Nicolás Lodeiro scored a brace and Raúl Ruidíaz added another as Sounders FC (6-2-3, 21 points) earned a 3-0 home win over Los Angeles FC (4-5-3, 15 points) on Friday evening at CenturyLink Field. The win vaults Seattle to first place in the Western Conference with 21 points, one point ahead of Sporting Kansas City. Brian Schmetzer’s side returns to action on Wednesday, September 23 against the Portland Timbers at Providence Park (7:00 p.m. PT / JOEtv, Amazon Prime Video, 950 KJR AM, El Rey 1360 AM).
MATCH HIGHLIGHTS: https://sndrs.com/tr5f2
PHOTOS - IMAGES FOR MEDIA USE: https://sndrs.com/kcmq6
VIDEO - BRIAN SCHMETZER POST-MATCH PRESS CONFERENCE: https://sndrs.com/dsyhx
VIDEO - STEFAN FREI & RAÚL RUIDÍAZ POST-MATCH PRESS CONFERENCE: https://sndrs.com/r6uxp
AUDIO - DOWNLOADABLE POST-MATCH SOUNDBYTES: http://sndrs.com/audio
Lodeiro put Seattle up 2-0 in the first half with a pair of penalties in the 29th and 34th minutes, following fouls inside the area by Dejan Jakovic and Latif Blessing, respectively. Lodeiro now has four goals on the season, all from the penalty spot, making him 14-14 career in MLS regular season play.
Ruidíaz made it 3-0 in the 82nd minute with his team-leading eighth goal of the season. The Peruvian got on the end of a João Paulo through ball into the area and smashed a right-footed shot past LAFC goalkeeper Pablo Sisniega. Ruidíaz is tied for second in the MLS Golden Boot race, two goals behind LAFC’s Diego Rossi.
- With penalty kick goals scored four minutes apart in the 29th and 33rd minutes of play, club captain Nico Lodeiro recorded his third and fourth goals of 2020. Since signing with Sounders FC in the summer transfer window of 2016, Lodeiro has 29 regular-season goals for the Rave Green. Of those tallies, 14 have come from the penalty spot.
- Lodeiro has never missed a penalty for Sounders FC in the regular season. Since 2016, the Uruguayan playmaker is 14 for 14 from the spot.
- Lodeiro’s two penalties came four minutes and five seconds apart, the quickest a team has scored two penalties in a league match since Houston Dynamo vs. Real Salt Lake on April 1, 2010 (two minutes and 19 seconds).
- Tonight’s goals for Lodeiro move him into sole possession of fifth on the club’s all-time regular season scoring list (30), jumping ahead of Raúl Ruidíaz (29) and Lamar Neagle (28). Lodeiro is now one goal behind Jordan Morris (31) on this list.
- Raúl Ruidíaz scored the match’s final goal, giving him eight goals on the year and 29 in regular season play since the summer of 2018. So far in 2020, the Peruvian is tied for second in the MLS Golden Boot race with Columbus’ Gyasi Zardes, trailing LAFC forward Diego Rossi by two goals.
- João Paulo earned an assist on Ruidíaz’s goal, his third of the year in eight regular season games.
- Sounders FC moves to 3-4-1 all-time against LAFC in all competitions (including postseason play). The win marks the second Seattle victory since play resumed following the MLS is Back Tournament, with the Rave Green recording a 3-1 win over LAFC on August 30. That match was also played inside CenturyLink Field.
- Since returning to regular season play following the MLS is Back Tournament, Seattle has played seven matches, all against Western Conference opposition. In those games, Seattle has scored 19 goals and conceded six.
- Following tonight’s two-goal performance and a seven-goal outburst versus San Jose on September 10, Seattle now has the top goal difference in Major League Soccer (+17). The club also holds the league’s best-performing attack (26 goals scored).
- Goalkeeper Stefan Frei and his backline earned their fourth shutout of 2020. For Frei, it was his 80th career regular-season clean sheet dating back to his rookie year with Toronto FC in 2009.
- Following tonight’s result, Seattle jumps back to the top spot in the Western Conference, one point ahead of Sporting Kansas City and three points ahead of third-place Minnesota United.
Seattle Sounders FC 3 – Los Angeles FC 0
Friday, September 18, 2020
Venue: CenturyLink Field
Referee: Joseph Dickerson
Assistants: Cameron Blanchard, Mike Rottersman
Fourth Official: Brad Jensen
VAR: Timothy Ford
Attendance: Closed Door
Weather: 64 degrees and light rain
SEA – Nicolás Lodeiro (penalty) 29’
SEA – Nicolás Lodeiro (penalty) 33’
SEA – Raúl Ruidíaz (João Paulo) 82’
LAFC – Jose Cifuentes (caution) 54’
SEA – Xavier Arreaga (caution) 63’
SEA – Nicolás Lodeiro (caution) 71’
SEA – Yeimar Gómez Andrade (caution) 84’
LAFC – Andy Najar (caution) 90’+4’
LINEUPS & STATS
Seattle Sounders FC - Stefan Frei; Kelvin Leerdam (Miguel Ibarra 88’), Yeimar Gómez Andrade, Xavier Arreaga, Nouhou; Cristian Roldan, João Paulo, Joevin Jones (Alex Roldan 71’), Nicolás Lodeiro, Jordan Morris (Shane O’Neill 87’); Raúl Ruidíaz (Will Bruin 90’)
Substitutes not used: Trey Muse, Stefan Cleveland, Handwalla Bwana, Josh Atencio
Total shots: 11 (Lodeiro/Ruidíaz, 3)
Shots on goal: 7 (Lodeiro, 3)
Fouls: 14 (Gómez Andrade, 3)
Corner-kicks: 5 (Lodeiro, 5)
Saves: 2 (Frei, 2)
Los Angeles FC – Pablo Sisniega; Latif Blessing, Dejan Jakovic, Eddie Segura, Diego Palacios; Francisco Ginella (Eduard Atuesta HT), Jose Cifuentes (Danny Mosovski 69’), Mark-Anthony Kaye; Brian Rodriguez (Adrien Perez 69’), Bradley Wright-Phillips (Andy Najar HT), Diego Rossi (Christian Torres 87’)
Substitutes not used: Kenneth Vermeer, Jordan Harvey, Mohamed El-Munir, Bryce Duke
Total shots: 11 (Rossi, 3)
Shots on goal: 2 (Rodriguez/Rossi, 1)
Fouls: 16 (Blessing, 5)
Offside: 3 (Three players, 1)
Corner-kicks: 6 (Rodriguez, 3)
Saves: 4 (Sisniega, 4)