Seattle Sounders FC have reached the continental mountaintop in historic fashion, beating Pumas UNAM 3-0 on Wednesday night at Lumen Field behind Raul Ruidiaz's brace and Nicolas Lodeiro's late tally to clinch the 2022 Concacaf Champions League title.
It’s the first time a Major League Soccer team has won the tournament, and secured a FIFA Club World Cup spot, after four clubs previously came up short. The Rave Green were deadlocked 2-2 after Leg 1 in Mexico City last week, then completed the job in Leg 2 before a CCL-record crowd of 68,741 fans – sealing a 5-2 aggregate scoreline.
Ruidiaz opened the scoring in the 45th minute, depositing a deflected goal past Pumas goalkeeper Alfredo Talavera after center back Xavier Arreaga laid off a left-sided cross.
The Peruvian striker added his second in the 80th minute, curling home a beautiful feed from Lodeiro for the 2-0 lead after some intricate build-up play.
That set the stage for Seattle’s star playmaker to seal the deal, with Lodeiro finishing into an open net in the 88th minute after Jordan Morris’ shot was saved by Talavera and bounced into the Uruguayan midfielder’s path off the post.
- THE BIG PICTURE: Seattle were favored entering this CCL Final vs. Liga MX opposition, and they delivered in historic fashion. The two-time MLS Cup champions are the league’s first team to win a CCL title, a testament to their depth and organizational ethos. Seattle will head to the FIFA Club World Cup stage, representing North America after writing their place in the history books. The Sounders, with 13 straight Audi MLS Cup Playoffs appearances, are often referred to as the league's gold standard, making this triumph a highly-coveted next step.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: It was fitting that captain Nicolas Lodeiro scored the third goal that truly cemented the reality of what would come at the final whistle.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Raul Ruidiaz is a big-game player, and the Designated Player delivered with two goals that sent Seattle on their way.
- SEA: Saturday, May 7 at FC Dallas | 8:30 pm ET (MLS LIVE on ESPN+)
- PUM: Sunday, May 8 at Chivas | 8:15 pm ET | Liga MX