HIGHLIGHTS: Seattle Sounders FC vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC | June 26, 2021
Looking for a third straight win, the Sounders settled for a share of the points with the Whitecaps to remain unbeaten on the campaign with an 7-0-4 mark.
Vancouver enjoyed several positive spells of play early on as they went toe-to-toe with the Western Conference leaders, but the Sounders saw the lion's share of possession and chances despite being unable to put one past Maxime Crepeau. But the Whitecaps had a chance of their own go by the wayside in the 37th minute as Caio Alexandre's header from a Russell Teibert cross sailed to the right of the net. That was followed by a narrow miss on a free-kick routine as a glancing header by Abdoulaye Cissoko failed to find the target for Seattle.
The hosts, though, found the breakthrough in the 40th minute following strong defensive play by Josh Atencio to start a Sounders break. Pretty buildup play saw Brad Smith fire a low cross to Raul Ruidiaz, who finished it off for his ninth goal of the year as the Sounders took a 1-0 lead.
That kickstarted Seattle as they looked as if they could add a second before the half expired, but nearly conceded an equalizer as Stefan Cleveland was called on to make a big save on Deiber Caicedo in stoppage time.
Vancouver, though, did level things up early in the second half. Cleveland was caught off his line, leaving Cristian Dahome a wide-open net as he beat Cissoko and cashed in his fourth of the season to put his team back on terms in the 49th.
And the Whitecaps jumped in front in the 56th minute as Dajome's cross found just enough of Lucas Cavallini to roll past Cleveland and make it a 2-1 Vancouver lead. The Sounders nearly leveled it moments later, but Cristian Roldan's shot missed by inches. Later, Ruidiaz had a golden chance to tie things up, but was stopped by Crepeau, with the rebound fired wide by Fredy Montero.
But, with 20 minutes remaining, the Sounders did indeed tie it at two on a corner-kick routine courtesy of a laser beam of a strike by Medranda. Despite a few anxious moments to close the match, neither team could find the winner.
- THE BIG PICTURE: It was a Cascadia derby between two teams on opposite ends of the Western Conference table, and credit belongs to the Whitecaps for going toe-to-toe with the MLS points leader throughout the evening. While it's two points dropped for Vancouver, their five-match losing streak has come to an end. Seattle can be encouraged by their ability to rescue a point, but they'll come away knowing that they weren't at their best.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: A 2-1 deficit certainly wasn't insurmountable for a team like the Sounders. And with 20 minutes to go in regular time, it was Jimmy Medranda who delivered his biggest moment in Rave Green.
GOAL: Jimmy Medranda, Seattle Sounders - 71st minute
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Ruidiaz was a force all evening, and while he probably should have had more than one goal, it was yet another stellar performance for the Peruvian striker.