Columbus Crew SC broke their three-game goalless drought, but the struggling Ohioans' losing skid continued on Saturday as Nico Lodeiro marked his return from Uruguay's Copa América campaign with two goals to lead the Seattle Sounders to a 2-1 comeback road win at rain-washed MAPFRE Stadium.
The hard-luck hosts drew first blood in the opening stages. Crew SC's Pedro Santos cleverly lured Sounders teenage Homegrown player Danny Leyva – who was making just his second-ever MLS start – into clipping him in the Seattle 18-yard box, then calmly dispatched the resulting penalty kick in the 13th minute.
The Crew mostly sat on that early lead, keeping their defensive shape and soaking up Seattle's pressure, though another PK call by referee Chris Penso put a wrench in that plan 10 minutes after the halftime break. This time it was David Guzman who was whistled for clattering into Lodeiro from behind, and the Rave Green's maestro stepped up to rifle the spot kick inside the right post for the 1-1 equalizer.
After Seattle's Kelvin Leerdam skimmed a free-kick bid off the top of the Crew's crossbar in stoppage time, it looked like the two teams would split the points. But Lodeiro popped up at the back post to nod home a deflected long throw-in in the dying moments, a gut punch to Crew SC, who saw their losing streak extended to four matches and counting.
- 13' – CLB – Pedro Santos (PK) | WATCH
- 56' – SEA – Nicolas Lodeiro (PK) | WATCH
- 90+6' – SEA – Nicolas Lodeiro | WATCH
- THE BIG PICTURE: When it rains, it pours for Crew SC, even if Saturday's showers were passing ones. Caleb Porter's side aren't creating many clear chances, they are chronically prone to costly letdowns and their collective frustration is palpable. As for Seattle... Lodeiro reminded everyone why he remains their most cherished talisman.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Lodeiro's winner was equal parts opportunism and larceny, and a back-breaker for the Crew:
- MAN OF THE MATCH: No need to overthink this one; it's Nicolas Lodeiro.