The Seattle Sounders visited Canada for a short weekend trip and posted a 2-0 victory over Toronto FC. After the frustrating 1-2 loss at home to CF Montreal, the victory, with a heavily rotated squad, was very rewarding. Stefan Frei, Jordan Morris, Cristian Roldan and Albert Rusnák stayed home and were given a chance to rest, while Stefan Cleveland, Léo Chú, Dylan Teves and Danny Leyva started in their places. Kelyn Rowe was allowed to start on the bench, and Jimmy Medranda stepped in at left back as the Sounders went 5-4-1 with a boxy midfield.
The Sounders opened the scoring late in the first half through Dylan Teves’ first career MLS goal, scored in his first MLS start, no less. The play began with Stefan Cleveland’s long pass down the left side of the field to Medranda. Medranda slid the ball forward for Léo Chú to run towards him, at which point Chú walked Toronto Designated Player center-back Carlos Salcedo and hit a low cross into the box that Teves finished off for the first time.
Toronto really started to put the pressure on after the first goal, looking to get back into the game. 9 of Toronto’s 13 total shots came after Teves scored, but despite all their effort, it was the Sounders who created the best chances and finished the best on time. Jackson Ragen threw the ball wide to Alex Roldán, who cut into the field and found Fredy Montero. Montero returned the ball to Nico Lodeiro with his first touch and began his run down the baseline. Lodeiro returned the ball and Montero conceded with only Quentin Westberg to beat. The Sounders had chances to add to the tally, but will happily settle for a clean sheet and a two-goal win on the road. This victory moves the team to fourth place in the Western Conference. Seattle returns home to host the Portland Timbers on Saturday, July 9 at 1:30 p.m.
10′ — Léo Chú steals the ball in Toronto’s defensive zone and shoots towards the goal. He cuts the ball back for Danny Leyva who finds Nico Lodeiro, but Lodeiro’s shot is high and wide.
22′ — Dylan Teves crosses for Fredy Montero at the near post after pressure from Seattle creates another dangerous turnover on the Toronto winger, but he is cornered.
39′ — Dylan Teves! Léo Chú beats Carlos Salcedo on the wing and sends a low cross that Teves directs to the back of the net in his first start in MLS! 1-0 Mermaids
52′ — Alex Roldan sends a great cross into the area with players packing the small area, but Salcedo manages to clear.
54′ — Stefan Cleveland makes an excellent kick stop to deny Toronto a dangerous look, then manages to clean up the fumble after a lucky deflection by Nouhou.
60′ — Montero doubles the lead after he and Lodeiro play some clever back-and-forth through the Toronto defence! With only the goalkeeper to beat, Montero finished off calmly. 2-0 Mermaids
83′ — Ralph Priso shoots a curling shot to the far post, but Cleveland dives to his right and catches the ball to its full length to deny any rebounding opportunity.
90′ — Reed Baker-Whiting almost opened his account after making a strong run to receive a through ball from Nouhou, but the keeper did well to block the shot.
Nico Lodeiro does everything: Nico Lodeiro, No. 10 in all the Seattle Sounders action, played a line from where we normally see him alongside Danny Leyva against Toronto. Not for the first time this season, Lodeiro took a place right in front of the centre-backs and instead of being less dangerous or impactful in the future, he left his fingerprints on everything the team did. On a short break, Lodeiro spent the full 90 minutes covering every inch of turf, leading the team in touches and leading both teams with 14 recoveries while also shooting with additional defensive work. Oh, and he had the assist on the second goal. Lodeiro is a gift and it’s easy to forget how good he is.
This is what a healthy development system looks like: The Sounders prepared a game day roster in which 10 of the 18 available players came from the Sounders Academy or Tacoma Defiance. 6 of those players are homegrown players, and Jackson Ragen isn’t by definition a roster mechanic, but he’s just as homegrown as the rest of them. This team had experience in the USL Championship and MLS Next Pro, and they did a lot more than fill and wait for one of the regular starters to come in the clutch. Danny Leyva held the center of midfield while Lodeiro did Lodeiro things. Dylan Teves opened the scoring with his first MLS goal, and Josh Atencio, Ethan Dobbelaere and Reed Baker-Whiting came on to close out the game and nearly helped score a third goal. This is what a healthy development system looks like, and this is how you build a top-tier club.
Fredy Montero is not finished yet: I’ll be honest, I haven’t always been excited to see Fredy Montero start this season. I’ve sometimes thought that what Will Bruin offers is a better fit for the way the team and the players around him want to play, and I think there have been a couple of games where Montero has looked a bit out of place. That was not the case tonight. Fredy Montero showed how much quality he has to offer through his clean passes, clever movement and his well-taken goal. But he also offers commitment and defensive work that wasn’t exactly his calling card in his first stint in Seattle. Montero’s pressure and defensive work from the front made life that much harder for Toronto, and while his game-leading 26 duels were rarely successful (he is credited with winning 32% of their duels), that pressure allowed the players behind him compete and win more seconds. balls. I didn’t expect to get all of that from Montero in what appears to be his last hurrah, but it’s clear how much it means to him.
Dylan Teves opens his account.
“These performances don’t come out of nowhere, we prepare for them throughout the week. I would feel comfortable playing anyone on the roster and anyone on the Defiance roster.” Cleveland continued the club culture and shared the preparation that led to this victory.
— Defense and Boostice (@timostlundfoss) July 3, 2022
1,666 – It has been 1,666 days since Toronto FC last beat the Seattle Sounders. This was Seattle’s fourth victory against TFC since then.
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