Seattle Sounders, in do-or-die situation, smashes Whitecaps, 3-0

Seattle Sounders MLS is Back win
Photo of the Seattle Sounders celebrating Nicolas Lodeiro's first-half goal over the Vancouver Whitecaps courtesy of Matthew Stith/Major League Soccer.

Orlando, Florida —ย If you haven’t figured it out, there’s a theme to the Seattle Sounders FC. The club has a history of starting the season slow, picking up in the middle and finishing strong. During three group stage games at the MLS is Back Tournament, the script didn’t change.

The Sounders picked up a do-or-die victory over the Vancouver Whitecaps tonight. However, the win was preceded by a scoreless draw against San Jose and a stunning loss to the Chicago Fire.

While Chicago faltered against San Jose, the Sounders rebounded. Three goals came from three different players in Orlando. Nicolas Lodeiro took an early first-half penalty kick. The call came after Jasser Khmiri was whistled for a handball. It was a harsh call from the referee, but Lodeiro scored regardless.

Jordan Morris closed the first half with a goal. He was busy against the Whitecaps, creating many chances in the first and second half. Morris also had another shot on goal, which was saved by Maxime Crepeau. Raul Ruidiaz followed with his first goal of the tournament on a corner kick in the second half.

Meanwhile, Crepeau left the match in the second half after a collision with Handwalla Bwana. The Sounders striker accidentally put his studs on the hand of Crepeau. Entering the match was 21-year-old goalkeeper Thomas Hasal. The Whitecaps usual backup, Bryan Meredith, is out of the bubble due to the passing of his mother.

Xavier Arreaga — who had a much better evening on defense this evening — left the match about 10 minutes after Crepeau. Arreaga was hit at full speed in the face with a ball from the Whitecaps. After stumbling around, he was checked out by medical officials. The Sounders took no chances, bringing Arreaga out of the match.

Three takeaways from the Seattle Sounders victory

  • Sounders prevailed when they needed: Seattle certainly needs to find a consistent rhythm in this tournament. Right now, the Sounders sit in second place, due to goal differential. They need the Chicago Fire to lose or draw against Vancouver on Thursday to keep second place. No matter what, though, Seattle is heading to the knockout rounds.
  • Schmetzer always has a plan: Brian Schmetzer is one of the best coaches in MLS. There should really be no argument there. Schmetzer didn’t shy away from the pressure on a conference call this week. He said Seattle were desperate for points. And, tonight’s victory showed a desperate, but motivated team.
  • Playoff mentality: If anyone knows how to turn on a playoff mentality, it’s the Sounders. Every year that the Sounders have competed in MLS, the team has made the playoffs. This year looks to be no different, although it’s not a “normal” season. Seattle flipped the switch when they needed to tonight. Now, they need to keep the momentum in the playoffs.

All of the Seattle goals vs. Vancouverย 

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