Raúl Ruidíaz, Handwalla Bwana find the net in Sounders win over Orlando

Handwalla Bwana flip
PHOTO: Handwalla Bwana celebrates his goal against Orlando City SC with what he called an "Oba backflip." Photo courtesy of Charis Wilson/Seattle Sounders FC.

Seattle, Washington (May 16, 2019) — Handwalla Bwana did a cartwheel of sorts and then transformed that into a backflip. Bwana called it the “Oba backflip,” referencing former Seattle Sounders strike Obafemi Martins.

Martins’ signature celebration was a backflip. Normally when athletes do backflips on the pitch, coaches wince or even look away. Brian Schmetzer wasn’t there to see the backflip. He was likely celebrating Bwana’s goal over Orlando City SC with his coaching staff and players on the bench. However, he did hear word of the flip in his post-game press conference.

Raúl Ruidíaz, Handwalla Bwana find the net in Sounders win over Orlando

Schmetzer gave the most Schmetzer response.

“I didn’t see it,” Schmetzer said. “Did he really do an Oba flip? I was trying to gauge the referee’s body language to see where he was going on the review. I wasn’t paying attention to Handwalla. If he does that and gets injured, I’m going to kill him.”

There was no injury on the celebration, just joy. Bwana has featured in five matches this season, starting three. His goal against Orlando was his first tally of the season. Meanwhile, Raúl Ruidíaz tallied the first goal of the night in the 19th minute. Ruidíaz hasn’t found the back of the net since March 16 against the Chicago Fire. Ruidíaz went down with injury against the Vancouver Whitecaps and made his first appearance back against Minnesota United FC earlier this month.

“All of us forward players want to score,” Ruidíaz said, through a translator. “If we don’t, it’s not a good moment. But, the important thing was that we got the three points in that game [referencing the Houston game] and another three points today.”

Sounders goalkeeper Stefan Frei didn’t have a busy night. However, in the 75th minute, Chris Mueller let one slip by him. It wasn’t enough for the Lions to snag any points at CenturyLink Field.

With another three points, Seattle has jumped up to second place in the Western Conference. Meanwhile, Orlando sits in 10th place in the Eastern Conference.

What Orlando City SC said

James O’Connor didn’t hide his disappointment in his side’s ability to not scoop a single point on the road in Seattle.

“I think, as we said, we feel as if we had a decent amount of possession,” O’Connor. “We caused them some problems, but I think overall the killer instinct and final piece we just need. Great little bit of magic from Chris [Mueller], great goal. One [chance] before, perhaps if we can get something from it.”

However, O’Connor did applaud his player’s fight throughout the match.

“The fight that the players showed, again, I thought it’s really rough for them because I feel as if we deserve a little bit more than we’re getting at the moment,” O’Connor said. “I think the second goal we looked a little bit lax, but overall I thought the effort and the commitment that the guys showed was really good.”

What’s Next? 

Talk about no days off for the Seattle Sounders. This match was the second of three matches in the span of eight days. The Sounders will now hit the road for a contest against the Philadelphia Union this Saturday.

Saturday’s contest will begin at 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT.

Meanwhile, Orlando City SC will take on FC Cincinnati this Sunday at 3 p.m. ET at Orlando City Stadium.

PHOTO: Handwalla Bwana celebrates his goal against Orlando City SC with what he called an “Oba backflip.” Photo courtesy of Charis Wilson/Seattle Sounders FC.

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