Xavier Arreaga opened the scoring in the 57th minute, flicking on a near-post header to the back post for his first MLS tally. Joao Paulo whipped in a corner kick that the Ecuadorian center back glanced home, giving the hosts a 1-0 lead.
Then in the 73rd minute, Seattle’s wingbacks combined for a 2-0 lead when Alex Roldan dinked a lofted ball for Brad Smith’s late-arriving run. Roldan started the move in midfield, then set up Smith on the left-hand side for his third goal of the year.
The Western Conference rivals were caught in a first-half deadlock, though Smith had a golden scoring opportunity in the 43rd minute. Cristian Roldan picked out the Australian defender centrally but he mishit his shot wide of goalkeeper Pablo Sisniega.
Carlos Vela made his return from injury for LAFC, entering the match in the 70th minute for Jose Cifuentes. The 2019 Landon Donovan MLS MVP had missed the Black & Gold’s last three matches, recovering from a knock he sustained in Week 1 against Austin FC.
- THE BIG PICTURE: Seattle have five wins and 16 points on the year, further setting the pace league-wide. Brian Schmetzer’s team keeps finding ways to win, even with growing absences serving up new challenges. Meanwhile, LAFC are winless in four and have lost two straight. Getting Carlos Vela back is a major boost, but Bob Bradley’s team aren't yet where they’re expected to be.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Alex Roldan’s work on Brad Smith’s insurance goal, from start to finish, was simply wonderful. The right wingback continues to take strides forward in 2021.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Especially on the defensive end, Cristian Roldan quietly had another strong game for the Sounders. Sporting the captain’s armband, the midfielder is smoothing over holes from Nicolas Lodeiro not being available for selection.