SOCCER

Sounders vs RSL recap: Really salty

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SEATTLE — The Seattle Sounders hosted Real Salt Lake on Sunday night with a chance to get back into playoff position and overtake RSL in the process. Instead, RSL ended the series sweep with a 2-1 win at Lumen Field. The Sounders appeared to have struck first in the 12th minute through a Raúl Ruidíaz shot that hit the crossbar and deflected off goalkeeper Zac Macmath and into the net, but the goal was called up for offside on Nico Lodeiro during building. -at the top.

Just over 30 minutes in, RSL won the ball into their defensive end and quickly rolled through Seattle for Sergio Cordova who only had Alex Roldan to beat before being in a 1-v-1 with Stefan Frei. Nouhou came back and managed to force a clumsy shot which was saved but the rebound fell on Cordova who had a fairly easy finish to open the scoring. After that point, it was clear what kind of night the Sounders were destined for, as the disallowed goal seemed to completely pull the wind out of their sails.

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Albert Rusnák leveled the game in the 62nd minute, capping a solid game from Seattle to start the second half, but as soon as the goal was scored the Sounders conceded at the other end. Just 90 seconds after Rusnák’s goal, Andrew Brody was unmarked at the far post and slotted a cross past Frei to retake the RSL victory. There were more than a few near misses for the Sounders to take something from the game in the final minutes, but ultimately their defensive lapses and offensive failures earlier in the game left too much to overcome.

The Sounders have now played both games of their series against RSL and Nashville SC and have taken 0 points from a possible 12. Seattle is only one point out of the playoffs, but with the way things are going, it seems hard to believe they’re going to be able to close the gap.

4′ — The first real effort of the night comes for the Sounders as Raúl Ruidíaz cuts inside from the left and fires a shot from the top of the box, but he flies over the bar.

15′ — After video review, a Raúl Ruidíaz goal is recalled as Nico Lodeiro was apparently offside during the build-up.

30′ – Seattle sets up its first truly dangerous attack after the disallowed goal, this time with Alex Roldan slotting in a tantalizing cross that is out for a corner.

32′ — RSL takes the lead. Sergio Cordova enters behind the defense, then plays around Stefan Frei before heading home. 1-0 RSL

55′ — Albert Rusnák plays Jordan Morris from behind and his cut finds Cristian Roldan near the penalty spot, but Roldan fires his shot wide of the net.

62′ — Rusnak equalises! A layoff from Lodeiro at the top of the box leaves none. 11 with the ball before dribbling inside and hitting a low shot into the corner. 1-1

64′ — Immediately at the other end, RSL regained the lead. Left-back Andrew Brody runs unmarked at the far post and finishes the first time. 2-1 RSL

75′ — RSL almost added to their lead but Frei made a great dive to snatch the ball in the air.

87′ — Fredy Montero closes in for the header, but the attempt goes just over the bar.

Something is broken: I’m no football expert, there’s a reason I’m writing recaps here rather than working for a team that comes up with tactics and game plans. I can tell, however, that something is wrong. Sure, the team have struggled since the losses of João Paulo and Obed Vargas, leaving an unfilled spot in midfield – although Danny Leyva certainly made his point tonight – but individuals and this team are failing in a way that just seems out of place. Guys like Nico Lodeiro, Cristian Roldan and Albert Rusnák regularly have their pockets stolen. The whole defense falls asleep and apparently everyone forgets how and when to shoot. Perhaps the weight of trying to pull the team out of the crisis, only to fall back into it again, proved too much for their collective souls to bear. I don’t know, but they have to find a way to fix it before the time is really up.

This midfield hole: Since Obed Vargas came out injured, Brian Schmetzer has been looking for a possible long-term option with no timetable for Vargas’ return and João Paulo out for the season. The team tried a number of options, but none of them really stuck, with most of the guys tried on the spot not being naturals for the role. Tonight, after trying Cristian Roldan in the double pivot alongside Rusnák for a while, Schmetzer gave Leyva the nod. While he wasn’t perfect, Leyva put in one of the best performances for Seattle on the night, and more importantly did the things the team needs from someone in that role. He completed his passes, didn’t give up the ball easily, made a few tackles and added 3 interceptions and 5 digs. If he can build on this performance, it will be a good sign for the club.

Ruidíaz is (almost) back: It had been a while – over a month – since Ruidíaz started for the Sounders. The last time was July 9, to be exact. He was back in the starting XI tonight and looked dangerous at times. He even seemed to have opened the scoring early on, only to have his goal scored due to an offside call earlier in the game. Although he didn’t finish with a goal or an assist tonight, there’s no denying that Seattle is more likely to score goals with him on the field. He rebuilds up to 90 minutes of fitness, and the team needs to make sure they take a long-term approach with his health, because the more often they can have him in the game, the more real shot they’ll be able to get. inch.

Things looked good for a brief moment.

0 – The Seattle Sounders took 0 points out of a possible 12 points in their 4 games against Nashville SC and RSL.


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