Seattle Sounders pull together in second half for historic comeback win

SEATTLE – The Seattle Sounders’ 4-3 comeback victory over D.C. United at CenturyLink Field on Wednesday wasn’t just arguably the wildest game of the MLS season thus far.

It was historic.

Seattle stormed back from a 3-0 second-half deficit in a 27-minute span on goals from Will Bruin, Brad Evans, Gustav Svensson and Cristian Roldan, marking the first time in MLS history a club has ever come back from three goals down to win a match in regulation.

“The first emotion I felt is relief,” Sounders head coach Brian Schmetzer said after the game. “The second was that I’m very proud of the guys. They never quit.

“It’s a crazy game. …I wouldn’t put much into this game statistically. I think it’s more just the mindset of the group, being able to persevere. All the passing stats, the goals and assists, they aren’t the real storyline of the game.”

The match actually wasn’t the first time this season the Sounders have erased a three-goal deficit at CenturyLink. Seattle salvaged a similarly heart-pounding 3-3 draw against the New England Revolution back on April 29 after falling behind 3-0 with all three goals coming after the 75th minute.

While the Sounders can take some pride in taking points from both games, Roldan said his team needs to stop putting itself in a position where they have to rely on those second-half theatrics.

“We have no one to blame but ourselves,” Roldan said. “We can never concede three goals. I said that last time we did but we can never do that ever again.”

There are several factors that could be pointed to for the rough start for Seattle, including a shorthanded starting XI that didn’t include linchpins like Stefan Frei, Osvaldo Alonso, Clint Dempsey and Jordan Morris. Seattle were also playing in their first match since July 4 due to the international break for the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Even so, there was little discussion of those variables in Seattle’s postgame locker room. Svensson – who scored his first career MLS goal to equalize the contest in the 74th minute -- echoed Roldan’s sentiment, saying that his team’s first-half performance was unacceptable.

“Even if it’d had been 0-0 in the first half, we wouldn’t have been happy,” Svensson said. “It felt like we didn’t have the timing, we didn’t connect the passes we wanted to and we weren’t in the positions we wanted to be.

“But it sums up how good a team this is that we turned this around,” he added. “That’s the first time in MLS history to turn 3-0 into 4-3. It takes a lot of good character to do that, a lot of good players. That’s not easy. If you look at the scoreboard, I’m happy. But if you look at how we played the game, especially in the first half, I’m not that happy.”