Roldan’s brace lifts Sounders over Quakes

Seattle_Sounders_FC.svgSEATTLE, WA—(Sounders release) Seattle Sounders FC (8-7-6, 30 points) claimed its second home victory in five days on Sunday evening, as the Rave Green rode three second-half goals to defeat the San Jose Earthquakes (7-9-5, 26 points) in front of 43,528 fans at CenturyLink Field.

Cristian Roldan scored the fastest sequential goals in Sounders FC history to spark Seattle’s win, with the former University of Washington midfielder bagging tallies in the 54th and 56th minutes. Dutch international Kelvin Leerdam recorded his first goal for Seattle in the 65th minute after signing with the club as a TAM-level player earlier this month, sealing the match at 3-0.

The win puts a three-point buffer between the home side and San Jose in the race for the MLS Cup Playoffs, with Seattle currently tied with Portland for fourth place in the Western Conference on 30 points. Tonight’s victory follows Seattle’s historic 4-3 win over D.C. United on Wednesday, with Sounders FC becoming the first team in MLS history to overcome a three-goal deficit to win a regular season match in regulation play (4,916 all-time games).

(Cover photo: Jane Gershovich, Sounders FC.)

With the match scoreless early in the second half, Roldan recorded a pair of back-to-back goals, giving the versatile midfielder a new career high of five on the season. In the 54thminute, Leerdam sent a long throw-in toward the area that found Gustav Svensson for a flick-on header right to Roldan, who headed the ball into the back of the net for the 1-0 lead. Moments after the restart, Roldan made it 2-0 on a breakaway, besting Victor Bernardez on a 50-50 ball deep inside Earthquakes territory and pushing a shot past goalkeeper David Bingham. It addition to establishing a new career high, tonight marked the first multi-goal game of Roldan’s career. It also set a new Sounders FC club record for fastest time between two goals scored by a single player (MLS regular season only), beating Fredy Montero’s mark of two goals inside three minutes on May 9, 2012.

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Cristian Roldan celebrates his second goal with the team. His two goals marked the quickest brace in club history (league play). (Jane Gershovich, Sounders FC)

Leerdam – making his first Sounders FC start since signing earlier this month – gave the home side a 3-0 lead in the 65th minute on an assist from Joevin Jones. The Trinidad & Tobago international sent a sharp corner-kick through the crowd in front of goal that found Leerdam for an easy tap-in. The Dutch fullback nearly scored his second minutes later, but his volley from distance just missed and hit the side netting.

The assist gives Jones nine on the season, one shy of the league lead and the most by a defender in MLS since 2003.

Riding a three-match winning streak and unbeaten in five MLS games, Seattle hits the road for a nationally-televised contest on Saturday, July 29 in Los Angeles (7:00 p.m. PT / ESPN, KIRO Radio 97.3 FM, El Rey 1360 AM). Saturday’s match is the second of three overall against the Galaxy in 2017, with Seattle previously claiming three points at StubHub Center on April 23 in a 3-0 victory. The two teams close their regular season series on September 10 in Seattle.

MATCH NOTES
  • With wins in its past three matches and a five-match unbeaten streak (3-0-2), Sounders FC currently sits tied with Portland for fourth place in the Western Conference with 30 points (8-7-6).
  • With the win, Sounders FC captures the 2017 Heritage Cup after the two sides drew 1-1 in San Jose earlier this season. The Heritage Cup was established in 2009 as a competition between Sounders FC and the San Jose Earthquakes, honoring MLS clubs named after their cities’ NASL predecessors.
  • Cristian Roldan’s brace marked the first multi-goal match of his career and also established a new career high with five goals on the season. It also set a new Sounders FC club record for fastest time between two goals scored by a single player, beating Fredy Montero’s mark of two goals inside three minutes on May 9, 2012.
  • Newest signing Kelvin Leerdam earned his first MLS start on Sunday evening, then proceeded to record his first goal and assist for Sounders FC. The Dutch fullback signed with Seattle on July 1 and made his MLS debut as a substitute on Wednesday vs. D.C. United.
  • Joevin Jones recorded his ninth assist of the season on Leerdam’s goal, bringing him one shy of the top mark in MLS. His nine assists are the most by a listed MLS defender since 2003.
  • Stefan Frei made three saves en route to his sixth shutout of the season. The 2017 MLS All-Star selection now has 33 shutouts in 118 regular-season appearances with Seattle.
  • Sounders FC has scored at least three goals in three consecutive matches for the first time in franchise history, while the seven goals scored in the past two games is the first such instance since 2014.
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