Sounders fight past Toronto for fifth win

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Will Bruin scored twice as Seattle beat Toronto. (Mike Fiechtner / Sounders FC Communications)

Seattle_Sounders_FC.svgSEATTLE, WASH. – Seattle Sounders FC continued its franchise-best start to a season with a hard-fought 3-2 victory over Eastern Conference side Toronto FC (3-1-1, 10 points), as the Rave Green (5-0-1, 16 points) came from behind at CenturyLink Field thanks to a Will Bruin brace and a late goal from Cristian Roldan. With today’s result, Sounders FC improves to 5-0-1 to start the 2019 campaign, the best six-match opening to a season in club history. Dating back to last season, Sounders FC is unbeaten in its last 11 regular season matches (10-0-1). The Rave Green are tied for first in the Western Conference with 16 points, level on points with Los Angeles FC ahead of its matchup tonight against FC Cincinnati. Brian Schmetzer’s side has two contests later this month with LAFC, first in Southern California on April 21, followed by a contest in Seattle on April 28.

Toronto struck first in the 11th minute courtesy of Jozy Altidore. Spanish playmaker Alejandro Pozuelo collected the ball just outside the top corner of the 18-yard-box and chipped a ball to the far post that found Altidore, who slipped behind the Seattle defense and headed an attempt past Stefan Frei. The goal marked the first time Sounders FC has trailed in a match since the 27th minute of the season-opener against vs. FC Cincinnati, a span of 434 minutes.

Bruin equalized for Seattle just 13 minutes later with his first goal of the 2019 campaign. Fullback Brad Smith sent a looping cross from the left flank that perfectly found Bruin for a diving header past Reds keeper Quentin Westberg. The Indiana native gave Seattle the lead in the 66th minute, completing the brace with additional service from Smith. After some effective combination play, Nico Lodeiro played Smith down the left flank, who then crossed to Bruin for a sliding finish. With 70 career MLS regular season goals, Bruin moves past Diego Valeri for fifth all-time among active players.

Roldan made it 3-1 two minutes later, slipping into some space in the area and receiving a ball from Kelvin Leerdam, finishing strongly past Westberg for his second goal of the season.

Altidore pulled one back for Toronto in the 70th minute to give him five tallies on the season, but Seattle was able to stave off the Reds attack and remain unbeaten in 2019.

Following today’s match, Brian Schmetzer’s side heads to Los Angeles to take on LAFC on Sunday, April 21 at Banc of California Stadium, with a 4:00 p.m. PT kickoff and national broadcast on FS1. Heading into LAFC’s match with FC Cincinnati later this evening, Bob Bradley’s side and Sounders FC are level atop both the Western Conference and Supporters’ Shield race with 16 points apiece.

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(Lindsey Wasson / Sounders FC Communication.)

MATCH NOTES

  • Sounders FC improves to 5-0-1 to start the 2019 campaign, the best six-match opening to a season in club history. Dating back to last season, Sounders FC is unbeaten in its last 11 regular season matches (10-0-1).
  • The Rave Green are tied for first in the Western Conference with 16 points, level on points with Los Angeles FC ahead of its matchup tonight against FC Cincinnati. Brian Schmetzer’s side has two matches later this month with LAFC, first in Southern California on April 21, followed by a contest in Seattle on April 28.
  • Sounders FC is now 9-3-2 all-time against Toronto FC in regular-season play, including a 5-2-1 record at CenturyLink Field. The two clubs also famously played in consecutive MLS Cup Finals, with Seattle winning in 2016 and Toronto prevailing in 2017.
  • Will Bruin’s brace marked his first two goals of the season, giving him 20 since joining Sounders FC prior to the 2017 season. His 70 career MLS regular-season goals passed Diego Valeri for fifth among active players, trailing only Chris Wondolowski, Kei Kamara, Bradley Wright-Phillips and Dom Dwyer.
  • Cristian Roldan scored his first goal of the season with the eventual game-winning strike. The University of Washington product has 15 goals and 17 assists in 128 career regular-season appearances.
  • Nico Lodeiro recorded his fourth assist of the season on Bruin’s second strike, leading the club and tying him for first in MLS. It was also the 40th helper in MLS regulars-season action since joining Sounders FC in July of 2016. No player has more assists in league play since the Uruguayan joined MLS.
  • Brad Smith recorded his second assist of the season on Bruin’s second strike, while also providing the final pass on the match’s opening strike, but was not granted an assist on that play due to the ball taking a slight deflection.
  • Kelvin Leerdam and Gustav Svensson each recorded their first assists of the season on Roldan’s game-winning goal.
  • Toronto’s goal in the 11th minute marked the first time Sounders FC has trailed in match since 27th minute of the season-opener against vs. FC Cincinnati, a span of 434 minutes.
  • In the 82nd minute of today’s match, Stefan Frei passed Tony Meola for seventh all-time in league history in minutes played in goal.
    MATCH SUMMARY

Seattle Sounders FC 3 – Toronto FC 2
Saturday, April 13, 2019

Venue: CenturyLink Field
Referee: Allen Chapman
Assistants: Jeremy Hanson, Apolinar Mariscal
Fourth Official: Michael Radchuk
VAR: Kevin Stott
Attendance: 37,722
Weather: 47 degrees mostly cloudy

TOR – Jozy Altidore (Alejandro Pozuelo) 11′
SEA – Will Bruin 24′
SEA – Will Bruin (Brad Smith, Nicolás Lodeiro) 66′
SEA – Cristian Roldan (Kelvin Leerdam, Gustav Svensson) 68′
TOR – Jozy Altidore (Alejandro Pozuelo, Laurent Ciman) 70′

MISCONDUCT SUMMARY

SEA – Kim Kee-hee (caution) 61′
SEA – Nicolas Lodeiro (caution) 81′
SEA – Víctor Rodríguez (caution) 88′

LINEUPS & STATS

Seattle Sounders FC – Stefan Frei; Kelvin Leerdam, Kim Kee-hee, Chad Marshall, Brad Smith; Gustav Svensson, Cristian Roldan, Jordan Morris (Harry Shipp 86′), Nicolás Lodeiro – captain, Víctor Rodríguez (Nouhou 90’+1′); Will Bruin (Román Torres 79′)

Substitutes not used: Bryan Meredith, Alex Roldan, Jordy Delem, Handwalla Bwana

Total shots: 12 (Bruin, 4)
Shots on goal: 5 (Bruin, 3)
Fouls: 10 (Lodeiro, 3)
Offside: 6 (Bruin, 2)
Corner-kicks: 7 (Lodeiro, 7)
Saves: 2 (Frei, 2)

Toronto FC – Quentin Westberg; Laurent Ciman, Chris Mavinga, Eriq Zavaleta (Jay Chapman HT), Justin Morrow; Nick DeLeon, Michael Bradley – captain, Marky Delgado (Ayo Akinola 85′), Jonathan Osorio (Ashtone Morgan 75′); Alejandro Pozuelo, Jozy Altidore

Substitutes not used: Alex Bono, Richie Laryea, Liam Fraser, Terrence Boyd

Total shots: 9 (Altidore/Morrow, 2)
Shots on goal: 4 (Altidore, 2)
Fouls: 9 (Zavaleta, 3)
Offside: 1 (Altidore, 1)
Corner-kicks: 9 (Pozuelo, 9)
Saves: 2 (Westberg, 2)

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