Considering the Seattle Sounders have already won the Concacaf Champions League this year, beating the defending MLS Cup champions and two other quality Liga MX opponents in the process, it seems a bit silly to continue to place too much importance on the called “measuring stick”. “parties. reality is us to know what they are capable of, it is only a matter of showing it in any match.
Still, Saturday’s matchup against Supporters’ Shield leaders LAFC was another data point we can use to bolster our assessments.
In that sense, I think the 1-1 draw provided just a little more evidence that the Sounders are at least capable of adding another trophy to their cabinet this season.
It was hardly a perfect performance, far from it. The Sounders generated some decent chances, but it took a pretty serious mistake from normally reliable LAFC goalkeeper Maxime Crépeau to get their goal. On the other hand, the Sounders mostly limited LAFC’s chances, but still needed Stefan Frei to pull off some massive saves.
But in the end, the two sides played as evenly as they could. The expected goals of both teams were separated by only 0.06, a meaningless amount, which shows a lot of quality despite the fact that neither team was in top form. It was also a mostly entertaining match, with two evenly matched teams exchanging blows.
“We didn’t play bad, but we didn’t play that good either,” Sounders midfielder Albert Rusnák said after scoring his first league goal of the season. “In the end, we got a point, but it feels like a loss.”
That the Sounders seemed genuinely disappointed with the result was probably a good thing. LAFC had come into this game with the best record in the league and the highest scoring offense, and was well-rested. Although the Sounders had won 4 of 5, they were on just three days’ rest and much closer to the middle of the pack in almost every metric.
However, the disappointment came from how the game played out. After a slow start, the Sounders were doing a better job of getting into dangerous positions and when they took the lead through Rusnák’s goal, in which he did a better job of anticipating where Crepeau wanted to pass than LAFC’s Ilie Sánchez, it seemed like a deserved prominence.
Shortly after Rusnák’s goal, the Sounders also seemed to dodge a pretty big bullet when Stefan Frei made one of his signature big-moment saves, twice stopping LAFC from close range in a sequence that will be added immediately to your reel of lo highlight of his career.
The farewell came about 15 minutes later. Nouhou had just been moved to center back to replace Xavier Arreaga and needed to be a bit stronger in his aerial challenge with Cristian Arango near the penalty area. Not only did Arrango win the head butt, he floored Nouhou in what looked like some pretty mundane contact. That gave Arrango a bit more room to run into a header that basically went over Frei and into the far post.
The fact that the Sounders haven’t been able to hold onto the lead probably doesn’t tell us much new, except perhaps that the depth of central defense could be a bit reduced if Arreaga is out for an extended period and Yeimar Gomez Andrade can’t. come back soon I think Rusnák and Obed Vargas once again formed a perfect couple in the double pivot; Jordan Morris is getting closer to his pre-injury form; Nicolás Lodeiro looks as good as ever; and Frei remains an elite goalkeeper in MLS.
Right now, there’s every reason to think the Sounders will continue their run up the Western Conference table and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they face LAFC in the playoffs for the third time in four years. For now, however, they will only have to worry about this.
“He’s a little quiet in the locker room, and for good reason,” Sounders coach Brian Schmetzer said after the game. “The boys are disappointed, we are disappointed, not being able to close, and give away a goal like that where individual duels hurt a little.
“We don’t come in looking at LAFC as Supporters Shield winners, they’re just the leaders. That’s playoff-type football.”