The Seattle Sounders suffered a disappointing 2-1 loss to the Chicago Fire on Tuesday morning at the MLS is Back Tournament in Orlando, Fla.
Rolling out a rotated lineup, the Rave Green controlled possession for much of the first half, with their intricate passing sequences leading to chances for Shandon Hopeau, Miguel Ibarra and Raúl Ruidíaz. With Chicago content to sit back, soak up pressure and hit on the counter, the Rave Green were made to pay for their inefficiency in front of net in the first half, as a defensive miscue on a long clearance from the Fire led to a breakaway goal for Robert Berić in the 52nd minute.
The Rave Green eventually grabbed an equalizer in the 77th minute when Jordan Morris’ pinpoint cross found the run of Handwalla Bwana, who duly tapped it home. Looking the more likely side to steal three points late in the match, another defensive lapse led to a simple tap-in for Fire center back Mauricio Pineda from a corner kick.
Pushing numbers forward in search of a second equalizer, the Sounders continued to pump dangerous crosses into the box for the final 20 minutes of the match, but ultimately fell short against a resolute Fire back line.
Seattle's final fixture of the group stage comes against the Vancouver Whitecaps on Sunday (7:30 p.m. PT; FS1, 950 KJR AM).
Much like the opening match against San Jose, it was the Sounders who carved out the better chances in the first half but were unable to capitalize. While the Rave Green did manage to score their first goal of the tournament in the second half, their profligacy in front of goal in the opening period came back to bit them. Alex Roldan provided an immediate spark off the bench in the second half, whipping in numerous dangerous crosses, but the Sounders struggled to translate that quality service into concrete chances on goal.
Seattle largely controlled the tempo of both halves on Tuesday morning, limiting the Fire to sporadic counter attacks. But two defensive lapses in the second half – one from the run of play the second from a corner kick – saw the Fire make the most of their chances in front of goal. With just one point through the first two matches, the margin for error is extremely narrow entering the final match of the group stage.
Must-win Game Against Whitecaps
Still without a win at the MLS is Back Tournament, the Sounders will need to pick up three points against the Vancouver Whitecaps to have any chance of advancing to the knockout rounds. With four third-placed teams able to progress, the Rave Green must secure maximum points from this Cascadia Clash if they hope to make out of the group stage.