Fresh off of international duty for Uruguay, captain Nicolás Lodeiro returned to the pitch for Sounders FC in a big way, scoring twice – with a second-half penalty equalizer followed by a stoppage-time match winner – to secure three points for the Rave Green (9-5-5, 32 points) in Central Ohio on Saturday night against Columbus Crew SC (5-13-2, 17 points) at MAPFRE Stadium. Tonight’s match completes a stretch of three matches over the past week, with Seattle recording a home win last Saturday in addition to tonight’s victory over that span. Lodeiro’s two goals bring his 2019 season total to four, good for third on the team, while he now has 27 goals in MLS play (regular season and playoffs) since joining Sounders FC in the summer transfer window of 2016.
MATCH HIGHLIGHTS: https://bit.ly/2JrmoiH
PHOTOS - MATCH IMAGES FOR MEDIA USE: https://bit.ly/30i3fGw
VIDEO - BRIAN SCHMETZER POST-MATCH PRESS CONFERENCE: https://bit.ly/2NEoG39
VIDEO - NICOLAS LODEIRO POST-MATCH MEDIA SCRUM: https://bit.ly/2FZJvzP
VIDEO - KELVIN LEERDAM POST-MATCH MEDIA SCRUM: https://bit.ly/2xwQfAB
AUDIO - DOWNLOADABLE POST-MATCH SOUNDBYTES: http://sndrs.com/audio
Columbus established an early lead via a penalty conversion from Pedro Santos, when referee Chris Penso ruled that the Portuguese winger had been fouled inside his own area by Sounders FC midfielder Danny Leyva. The 13th minute spot-kick gave the home side a 1-0 lead, with Santos bagging his fifth goal of 2019 in the process.
Of note for Sounders FC this evening, two teenagers started for the Rave Green for the first time in club history, as Leyva got the nod alongside fellow Sounders FC Academy product Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez. At 16 years of age, Leyva is Seattle’s youngest-ever First Team signing, with Ocampo-Chavez not far behind at 17 years old.
Seattle found its equalizer through Lodeiro in the 56th minute, who rejoined his club side from Copa America duty with Uruguay earlier this week, as the playmaker wasted little time in reestablishing his impact. Drawing his own penalty attempt, Lodeiro slotted his shot past Joe Bendik, netting his third MLS goal of 2019.
As the game battled on, Sounders FC came upon a couple of second-half chances to take the lead, but was ultimately unable to capitalize before the 90-minute mark. However, with nine minutes of stoppage time, the team continued to press. Kelvin Leerdam – who claimed the late winner for the club against Vancouver last Saturday – nearly scored on a free kick in the 94th minute, but his shot skimmed off the top of the crossbar. With the clock ticking, Lodeiro stepped up to grab his brace, scoring on a header following a long throw-in from Saad Abdul-Salaam. The 96th-minute goal is now tied as the second-latest goal scored in club history (league play), matching Kelvin Leerdam’s goal last week and behind only Will Bruin’s 97th-minute game-winner against Minnesota in August 2018.
After spending six of their past seven league matches away from home, the Rave Green return to the Emerald City for a string of important home dates inside CenturyLink Field. First up for Brian Schmetzer’s side is a match with Atlanta United on Sunday, July 14, with ESPN broadcasting the inter-conference matchup between winners of two of the past three MLS Cup titles (1:00 p.m. PT). Following that contest, Seattle hosts German powerhouse Borussia Dortmund in a midweek international friendly that pits the Rave Green against one of the top sides in European football. That match is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. PT at CenturyLink Field on July 17, with JOEtv providing television coverage throughout Western Washington and YouTube TV carrying the contest regionally. Seattle rounds out the week with a full stadium match against archrival Portland on Sunday, July 21, with the largest crowd of the season expected at CenturyLink Field in addition to another national television audience via FOX Sports 1.
- With tonight's result, Sounders FC remains third in the Western Conference with 32 points (9-5-5), two points shy of second-place LA Galaxy and eight points behind Supporters' Shield-leading LAFC.
- Seattle moves to 6-4-4 all-time against Columbus Crew SC, having earned a 4-2-1 record in Central Ohio since the club’s first year in MLS in 2009.
- Seattle Head Coach Brian Schmetzer rotated eight new players into the group that played midweek at Yankee Stadium versus New York City FC, including returning internationals Nicolás Lodeiro and Román Torres. Lodeiro had not started for the Rave Green since May 26 at Sporting KC prior to departing for Copa America with Uruguay. Torres last started for Seattle on June 1 at FC Dallas prior to the CONCACAF Gold Cup with his native Panama.
- Nicolás Lodeiro converted a penalty attempt in the 56th minute of play, followed by his 96th-minute game-winning strike, good for his third and fourth goals of 2019, respectively. Since joining Seattle in the summer transfer window of 2016, Lodeiro has 27 goals between MLS regular season play and the MLS Cup Playoffs. Lodeiro’s 44 regular season assists in that same span are the most in Sounders FC club history and rank first in MLS since he joined the league.
- Lodeiro’s stoppage-time goal in the 96th minute ties for second-latest goal scored in club history during MLS play, matching Kelvin Leerdam’s 96th-minute goal last weekend and behind only Will Bruin’s 97th-minute game-winner against Minnesota in August of 2018.
- Of note for Sounders FC this evening, two teenagers started for the Rave Green for the first time in club history, as Danny Leyva got the nod alongside fellow Sounders FC Academy product Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez. At 16 years of age, Levya is Seattle’s youngest-ever First Team signing, with Ocampo-Chavez not far behind at 17 years old.
- With Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez making his first start tonight, Seattle has now fielded six teenagers in league play dating back to the club’s 2009 inaugural MLS season. Danny Leyva made his first MLS start one week ago at home against Vancouver, while previous teenage starters for the Rave Green include Cristian Roldan, Nouhou, DeAndre Yedlin and Miguel Montaño.
- After spending six of their past seven league matches away from home, the Rave Green return to the Emerald City for a string of important home matches inside CenturyLink Field. In a span of one week, Sounders FC welcomes Atlanta United on July 14, Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund on July 17 in an international friendly, followed by Portland on July 21.
Seattle Sounders FC 2 – Columbus Crew SC 1
Saturday, July 6, 2019
Venue: MAPFRE Stadium
Referee: Chris Penso
Assistants: Jeffrey Greeson, Eric Boria
Fourth Official: Marcos de Oliveira
VAR: Jose Carlos Rivero
Weather: 76 degrees and scattered showers
CLB – Pedro Santos (penalty) 13’
SEA – Nicolás Lodeiro (penalty) 56’
SEA – Nicolás Lodeiro 90’+6’
CLB – David Guzman (caution) 29’
CLB – Pedro Santos (caution) 42’
SEA – Danny Leyva (caution) 70’
CLB – Artur (caution) 79’
CLB – Harrison Afful (caution) 86’
SEA – Nicolás Lodeiro (caution) 86’
CLB – Luis Argudo (caution) 90’+3’
LINEUPS & STATS
Seattle Sounders FC – Stefan Frei; Kelvin Leerdam, Román Torres, Xavier Arreaga, Brad Smith; Gustav Svensson, Danny Leyva, Alex Roldan (Harry Shipp 68’), Nicolás Lodeiro, Víctor Rodríguez (Justin Dhillon 86’); Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez (Saad Abdul-Salaam 73’)
Substitutes not used: Bryan Meredith, Kim Kee-hee, Nouhou, Jordy Delem
Total shots: 12 (Lodeiro, 4)
Shots on goal: 4 (Lodeiro, 2)
Fouls: 6 (Leyva/Lodeiro, 2)
Corner-kicks: 1 (Lodeiro, 1)
Saves: 1 (Frei, 1)
Columbus Crew SC – Joe Bendik; Harrison Afful, Josh Williams (Alex Crognale 63’), Gaston Sauro, Waylon Francis; David Guzman, Artur, Hector Jimenez (Robinho 68’), Pedro Santos, Luis Argudo; J.J. Williams (Patrick Mullins 76’)
Substitutes not used: Jon Kempin, Aboubacar Keita, Ricardo Clark, Eduardo Sosa
Total shots: 9 (Guzman, 3)
Shots on goal: 2 (Santos/Williams, 1)
Fouls: 16 (Artur, 5)
Offside: 2 (Artur/Mullins, 1)
Corner-kicks: 2 (Guzman/Santos, 1)
Saves: 2 (Bendik, 4)
Post-match soundbytes from Sounders FC Head Coach Brian Schmetzer, defender Kelvin Leerdam and midfielder Nicolás Lodeiro are available for download via the following link: http://sndrs.com/audio.