With the 2020 Major League Soccer season in the books, let’s take a look back at the top five Seattle Sounders saves this year. Note: These are listed in chronological order.
Stefan Frei vs. LAFC — July 27
Down two goals but still within touching distance of LAFC, Frei produced a fantastic point-blank save on a breakaway against Diego Rossi. After beating the offside trap, Rossi had the entire goal at his mercy, only for Frei to deny a sure score with his trailing leg.
Stefan Frei at Portland Timbers — August 23
Sounders FC Head Coach Brian Schmetzer is fond of saying that goals change games. That old adage rings especially true for Frei's clutch stop against Sebastian Blanco in the first meeting between these Cascadia rivals in 2020. Protecting a one-goal lead, Frei kept his composure and pulled off a miraculous diving save to deny the Timbers an equalizer. The Rave Green would go on to win the match 3-0.
Stefan Frei at Real Salt Lake — September 2
After RSL scored an equalizer in the 84th minute, the momentum had shifted firmly back in favor of the hosts. Frei was called upon to make a series of saves as Seattle clung on for a vital road point, but he saved his best stop for the waning moments of the match. Salt Lake generated a free header from a set piece in the 89th minute, with Marcelo Silva steering a powerful header toward the bottom left corner. Somehow, Frei got his feet set and hurled himself down to his right, pawing away the would-be game-winning goal for RSL.
Stefan Frei at Colorado Rapids — November 1
Stefan Frei and making ridiculous saves in Colorado: name a more iconic duo.
In 2018, Frei repelled a tap-in goal at Dick's Sporting Goods Park, which won the MLS Save of the Year, and then pulled off a nearly identical stop in away match with the Rapids the following season. This year, he once again supplied a moment of magic, making himself big and denying a powerful Nicolás Mezquida from inside the six-yard box.
Alex Roldan at LA Galaxy — November 4
Not all saves are made by goalkeepers.
With Seattle fighting for playoff positioning late in the season, Alex Roldan helped the Sounders secure a critical road point, which eventually translated to the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference. After Frei had spilled a corner kick, stranding the Seattle goalkeeper in no-man's land, the Galaxy had the entire goalmouth open. Out of nowhere, Roldan flew through the air and headed the ball into the underside of the crossbar. It was the type of save that a goalkeeper would be proud of, let alone a right back.