Thiago Andrade gave NYCFC a potentially significant road goal with a 27th-minute equalizer, but the Sounders added two more to their tally before the match was over courtesy of a 34th-minute golazo from Morris and a second-half penalty kick from Lodeiro.
The match got off to a lively start, as the sides swapped goals in the opening half-hour. Seattle's opener came through Rusnák, who finished off a clinical 13-pass build-up that ended with the free-agent offseason arrival taking a layoff from Morris and depositing it past Sean Johnson for his first goal in a Sounders uniform.
NYCFC equalized in short order, though, as Andrade found the net just 11 minutes later with a close-range finish off a cross that was headed back across goal by Taty Castellanos. But Morris found the final goal of an entertaining first half, putting Seattle back in front in the 34th minute with a scorching finish into the top corner from inside the area, set up by a cross from Cristian Roldan.
Seattle added their third on 68 minutes after the home side was awarded a penalty kick on Video Review for a foul on forward Raul Ruidiaz in the NYCFC penalty box, a kick from center back Thiago Martins prompting the extra look. Lodeiro sent Johnson the wrong way from the spot and converted, affording the Sounders a two-goal advantage ahead of Leg 2 at Red Bull Arena next Wednesday.
- THE BIG PICTURE: The 27th-minute concession is the only real blemish on a sharp overall performance from Seattle, as the Sounders successfully defended their home field and are in the driver’s seat for the time being. NYCFC are up against it now, but Ronny Deila’s group is by no means out of it, greatly helping their cause with Andrade’s road goal. The winner faces either Liga MX's Pumas UNAM or Cruz Azul in the CCL final, looking to become MLS's first winner of the continental club competition's modern iteration.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: This 34th-minute finish from Jordan Morris was all class, and it was a huge moment in the game with the visitors having equalized just minutes earlier.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Morris looked like a man possessed in this one even outside of the goal, assisting on Rusnák's opener and making dangerous runs all night. The US international is looking very much back to form as he continues his comeback from a torn ACL that sidelined him last season.
- SEA: Wednesday, April 13 at New York City FC | 9 pm ET (FS1, TUDN) | CCL Semifinals Leg 2
- NYC: Wednesday, April 13 vs. Seattle Sounders FC | 9 pm ET (FS1, TUDN) | CCL Semifinals Leg 2