Seattle Sounders "looked more like us" in rout of CF Montréal


SEATTLE – Badly needing a bounce-back performance, Seattle Sounders FC finally got one Saturday evening at Lumen Field.

Sitting last in the Western Conference table heading into their Matchday 8 bout against CF Montréal, the Rave Green blitzed their Canadian foes for a 5-0 win, finally getting their first victory of 2024.

It helped that Montréal midfielder Nathan Saliba was red-carded in the 53rd minute, but the damage was largely done by then.

"That looked more like us, felt more like us," forward Jordan Morris said postgame after scoring his first goal of the year.

"Frustrating start to the season, but we believe in our quality and we knew what we could bring and I'm glad we brought it today. Hopefully it's the start of a big push to keep climbing the table."

Ruidíaz magic

Among the encouraging signs was a brace by star striker Raúl Ruidíaz, who kickstarted the attacking outburst with a 20th-minute golazo before converting a penalty kick seven minutes later.

The opening goal was some of the Peruvian striker's finest work in Rave Green – no small feat considering the lengthy highlight reel he's created since arriving in 2018. He now has a club-record 82 goals across all competitions.

"Some people are going to call it [lucky], whatever, it deflected," Morris said of his teammate's golazo. "But he creates those moments for himself where the ball pops out, and I think a lot of people wouldn't think about shooting that. But he's such an incredible finisher. We see it every day in training."

Added Ruidíaz through a translator: "To be honest, I only want to shoot to goal. Always I'm thinking about shooting to goal. When I saw the opportunity, I tried that. I shot to goal. Really, if we don't try, then we're not going to be creating chances and opportunities."

"Never quit"

The barrage of goals was a cathartic sight for Sounders head coach Brian Schmetzer, who credited his players with not getting discouraged despite some early-season doldrums (0W-3L-2D start).

"What I would say is that the spirit of the team, the Seattle Sounders, we've never quit," Schmetzer said postgame. "We always try and find a way to persevere in tough times. And I think the team did that tonight."

Slowly but surely, the Sounders are also getting healthier.

Brazilian midfielder João Paulo made his first appearance of the season as a second-half substitute, returning from a hip injury. Albert Rusnák also started the match and played all 90 minutes after missing time with a sprained ankle, making a pronounced impact with two assists and winning the penalty kick that led to Ruidíaz's second goal.

There's still plenty of work to do, but with Saturday's victory and the improving bill of health, Morris believes a positive run is near.

"We knew where we were and obviously it wasn't acceptable where we were," Morris said. "We know we're better than what we've been showing. So to have a performance like that, I think it gives everyone a ton of confidence to keep pushing, keep moving forward. A lot of games left to be played.

"We know we have a lot of time to climb the table and that's our goal. We take it one game at a time."