the clean sheet and earn a point. The Sounders move to 7-1-5 with 26 points from 13 matches.

THREE TAKEAWAYS

ROTATED SQUAD STEPS UP

Already missing Jordan Morris, Víctor Rodríguez and Gustav Svensson with hamstring injuries and contending with fixture congestion as well as a long road trip, it was a mix-and-matched Starting XI from Head Coach Brian Schmetzer, who employed a 5-3-2 formation. Alex Roldan and Jonathan Campbell each made their first start of the season, and regular starters Raúl Ruidíaz, Kelvin Leerdam and Brad Smith all began on the bench. It’s not a team that’s played together much, if at all, but on Saturday, the Sounders’ depth stepped up.

FREI-DAY

Frei has been a standout performer all season, and Seattle doesn’t get this point without some more heroics from their veteran goalkeeper on Saturday. Frei made three huge saves to deny the Union, including a mammoth diving save to deny Haris Medunjanin of a highlight-reel free-kick goal in the second half that saw him sprawl out to get his fingertips to a curling effort that was headed straight for the top corner of the net. He also kept out a Kacper Przybylko header from six yards out with a brilliant reflex save.

ROAD TRIP CONTINUES

This was the start of one of the most travel-heavy stretches of the season for Seattle, as the club still has five of six away from the confines of CenturyLink Field after this one. Up next is Sporting Kansas City on Sunday, May 26 (3 p.m. PT; FS1, YouTube TV, 950 KJR AM, El Rey 1360 AM), with FC Dallas and the Montreal Impact on deck after that. The Sounders don’t play at home again until a matchup with the Vancouver Whitecaps on June 29 (7 p.m. PT; JOEtv, YouTube TV, 950 KJR AM, El Rey 1360 AM | TICKETS), so look for the depth to continue to be called upon while Schmetzer manages this stretch.

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